Bicycling in San Francisco offers plenty of joy and excitement with its diverse trails and routes. However, it’s crucial to be aware of potential dangers, like congested and poorly maintained streets and roads. Aggressive drivers who overlook cyclists until it’s too late further increase the risk. Consequently, riding a bicycle in San Francisco can be extremely hazardous, leading to emergency room visits and serious injuries–especially broken legs.
When facing a broken leg injury in San Francisco, understanding your options becomes extremely important. Whether it pertains to medical treatment, physical recovery, or legal options, working with a team of experienced bicycle accident lawyers can significantly impact your healing journey and the way you navigate this difficult time.
Experienced Legal Support From San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers
At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we understand the significant challenges and uncertainties that come with a broken leg from a bicycle accident. Not only do these injuries s affect your mobility, but they can also have long-term complications impacting various aspects of your life. Our San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers are dedicated to holding at-fault drivers accountable for their actions.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
San Francisco Bicycle Accident Data
San Francisco’s picturesque views make it an excellent destination for bicycling. However, there is a potential risk of accidents while riding. According to California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) data, San Francisco County recorded:
- 384 bicycle accidents in 2022
This number is actually down from previous years for the county, where there were:
- 588 bicycle accidents in 2018
- 568 bicycle accidents in 2019
This data clearly indicates that riding a bicycle in San Francisco, while enjoyable, carries substantial risks of accidents and injuries. Even more concerning is that the contributing factors to these accidents are as prevalent in San Francisco as in any other place. Therefore, it is crucial to comprehend these factors and their impact on these accidents.
Common Reasons Bicycle Accidents Happen in San Francisco
Bicycle accidents in San Francisco happen for similar reasons as other accidents, with mistakes by drivers being a major factor. However, bicycle accidents are particularly dangerous because cars are much heavier and faster, causing more severe injuries in a collision with a bike. Some common reasons that these accidents happen include:
- Lack of visibility – One of the most common causes of accidents is when drivers fail to see cyclists due to bicycles’ smaller size, making them easily hidden in the driver’s blind spot. Distractions like texting while driving can also lead to accidents with bicyclists.
- Reckless and aggressive driving – Accidents frequently occur when drivers don’t exercise caution around bicycles. They may follow too closely, attempt unsafe passes, or suddenly change lanes to avoid hitting a bicyclist. Some drivers act recklessly or aggressively when sharing the road with bicycles, leading to accidents.
- Driving under the influence – Whether it’s alcohol or drugs, driving while intoxicated poses a grave threat in any scenario, but particularly when it involves a bicycle accident.
Impaired drivers pose a significant danger to bicyclists on the road due to their tendency to speed and react slowly.
- Dooring incidents – “Dooring” occurs when a driver or passenger opens a car door without checking for approaching cyclists. If a cyclist is riding too close to parked cars and a door suddenly opens in their path, they may collide with the door and sustain injuries, including broken legs.
- Collisions with pedestrians – In busy areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, a cyclist may collide with a pedestrian who unexpectedly steps into their path, leading to accidents and potential broken leg injuries for both parties involved.
- Inclement weather – San Francisco generally offers good weather for biking, but sudden weather changes, especially in spring and summer, can create challenges. Fast-moving storms, rain, and especially fog from the bay make it difficult to see and control cars and bicycles, making road safety more difficult.
In San Francisco, there are many reasons why bicycle accidents happen, and they often involve more than one cause. However, the most significant result of these accidents, especially for the cyclist, is the damage and injuries they experience. One of the most frequent injuries is broken or fractured legs.
Broken Legs in San Francisco Bicycle Accidents
In San Francisco, like any urban area with a significant number of cyclists, bicycle accidents can result in various types of broken legs. Some common types of broken legs that may occur in bicycle accidents include:
- Fractures of the femur – The femur is the thigh bone, and fractures in this long bone can happen due to high-impact collisions with motor vehicles or other obstacles.
- Fractures of the tibia – The tibia is the larger bone in the lower leg, and fractures in this bone can occur in accidents where the cyclist’s leg impacts a solid object or gets trapped.
- Fractures of the fibula – The fibula is the smaller bone in the lower leg, and it can also sustain fractures in bicycle accidents.
- Fractures of the patella – The patella, or kneecap, can break due to direct impact or excessive force during a bicycle accident.
- Stress fractures – Although not as common as acute fractures, stress fractures may occur in the legs of cyclists who engage in intense and repetitive cycling without proper rest.
- Avulsion fractures – These fractures happen when a piece of bone is pulled away by a tendon or ligament during a sudden and forceful contraction, such as when the cyclist attempts to stop or avoid a collision.
- Spiral fractures – Spiral fractures involve a twisting or rotational force on the bone, which can occur in certain types of bicycle accidents.
The types of broken legs that occur in San Francisco bicycle accidents can vary depending on the:
- Circumstances of each collision
- Speed involved
- Direction of impact
- Use of protective gear
It’s important to note that wearing appropriate safety equipment, such as helmets and knee pads, can reduce the risk of severe leg injuries in bicycle accidents. Still, suffering one of these injuries means you’ll likely be facing significant medical bills and a change in your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to pursue your legal options.
What Legal Options Are There After a San Francisco Bicycle Accident?
Although a broken leg is a significant injury, hiring a lawyer for a bicycle accident claim is not a requirement. However, consulting with our experienced bicycle accident lawyers in San Francisco can be extremely helpful to your ability to understand the challenges involved and the legal aspects of filing a claim.
Here are the general steps in the claims process that our team can guide you through:
- Gather evidence – Our team will investigate the accident and help collect crucial documents and evidence, including accident scene photos, witness contacts, and medical records.
- File an insurance claim – If you have the at-fault party’s insurance information, we can assist you in initiating the claims process with their insurance company.
- Negotiate a settlement – After the claim is filed and the investigation is complete, the at-fault party’s insurance company may offer a settlement. We’ll review the offer and negotiate for a higher amount if needed.
- File a lawsuit – If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we’ll advise you on filing a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.
Damages available in a San Francisco bicycle accident claim include:
- Medical expenses and ongoing treatment – Covering the costs of medical care, hospital visits, medications, and therapy, including future treatment needs.
- Lost wages – Compensation for the income lost due to injuries preventing you from working, both past and future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering – Compensation for physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident.
- Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life – Compensation for the impact on your ability to engage in enjoyable activities or relationships.
While every claim is unique, the process can be complex and time-consuming. Consulting with a lawyer who understands these matters is vital to explore your options and receive guidance throughout the legal process. They can assess your case’s value and work to achieve a satisfactory result for you and your family.
San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help You
If you’ve experienced a broken leg due to a bicycle accident in San Francisco, don’t hesitate to contact MJQ Law for the help you need. At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we understand the challenges you’re going through and are committed to supporting you throughout the recovery process. Our team of San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers will provide a clear explanation of the legal aspects involved and offer unwavering support to help you take the first step toward your recovery.
Contact us today for a free consultation.