Bicycling in San Francisco can become frustrating and sometimes, it’s even downright dangerous. It seems as if everybody is in a rush to get to their destination, and often, bicyclists are a nuisance to them. Driver carelessness then seems to be the only rule of the road, and that’s what causes accidents with bicyclists. Here are just a few examples of the types of driver carelessness that cause those accidents:
- Unlawful use of bike lanes by motorists.
- Distracted driving by motorists who are talking on cell phones or texting while driving.
- Unlawfully failing to stop at stop signs and red lights.
- Exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for traffic or weather conditions.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.
Preserving and Protecting Your Rights After a Bicycle Accident
After being injured in a bicycle crash that was caused by the carelessness and negligence somebody else, you’ll probably want to bring a claim or lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries and damages. Calling 911 immediately after the crash will be pivotal in preserving and protecting your rights. Ask the 911 operator to send police and paramedics to the scene. Police can conduct an investigation and write up a report, and paramedics can treat you at the scene and get you to a nearby emergency room for an examination and additional treatment. Between the investigating police officer, the paramedics and emergency room personnel, three different records will tie your injuries in with your bicycle accident. Without them, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to prevail in a claim or lawsuit.
Contacting the Driver’s Insurer
A personal injury claim should be made with the driver’s insurance company in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Then, you can follow up by forwarding the adjuster who is assigned to your claim with copies of your medical bills, records and reports along with verification of any earnings lost. That adjuster will probably want a recorded statement from you about your accident and injuries. As California law doesn’t require you to give any such statement, politely refuse to give one. Your words will only be used against you to attack your credibility in an attempt to devalue your claim in the future. If the adjuster tells you that your claim file will be closed without a statement, let him or her close it, and contact our offices for a free confidential consultation and case review. Don’t mention your accident or injuries on social media either. Whatever you post might be used against you too.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
A bicycle accident victim can forego a claim and file a personal injury lawsuit at any time within two years from the date of the accident. What comes to issue is that many people have no idea of how to draft the lawsuit. It could get dismissed time and time again for failure to conform with California’s civil procedure rules, and a judge can begin to lose patience and make you wish that you hired a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer to begin with.
After being injured in a bicycle accident that was the fault of somebody else, don’t even take a step toward filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit without consulting with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer. We’ve been building personal injury cases piece by piece for many years now. Our San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers here at the Law Office of Michael J. Quinlan offer free confidential consultations and case reviews, and we don’t charge fees up front to represent you. Don’t try a claim or lawsuit on your own when we can do it for you. Once you retain us to represent you, we’re focused on getting you the highest settlement or award that you deserve.