San Francisco can provide the most scenic and invigorating bicycle rides in the world. The iconic city streets and amazing backdrops of the bay area draw in more than just cyclists though. Thousands of drivers pour into the city every morning creating the many hazards bikers have come to expect.
San Francisco Taxi Dangers for Bike Riders
The traditional taxi industry has suffered from the rise of rideshares like Uber and Lyft, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter plenty of those yellow cars on the streets. The San Francisco Examiner reported that 56,000 people were picked up at the airport by old school cabs in a single month in 2019. These fares add traffic to the already busy roads many cyclists use, specifically, it adds more drivers who are on the job and possibly more distracted.
A distracted driver can miss a lot of things and especially a bike rider beside them. If the action of a taxi driver results in an accident that leaves you with injuries, you’ll want to protect yourself while you recover. A local bicycle accident attorney at Bay Area Bicycle Law can help examine your incident and determine the best way to get compensation to help with hospital bills and even lost wages for work you are forced to miss.
Common Causes of Taxi Accidents
Cab drivers have usually navigated every street and alley of San Francisco and know them by heart. Even with all that experience, they can still make bad decisions on the road. There are many reasons a driver on the clock might cause an accident for a bike rider. Here are just a few:
- Job Distractions. A driver’s attention can be drawn away by the next fare that pops up. A passenger can also prove to be a distraction, putting anyone else on the road at risk.
- Negligent behavior such as speeding to get to a destination, illegal turns, or following too closely behind other traffic.
- Failed or faulty equipment, including brake failure, non-functional lights or indicators, and flat tires.
- A taxi hit by another vehicle. One accident can lead to another and put a bicyclist at risk.
What to Do After an Accident Caused by a Taxi Driver
A taxi company is required to carry liability insurance. This is used to cover both personal injuries, as well as property damage. Even so, attempting to get complete and fair compensation from any insurance company for your injury can be a challenge.
To prove your case, you’ll need to start collecting evidence as soon after an accident as possible.
Call 911 and have them send an ambulance. If no one is seriously hurt, attempt to speak to witnesses and trade contact information with those involved in the accident. Write down the taxi’s license place number, car number, and the driver’s identification number.
Also, thoroughly document the incident with as many pictures as you can take, both of the vehicles involved, as well as the surrounding area. Don’t throw out any damaged clothing or personal items. Don’t get rid of your damaged bike. These can all be evidence. Get a copy of the police and medical reports.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a personal injury case after bicycle injury?
In California, a victim has two years from the date of injury to file for any personal injury claim based on negligence. If this date is missed, then the victim might lose their right to get compensation for their injury. In many cases, the claim will settle before the deadline, but that’s not guaranteed.
What if I was partially to blame for my bicycle accident?
In California, a jury can divide fault between the driver/employer and the victim of an accident. The victim’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This is called comparative fault and it’s used in all personal injury cases in California including bicycle accident injuries.
What if I wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet?
By law, a violation of the helmet law doesn’t automatically prevent you from getting compensation. However, a jury could determine that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet and most likely will reduce the amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.
Contact a San Francisco Bicycle Lawyer
Cyclists can be overlooked by careless taxi drivers and left with no room to avoid an accident. Bicyclists are the least protected travelers using the streets and accidents can be severe. If you’ve been the victim in a collision, make sure you have an experienced attorney on your side that knows the state law and how it protects cyclists as they try to recover.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base, and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.