Broken Arms from Bicycle Accidents in San Francisco

Do I Have a Case?

A broken bone can be a painful and traumatic experience, serving as a stark reminder of the risks involved in bicycle accidents. San Francisco’s stunning scenery and favorable weather make it an excellent place to ride a bike. However, riding a bicycle also comes with the potential for serious injuries, with broken arms being one of the most common occurrences.

According to data from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Record System (SWIRTS), there were 48 bicycle accidents that resulted in serious injuries in San Francisco in 2022.

Support You Need From San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Riding bicycles carries a natural risk of accidents for many riders. Even though these accidents are common in San Francisco, no rider expects to suffer serious bone fractures or injuries.

At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we know how devastating these injuries can be. Our team of San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers is here to offer you dedicated legal support to help you recover. We will explain your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation to learn more.

Types of Bicycle Accidents in San Francisco

San Francisco, like other parts of California, experiences various factors contributing to bicycle accidents. Some of these factors are unique to the area, but they can lead to numerous types of accidents throughout the city, such as:

  • Vehicle collisions – Accidents involving cars, trucks, or buses colliding with bicycles at intersections or while changing lanes are prevalent. These collisions often result from drivers not seeing cyclists or failing to yield the right of way.
  • Dooring accidents – These accidents happen when a parked vehicle’s door is opened suddenly in the path of an oncoming cyclist, leading to a collision with the door.
  • Intersection accidents – Intersections can be hazardous for cyclists due to the complexity of traffic movements. Accidents may occur when vehicles fail to observe cyclists while making turns or proceeding through traffic lights.
  • Road hazards – Uneven pavement, potholes, debris, or slippery surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control and get involved in accidents.
  • Right Hook accidents – This type of accident occurs when a motor vehicle passes a cyclist and then makes a right turn without noticing the cyclist beside or behind them, resulting in a collision.
  • Left Turn accidents – These accidents happen when a vehicle turning left crosses the path of an oncoming cyclist, leading to a collision.
  • Sideswipe accidents – A vehicle passing too close to a cyclist may result in a sideswipe accident, causing the cyclist to lose balance and potentially crash.
  • Overtaking accidents – When a motor vehicle attempts to overtake a cyclist without maintaining a safe distance, it can lead to an accident if there isn’t enough room for both on the road.
  • Sidewalk accidents – Accidents may occur when cyclists ride on sidewalks and unexpectedly collide with pedestrians or vehicles exiting driveways.
  • Poor weather – Although San Francisco’s weather is generally favorable for riding a bicycle, weather patterns from the nearby bay can mean fast-moving rain storms or foggy conditions that can lead to bicycle accidents.

No matter the type of bicycle accident, it’s highly likely that you’ll suffer injuries, often severe, due to the limited protection for bicyclists during accidents. As a result, injuries like broken arms are common occurrences in these accidents.

Broken Arms in San Francisco Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists in busy urban areas like San Francisco are vulnerable on the road. Understanding how injuries like broken arms can occur in bicycle accidents is essential. Collisions with vehicles or falls can lead to fractures in arm bones, including the humerus, radius, and ulna. Moreover, accidents involving pedestrians or other cyclists can also cause broken arms when the impact is significant.

That said, since every accident is unique, it can lead to different types of arm fractures or breaks, including:

  • Humerus fractures – Upper arm bone breaks near the shoulder or closer to the elbow, sometimes involving multiple bone pieces.
  • Radius/Ulna fractures – Either one or both forearm bones may break at different locations, like the middle, near the wrist, or closer to the elbow.
  • Olecranon fractures – These occur at the tip of the ulna bone, forming the elbow joint, often caused by falls or direct impacts to the elbow.
  • Monteggia fractures – A specific forearm fracture where the ulna bone breaks and the radius bone dislocates from its normal position at the elbow joint.
  • Galeazzi fractures – Another forearm fracture involving a break in the radius bone and a dislocation or injury to the lower end of the ulna bone.

After a bicycle accident, if your arm bones break, you may feel immediate pain, and swelling, and have difficulty moving your arm and wrist, which can make everyday tasks hard. Some fractures may also damage nerves and blood vessels, making healing more complicated. If you think you have a radius or ulna fracture, seek medical help promptly to prevent complications and speed up recovery.

In terms of your legal options, you’ll need to recover compensation to help pay for your medical bills and other treatment after your broken arm, not to mention how the injury can affect your ability to work and your relationship with your loved ones. Thus, you’ll first need to figure out who–or what–is liable for your accident.

Liability in San Francisco Bicycle Accidents

Determining liability in San Francisco bicycle accidents involves identifying the:

  • Cause of the accident
  • Circumstances leading to it
  • Whether the responsible party acted negligently

In most cases, liability falls on one of the following:

  • Driver of the vehicle that collided with the bicycle – If the driver’s negligent or reckless behavior, such as speeding or not paying attention, caused the accident, they are at fault and liable for the resulting damages.
  • Manufacturer of the bicycle – If the accident occurred due to mechanical failure or a defective part or software in the bicycle, the manufacturer may be held liable for the damages.
  • City or entity responsible for road maintenance – If the accident was caused by a pothole or road defect, the City of San Francisco or State of California, as the entities responsible for road safety, could be held accountable for the bicycle accident.

Additionally, California’s “comparative negligence” statute applies here, meaning any recovery amount is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to the injured party in the accident. With liability established, you can move forward with pursuing your legal options.

Legal Options After a Broken Arm From a San Francisco Bicycle Accident

Breaking your arm can lead to significant medical treatment and rehabilitation, resulting in medical bills and time off work. In San Francisco, pursuing legal options is usually done by filing:

  • An insurance claim
  • A personal injury lawsuit

Either one of these options allows you to recover vital damages from your accident. These can include:

  • Medical expenses – You can receive compensation for all arm injury-related costs, including hospital bills, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and future rehabilitation expenses.
  • Lost wages – If your broken arm prevents you from working, you can seek compensation for the wages you’ve lost and potential future earnings you may miss due to the injury.
  • Pain and suffering – Compensation can be pursued for the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident and the arm injury. This includes distress, anxiety, and a diminished quality of life.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship – If the injury affects your ability to live as you did before, you can seek compensation, including damages to personal relationships.

The exact compensation you can get in your claim depends on the bicycle accident’s circumstances and your situation. It’s crucial to work with experienced lawyers who have expertise in handling bicycle accidents in San Francisco. Our team can assist you through the legal process and ensure you take the necessary steps to receive the compensation you deserve.

Experienced and Dedicated San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers

At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we understand the challenges you face with a broken arm from a bike accident in San Francisco. Our experienced and dedicated team of lawyers will provide the support you need throughout the legal process. We’re here to ensure you receive the compensation and outcome you deserve. Don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact us today for a free consultation.