A bicycle and car collided Friday, July 26, 2019, around 8:30 a.m. in south San Francisco, seriously injuring the cyclist. The accident happened on San Mateo Avenue at Lowrie Avenue. The details of the crash are unknown, but according to police, the driver of the motor vehicle stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.
The injured cyclist spent time in the trauma center but was expected to make a full recovery. At this time, they do not suspect drugs or alcohol to be a factor in the collision. Police are asking anyone with information about the crash to contact them at (650) 877-8900.
Riding Bikes in Traffic
As of 2019, San Francisco has 448 miles of bike lanes with 352 of them being lanes that have only a paved white line separating the cyclist and traffic. Twenty miles of those lanes are protected meaning there is a physical barrier between the cyclist and the motor vehicles.
This means that the other roughly 1,000 miles of streets don’t have any bike lanes, and cyclist have to ride among vehicles of they want to get around the city. This puts them at great risk cars and commercial trucks that weigh from 20 to 400 times their weight. A small bump from a semi-truck, for example, can be deadly to the cyclist.
What then should cyclists do if they want to get around the city on their bikes? They could travel only on the streets with bike lanes, but that would not allow them access to a large portion of the city. The best they can do is use common sense and rely on a state law that says bikes are to be treated the same as vehicles when riding in the streets.
Who’s at Fault when Riding in the Street?
California law also says that bikes that are going slower than the flow of traffic are to ride on the right side of the traffic lane only moving to the left to take a left-hand turn or avoid a hazard in the right-hand side of the street.
Although we have no idea what happened in the above-mentioned accident, when a cyclist violates the law and an accident occurs, many cyclists feel that the accident is their fault and that they can’t get compensation if they are injured. But the law doesn’t support that feeling. California civil law says that if a driver is negligent in a collision with another vehicle, that driver is responsible for the damages and injuries regardless of whether either driver violated a traffic code.
So even though a cyclist might get a traffic ticket for riding improperly in the street, when it comes to personal injury liability, the driver who didn’t look out for the safety of the other vehicle operator is the one who pays for the damages.
Contact a Bay Area Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a motor vehicle while riding your bike in traffic, don’t listen to the insurance company tell you that you broke the law and now can’t collect for your injuries. At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we know the laws of traffic, bicycles and personal injury, and we have experience dealing with insurance companies.
We offer a free consultation where you can be advised of the law and have your specific case evaluated. Call us today at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online
The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle, we Law are the only firm in northern California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and we know how to get you the compensation you are due under the law. If you still wonder if they’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.
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