Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only law firm in Northern California to specializing exclusively in representing injured bicyclists. To learn more about how our Oakland Bicycle accident lawyers can help you with your injury claim, contact us today for a free consultation at 866-242-9253.
For many Oakland residents, using a bicycle for transportation is second nature. The city’s robust public transit network is largely bike friendly, making bicycles the vehicle of choice for many commuters. Riding a bike saves money, is efficient, and offers the rider a more unique and intimate relationship with their surroundings. Still, the dangers cyclists face in Oakland are the same as any other metropolitan area: obstructed bike lanes, poorly maintained or heavily worn roads with potholes, drivers with road rage, drivers not looking before turning, and dooring are just a few of the threats riders face daily. If you’ve been involved in a collision or accident while riding your bike, contact Bay Area Bicycle Law for a free consultation to see if you have a case.
Oakland Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only bike specific law firm serving the city of Oakland California. Our passion for riding, be it commuting, racing or just a casual roll through the neighborhood, is what drives us. A crash is a jarring experience that shakes many riders into quitting cycling. As advocates for cyclists, our goal is to get our clients back on two wheels as soon as possible. We pledge to be honest with you about your case, stay in close contact with you throughout the legal process, and get you the largest take home settlement possible.
Insurance issues after an Oakland bicycle accident
There are many obstacles standing between an injured rider and the financial compensation they’re rightfully due. Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle is usually insurance companies. For starters, not all cyclists with auto insurance have Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UIM) coverage. If the driver involved in the accident has no insurance and is at fault, getting rightful compensation without professional legal help is nearly impossible. If they are insured, resistance from the insurance company is expected. What many people don’t realize is that even if insurance companies cover the accident, they’re a business. They profit by minimizing payouts – even to their own insured. Our lawyers are familiar with the tactics employed by insurance companies to reduce settlements, so we work hard to hold them accountable and to get our clients proper reimbursement. We even take on cases where insurance companies have already denied liability. Our commitment to our clients is to take away the stress associated with the insurance process so that they can focus on making a full recovery.
Despite the prevalence of bicycle transit in the East Bay, police often give more credence to a driver’s testimony than a cyclist’s. A biased or unfair police report can wrongfully establish fault and exacerbate to an already aggravating legal battle. Bay Area Bicycle Law will take on cases where the police wrongfully found the cyclist at fault, and by re-creating the events of the accident, interviewing witnesses, and hiring experts, we’ll work hard to build a strong case on the cyclist’s behalf. We work on a contingency fee basis at no out-of-pocket cost to our clients. At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we know bicycle riders have an equal right to the road. We’re here to make sure our clients and fellow cyclists are treated in accordance to the law.
Oakland Bike Culture
With so many riders on the streets, many cycling organizations and advocacy groups call Oakland home. Whether it’s a local group ride or volunteering at a bike kitchen, there is no shortage of ways to get involved in Oakland’s thriving bike culture.
If going out for social group rides or training rides, try linking up with the Bay Area Cycling Meetup Group or the Bike The Bay Cycling Meetup Group. Both groups organize rides according to level of difficulty or experience, so group members can choose a ride based on their comfort level. The beginner level rides for instance, focus on learning to ride safely in a group or peloton, while the expert rides are for those training for a racing event.
Other organizations have recognized that riding bicycles is the ultimate egalitarian activity. The P.O.K.E.R. Bicycle Familia (People Of Kolor Everyday Ridin’, among many other iterations) is an organization to “create a space for people of color to ride, have fun, promote active health, and in the process, build community.” Red Bike and Green (RGB) is “a national collective of Black urban bicyclists who work to improve the health, economy, and local environment by creating sustainable Black bike culture”. Both organizations share the DNA of events like the East Bay Bike Party (a monthly, themed group ride that takes place every 2nd Friday of the month), but with the added focus of lifting up minority communities in the Oakland area through a positive and inclusive bicycle culture.
