San Mateo County has miles and miles of beautiful bicycle trails and paths for bicyclists to enjoy. Many residents choose bicycling as an affordable alternative form of transportation. Other individuals enjoy bicycling for health, relaxation, and socialization. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents cause thousands of injuries and fatalities each year.
In this article, our San Mateo County bicycle accident attorney Robert Thompson discusses several issues related to bicycle accidents including:
- Bicycle Accident Statistics for San Mateo County
- Common Injuries Sustained in a Bicycle Accident
- Causes of Bicycle Accidents in San Mateo County
- Deadlines for Filing Injury Claims Related to Bicycle Accidents
- Steps to Take After a San Mateo County Bicycle Accident
- How Much is a Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
- How Can I Avoid a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle Accident Statistics for San Mateo County
Bicycle fatalities increased in California by 8.1 percent from 2015 to 2016. During 2016 in San Mateo County, 211 individuals were injured or killed in bicycle accidents placing the county in 28th OTS ranking position out of 58 California counties that year for bicycle accidents. This number represents a decrease from 2015 when 244 individuals were injured or killed in bicycle crashes in San Mateo County.
Bicycle accidents can result in traumatic injuries for bike riders. Families and accident victims suffer tremendous losses and damages when a negligent driver causes a bicycle accident. For many bicyclists, the injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can result in permanent impairments and disabilities that dramatically decrease their quality of life and ability to work.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, call 1-650-513-6111 for a free consultation with an experienced San Mateo County bicycle accident attorney.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in San Mateo County
Outside of safety equipment such as a bicycle helmet and pads, a bicyclist has no real physical protection from injuries in the event of a collision with a vehicle. Therefore, the rider is exposed to the maximum consequences of the impact with an automobile. While some bicyclists walk away from crashes with minor injuries, many bicyclists suffer severe and life-threatening injuries from a bicycle accident.
Common injuries sustained by bicyclists who are hit by cars include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, and other head and brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Scrapes, cuts, and lacerations that could lead to serious infections
- Spinal cord injuries and back injuries, including paralysis
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs, including the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, and lungs
- Neck and shoulder injuries
Some vehicle-bicycle accident injuries can lead to life-threatening conditions. When a bicyclist dies, the family may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, a bicyclist and the family have a limited time to file a bicycle accident claim. If you do not file your claim before the deadline, you lose your right to recover compensation from the driver or other party responsible for causing your bicycle crash.
Deadlines for Filing Injury Claims Related to Bicycle Accidents
California’s Statute of Limitations requires bicyclists to file an injury claim within two years of the bicycle accident. Likewise, family members generally have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful claim lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this general rule.
For instance, if your claim involves a government entity or employ, you are required to file an injury claim within six months from the date of the injury or death. An example of an incident that may involve a government entity would be a city bus striking a bicyclist or a bicyclist being injured because of an intersection with a defective design or dangerous road conditions.
Two years may seem like a long time to file a bicycle accident claim. However, your San Mateo County personal injury lawyer needs time to investigate the cause of the crash, gather evidence, identify liable parties, and build a case for maximum compensation for damages.
Because some bicycle accident cases are complex and your case may involve an exception to the general deadline, it is best to contact our San Mateo County bicycle accident attorney Robert Thompson as soon as possible. Call 1-650-513-6111 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation from the driver or other party responsible for causing your damages and injuries from a bicycle accident.
Steps to Take After a San Mateo County Bicycle Accident
If you are injured in a vehicle-bicycle accident in San Mateo County, the steps you take after the accident can impact your bicycle accident claim. Some of the steps our San Mateo County bicycle accident attorney Robert Thompson suggests that victims take include:
- Call 911 immediately to report the accident. Even though you are riding a bicycle, the accident involves a motor vehicle. A police officer will be dispatched to the accident scene to complete an accident report. Having an official record of the bicycle accident can be very helpful when you file an insurance claim.
- Document the accident scene and gather evidence. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene with your cell phone. A video can also be very helpful. You need to photograph the surrounding area, in addition to the vehicle and your bicycles. Just be very careful not to cause further injury to yourself or place other individuals in danger to photograph the accident scene.
- Keep your bicycle and all parts. Until you have spoken with a bicycle accident lawyer in San Mateo County, keep your bicycle and all parts. Avoid repairing the bicycle until you speak with an attorney.
- Ask for eyewitness information. If anyone witnesses the bicycle-vehicle accident, you need to ask the witness for his or her name and telephone number. The witness may not wait for the police to arrive or the police officer may not speak to each eyewitness. If fault is disputed, an eyewitness could provide vital testimony to prove the driver was responsible for causing the bicycle accident.
