Cycling and Bike Accidents Are on the Rise in San Francisco
Cycling and bike accidents are both on the increase in San Francisco. The use of bicycles increased by 58% from 2006 to 2010, and about 6% of total trips taken each day in San Francisco are with bicycles. 16% of San Francisco residents are regular cyclists who ride their bikes two or more days per week. With the increase of cyclists on the road, it’s to be expected that the number of bike accidents will also go up. In California, deaths from bicycle accidents increased by 23% during 2010-2012.
Cycling is a fun exercise and a healthy alternative to the daily commute. The rising costs of owning a vehicle or using public transport, the mild weather in the Bay Area, the compact area our city covers, and the environmental consciousness of San Francisco residents in general makes cycling appealing. The city of San Francisco has multiple cycling clubs and cycling events, all on the rise.
The Benefits of Hiring a Bicycle Lawyer
When riding a bike, bicyclists have little protection compared to a motorist. Bike laws are complex, insurance companies and corporations are skilled at legal battle, and the facts of the accident can often be murky — especially if head trauma was sustained (even a minor concussion can give rise to insurance companies arguing that the cyclist is mis-remember how the collision occurred). Trying to fight a case without a bicycle lawyer is difficult, and the injured cyclist can often walk away with little to no compensation for their pain and suffering. An experienced bike lawyer can help you get the maximum amount of compensation owed.
A Little Background about Bay Area Bicycle Law
All our attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law are avid and enthusiastic cyclists themselves. We handle your case personally from beginning to end so you can be sure you get the best service throughout the process.
Michael Stephenson, the founding partner, was top of his class and graduated with Honors from the University of Oregon School of Law. Michael is a former public defender and previously worked for one of the top 100 law firms in the United States where he handled high-profile cases involving some of the largest companies in the country. His legal articles are featured in top legal journals, and he has received praise for his legal skills from judges, opposing lawyers, and clients alike.
In 2010, he moved to San Francisco to focus exclusively on bike accident cases, fighting on behalf of bicyclists, where he was joined by a team of expert attorneys sharing his passion.
Bay Area Bicycle Law: Benefits and Bike Accident Cases
As cyclists themselves, the attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law understand the dangers of cycling in the city and the fears cyclists have to live with each day on the road. They understand how easy it is to get into an accident and the frustration they feel when the blame is almost immediately shifted onto the cyclist.
Since they exclusively handle bike accident cases, they have much more experience than general personal injury attorneys; they know all the pitfalls, understand the angles insurance companies use to deny claims, and are familiar with the unique legal issues that surround bike accident cases. The laws that govern bicycle accidents are different from regular vehicle accidents, insurance coverage is different, and the injuries or medical issues of cyclists are often different. Not only do they have a comprehensive understanding of bike accident cases, but they also keep up with new developments to help advocate for their injured clients.
Many types of bike accidents can happen. Some of the cases they have handled include the following behavior or incidents:
- Dooring, which is when a still-standing vehicle suddenly opens its door and hits a cyclist
- Cars that swerve into a cyclist’s lane or stops abruptly.
- Drivers that disregard road signs.
- Cars that drive without their headlights at night or at excessive speeds.
- Faulty infrastructure such as potholes.
Where to Find the San Francisco Bay Area Office
Bay Area Bicycle Law
409 13th St., 14th Floor
San Francisco’s Cycling History
Bicycles came to San Francisco in the last quarter of the 19th century. The first models ran on solid wooden wheels and were called Boneshakers. And aptly so, since the solid wheels against the cobblestone roads were not a very comfortable experience. In the early stages, bicycles were a novelty and were not really considered as a transportation option. Later on, the wheels were covered with solid rubber which ensured a smoother riding experience.
This changed in the 1880’s when the bicycle business started to boom as a result of improvements to bikes. They had better chains, pedals, suspension, and of course pneumatic tires. Mass production of bicycles was also introduced.
The first cycle club in San Francisco was founded in 1876. This club was the second cycle club in the United States. In 1894, the railway strike halted mail delivery in the Bay Area. From this crisis, a bicycle messenger business was born, and delivery cycles ran between Fresno and San Francisco.
More recently, the 2009 Bicycle Plan was introduced to increase safe bicycle use in San Francisco, and includes:
- Better bike parking
- Expanding routes and access to transit and bridges
- Additional cycling lanes
- Education for both cyclists and drivers
Today, there are many cycling clubs in San Francisco, as well as cycling events and festivals catering for all kinds of cyclists
If you or someone you know has been in a bicycle accident in San Francisco, contact our top notch Bay Area lawyers for a consultation.