In addition to the aforementioned social meetups, Bay Area Bicycle Law is one of the presenting sponsors of Pedalfest, an annual summer event that takes place in Jack London Square and celebrates all things pedal powered. Spectators attend events that are scheduled throughout the day, like the unicycle stunt show, or the amphibious bike race. Other activities encourage more hands on participation, such as making bicycle-assisted artwork, or helping power a sound stage using only bicycles to generate energy. The event is all ages, and free to attend! For more information, go to: http://pedalfestjacklondon.com
Oakland Bike Resources
With so many of the city’s residents recognizing the positive impact of cycling in the community, resources for bicycle building and education are constantly in demand. Luckily, the East Bay provides. Bay Area Bicycle Law is proud to sponsor Biketopia, a volunteer run, non-profit organization based in Berkeley which provides first-hand knowledge and second-hand bike parts so that members of the community can learn basic bicycle maintenance and upkeep. Spokeland, based in Oakland, offers an extremely similar service.
Bike East Bay is a cycling advocacy non-profit headquartered in Oakland whose mission is to “promote healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun and accessible.” They foster free bicycle education programs to overcome barriers to cycling, and are active with Oakland’s city planning to push for more bike-friendly infrastructure. Bay Area Bicycle Law fully supports the efforts of Bike East Bay. One of our own attorneys, Kyle Smith, was recently appointed to the organization’s board of directors!
Education is the cornerstone of safety when it comes to bicycling. Whether it’s being able properly inspect your bike before a ride, or understanding the rules of the road, all of the coalitions and organizations listed above do their part to empower cyclists and keep them safe. After all, cars aren’t the only threat on the road — construction, closed lanes, debris and other road hazards all pose a danger to cyclists.
Residents of Oakland know that often the biggest safety threat faced by cyclists are the very streets they ride on. A widely circulated piece of news in 2014 told the story of Dulcey Bower, a cyclist who was awarded 3.25 million dollars by the city of Oakland for the injuries she sustained after hitting a pothole on Mountain Boulevard in 2011. Upon striking the pothole, Bower flew over her handlebars and landed 21 feet away, suffering major injuries to her head, face, teeth, and jaw. The impact rendered her unconscious, and she was put in a medically induced coma for 4 days.
While Bower’s settlement amount was certainly newsworthy, it shed light on a bigger issue: Oakland’s streets are in dire need of repair. A report released in 2015 by The Road Information Program revealed that Oakland’s roads are “among the worst of any major urban area in the U.S.” It is estimated the backlog of street repairs needed is at a cost of $435 million and growing. The issue is so bad that some residents have taken matters into their own hands by filling potholes with broken bricks: a move condemned by the city since it is still dangerous for cyclists to ride over, and cars could kick up loose brick at other vehicles or passing pedestrians.
The city is struggling to keep up with road maintenance, citing budgetary constraints as its primary impediment. While some effort has been made to patch up rough sections of road laden with potholes, many feel such repairs are simply putting a bandage on the issue, and that eventually full repaving will be necessary. Still, any progress is good news for cyclists of Oakland. By setting up a hotline and online form to report road hazards, the city has shown its willingness to cooperate in making safer roads — budget permitting. They have also been receptive to feedback from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. Nevertheless, while cycling be vigilant of street hazards like cracks or potholes. Swerving to avoid such threats further endangers riders by putting them in the way of traffic. If an accident does occurs despite your best efforts to remain safe, legal counsel may be your best asset.
Contact an Oakland Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
The benefits of riding a bicycle are well established. Riding is better for the environment, better for your body, and makes for happier people. Residents of Oakland have embraced cycling for these positive attributes and more. Don’t let a bad crash or an unfair legal resolution stifle your passion for riding. If you’re involved in a collision and do get injured, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 415-466-8717 or bayareabicyclelaw.com for a free consultation. We promise to work diligently so that you can get the best settlement possible and back on the road.