Being in a bicycle accident in San Francisco brings with it a lot of questions. Not only do you have to worry about your injuries, but you also will probably have to deal with a recovery period where you could miss a great deal of work and other strains on your finances. Then, you’ll also potentially have to deal with changes in the way you live your life and maybe even your relationships. Despite all these questions and challenges, it’s still possible for you to take positive steps toward making a recovery after a San Francisco bicycle accident. However, your path toward this goal may depend on your choice of whether or not to hire a lawyer to help you.
MJQ Law Can Help San Francisco Bicycle Accident VictimsAt The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, our team of highly skilled San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers is here to guide you through the legal process following a bicycle accident and help you secure the financial support you deserve. We’ll explain your rights and what you need to do to put together a successful claim that covers your expenses and damages. To set up a free consultation, contact us today.
Typical Bicycle Accident Injuries in San FranciscoProbably the most consequential outcome of a bicycle accident in San Francisco revolves around the various injuries that you could suffer. The reality is that even with safety precautions such as wearing a helmet, protective gear, and following the rules of the road, accidents can still happen. When they do, they often lead to the following types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – These occur when a forceful impact to the head results in injury to the brain, potentially leading to issues with memory, cognitive function, and alterations in behavior.
- Concussions – A type of brain injury that arises when the brain experiences sudden jolting or shaking within the skull, manifesting as dizziness, confusion, headaches, and difficulties with concentration.
- Head and neck injuries – This encompasses injuries to the head, such as cuts, bruises, or fractures, as well as injuries to the neck region, which can involve strains or sprains of muscles and ligaments.
- Back injuries – These encompass a range of injuries to the back area, including the spine and muscles, spanning from muscle strains or sprains to more severe conditions such as fractures or spinal cord damage.
- Muscle sprains or strains – Injuries occurring when muscles undergo stretching or tearing. A sprain typically involves damage to ligaments that connect bones, while a strain refers to injuries directly to the muscles themselves.
- Broken bones – This happens when a bone within the body sustains a crack or break due to a forceful impact. Commonly affected bones in bicycle accidents include the arms, legs, wrists, or collarbones.
- Spinal cord injuries – Injuries to the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves running along the back, which can result in paralysis or loss of sensation in specific body regions, contingent on the injury’s location and severity.
- Internal organ damage – Refers to injuries sustained by internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, or lungs. These injuries may remain concealed externally but demand prompt medical attention due to their potential severity.
- Lacerations – Cuts or deep wounds, often resulting from sharp objects or skin tearing. Lacerations may necessitate stitches or other medical interventions for proper healing.
What Are Some Other Complications of Bicycle Accidents in San Francisco?Again, regardless of the type of bicycle accident you’re in, you’re likely dealing with a whole host of complications in the aftermath. Usually, your number one priority will be taking care of any injuries. However, there’s other complications you’ll have to deal with:
- Emotional and psychological trauma – Being involved in a bicycle accident in San Francisco can be a traumatic experience, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in some cases.
- Long-term health challenges – Severe injuries from bicycle accidents can result in long-term disabilities that may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and lifestyle adjustments.
- Missing work – If the injury leaves you unable to work, you may face financial hardships, including lost wages and income, which can have a significant impact on your financial stability.
- Medical expenses – The cost of medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescription medications, can accumulate rapidly, potentially leading to more financial strain.
- Property damage – Besides personal injuries, bicycle accidents can also cause damage to the bicycle itself, which may need to be repaired or replaced.
- Reduced quality of life – Injuries from bicycle accidents can result in a reduced quality of life, limiting one’s ability to engage in physical activities, enjoy hobbies, or even perform everyday tasks.
- Impact on family and relationships – Bicycle accidents can strain family relationships and support networks as loved ones may need to provide care and support in the wake of the accident
- Future health complications – Some injuries may lead to long-term health complications or chronic pain, affecting the your overall well-being.
Do I Need a Lawyer After I’ve Been in a Bicycle Accident in San Francisco?Despite the potential risks, San Francisco is a hub for bicycle riders, thanks to its favorable conditions and beautiful scenery. It’s an unfortunate reality that you or a loved one could find yourselves in one of these unexpected accidents while enjoying a bike ride in San Francisco. Thus, being prepared is always a smart approach. What this means, at least in this context, means considering your options in the event of an accident. Although there’s no legal requirement in California to hire a bicycle accident lawyer for an injury claim, having one can significantly streamline the process. At MJQ Law, we’ve established an approach to success that includes the following:
- Determining liability, where we help identify the responsible party for your accident.
- Gathering and assessing essential evidence related to your case.
- Conducting interviews with witnesses and experts who can provide valuable insights.
- Handling routine tasks and communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf.
- Supporting your claim and potentially pursuing a legal claim for damages through negotiation or, if necessary, litigation.
What is the Legal Process After a San Francisco Bicycle Accident?Even though every bicycle accident in San Francisco is unique, the legal process is fairly uniform. When a bicycle accident occurs, it follows the same principles as any other vehicle accident. The first step in the process is to figure out who is liable. Liability is determined based on negligence, which entails:
- Proving that someone acted carelessly, leading to the accident and resulting injuries.
- Duty of care – The responsible party had a duty to act safely and reasonably.
- Breach of duty – They failed to meet this duty due to negligence.
- Causation – This negligence directly caused the accident and your injuries.
- Damages – It must be evident that you suffered injuries or incurred losses as a result of the accident.
- Insurance claim – With liability established, you can then proceed with filing a claim for damages. Typically, this is first done by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Normally, this is a driver that caused the accident, but can also include third parties like other bicyclists or even the City of San Francisco.
- Personal injury lawsuit – If the settlement offer isn’t enough to cover your injuries and damages, you can move to the next phase of the process, filing a personal injury claim. This requires official legal representation, and filing a Complaint in civil court. From there, the discovery process winds through the legal system and potentially ends with a trial before a jury. Our team will be by your side throughout this entire process. Both of these avenues will allow you to recover damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost wages.