- See a doctor as soon as possible after a bicycle accident. Many bicyclists are transported to the emergency room after being hit by a vehicle. However, if you do not go to the ER, you should see your family doctor soon after the accident. You need to document your injuries for an insurance claim. Furthermore, a delay in medical care could harm your health.
- Avoid dealing with the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters do not represent your best interests. Insurance adjusters represent the insurance provider. For that reason, you may want to contact a San Mateo County bicycle accident lawyer before speaking with the insurance adjusters. Some adjusters pressure accident victims to provide a written or recorded statement. We advise against providing a statement before speaking to an attorney. Something you say could harm your chance to recover full compensation for your bicycle accident injuries.
Contact a San Mateo County bicycle accident attorney now! A personal injury lawyer provides the guidance, support, and legal advice you need after a bicycle crash. An attorney helps you hold the negligent driver or other party responsible for the actions that led to the bicycle accident and your injuries.
Instead of dealing with the insurance company while you are trying to recover from injuries, let the legal team of The Thompson Law Office handle the claim for you. We investigate the accident, gather evidence, identify the liable party, file an insurance claim, and fight for your right to receive compensation.
Call 1-650-513-6111 to schedule a free consultation with our bicycle accident attorney in San Mateo County.
How Much is a Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
When a careless driver causes a bicycle accident, California’s personal injury laws hold that driver liable for damages caused by the crash. As an accident victim, you may sustain a variety of damages because you were hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle. In addition to physical injuries, you may incur financial losses because of the crash.
In most cases, a bicycle accident victim may receive compensation for:
- The cost of medical care, including hospitalizations, surgery, doctor’s bills, physical therapy, medications, medical equipment, and other health care costs
- The loss of income, including lost wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and other forms of compensation
- Future lost wages and medical care
- The cost of personal care, such as help with household chores
- Travel expenses and other out-of-pocket financial losses
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish
- Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent disability
- Damage to your bicycle and other personal property
The amount of your claim depends on several factors, including your financial damages and your physical injuries. Our legal team works closely with you to document each of your losses and damages to increase the chance of recovering full compensation for all damages and losses.
While the driver may be liable for your damages, you will not receive compensation until the claim is settled. It may be tempting to rush to settle a bicycle accident claim as quickly as possible, and the insurance adjuster will encourage you to do so.
However, settling an insurance claim too early may result in a much lower payment for your claim. We wait until you complete medical treatment and receive an impairment rating from your physician to ensure we include a demand for permanent impairment and future damages in any settlement offer made to the insurance company. Our goal is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation allowable by law for your bicycle accident claim.
How Can I Avoid a Bicycle Accident?
Many vehicle-bicycle accidents are caused by driver negligence. While you may not be able to control the actions of a negligent driver, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of being involved in a bicycle accident. Some steps can help reduce the risk of serious injuries if you are involved in a bicycle crash include:
- Always wear protective gear when riding, including a bicycle helmet and protective pads.
- Whenever possible, ride with a group or at least one other person to increase visibility to drivers.
- Avoid all distractions while riding a bicycle, including cell phones and headphones.
- Use bicycle lanes whenever possible and cross roads at intersections or crosswalks.
- Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
- Use hand signals to let drivers know when you are turning or stopping.
- Equip your bicycles with headlights, taillights, and reflectors.
- Wear brightly colored clothing when riding.
- Avoid riding a bicycle at night, dusk, or dawn.
- When riding next to parked vehicles, watch for drivers or passengers who may open a door in your path.
The Bicycle Accident Attorneys of The Thompson Law Office Help You Recover Compensation for a San Mateo County Bicycle-Vehicle Accident
Being injured in a bicycle crash can have long-term consequences for you and your family. You do not need to face the legal consequences alone.
The Thompson Law Office accepts most personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis so that anyone can afford to hire a bicycle accident attorney in San Mateo County regardless of their financial situation. We believe everyone deserves to have a legal team on their side protecting their rights and fighting for just compensation.
For a free consultation with a San Mateo County personal injury lawyer, call 1-650-513-6111 or use our online contact form to contact our office.
Bicycling in San Mateo County, California
San Mateo County is a bicycle-friendly community. A portion of Cañada Road is closed on Sundays between Highway 92 and the Filoli entrance along the Crystal Springs Regional Trail from 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to allow for non-motorized activities, including bicycling. You can call the Bicycle Sunday Hotline at (650)361-1785 for more information. You can find a list of San Mateo County bicycle trails on the Parks Department website.
The City of San Mateo has several featured bike routes on its website. The city also provides information about how to use public transit with your bicycle and other bicycle information on its website. The City of Burlingame offers a bike share program. The programs provide easy access to rental bicycles throughout the city.