Berkeley Bicycle Accident Lawyer

bicyclist

According to city statistics, around 9.7 percent of Berkeley residents commute to work on bicycles. Because Berkeley is a city known for its bike-friendliness, it attracts many bicyclists every year to enjoy the scenic views and to exercise. Others use bicycles to go to school or as a means of recreation instead of walking or driving. It is still common for motorists to ignore cyclists' rights of way or just be negligent, causing injuries every year. 

Fatalities and Injuries Among Bicyclists in Berkeley

Unfortunately, Berkeley ranked first in the number of cyclist injuries and fatalities in the state during 2019, as reported by the California Office of Traffic Safety. This statistic is further compounded by the fact that many bicycle collisions remain unreported, implying much higher numbers. With the help of a Berkeley bicycle accident attorney, financial compensation may be secured whenever a cyclist is injured or killed due to the negligence of a motorist.

Dangerous Areas for Biking in Berkeley

While biking in Berkeley is common and generally safe, there are areas that report a high number of bicycle accidents. Most authorities agree that the reported number is lower than the actual count since many bicyclists do not disclose a minor injury. Frequent bicycle accidents occur in the downtown area and at major intersections as follows:

  • Intersections along Ashby Avenue
  • Around UC Berkeley along Centennial Drive
  • Sacramento Street
  • The intersection of Shattuck and University avenues
  • The intersection at Dwight Way and Milvia Street
  • Alcatraz and College avenues
  • Euclid Avenue and Crystal Way
Bicycle Accident Injuries: Getting Help to Recover Compensation

Those who are injured while riding a bicycle due to negligence by another person or entity are entitled to compensation. At Autoaccident.com, we can assist them in getting the compensation that they deserve. The investigation we conduct into bicycle crashes can provide the evidence required for placing a successful claim for medical reimbursement, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Bicycle Accidents Are Often Due to Negligence

In order to avoid a motor vehicle accident that occurs due to another’s negligence on a bicycle, it is important to understand what causes them. Bicycle fatalities occur outside of intersections and after dark in nearly half of all cases across the nation. Some of the most common kinds of accidents involving bicycle riders that a car causes include:

  • Dooring accident: A common type of bicycle crash occurs along busy streets when bicyclists collide with doors. A person who is in a parked vehicle and opens the door without seeing a bicycle rider can cause serious injuries.
  • Rear-end crashes: Drivers may not have enough time to stop if they are distracted or following too closely, resulting in rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions account for 40 percent of all bicycle accidents.
  • Sideswipe collisions: A motorist must maintain a distance of three feet from a bicycle rider under California Vehicle Code 21760. Unless a driver takes these steps, he or she is negligent.
  • Making a right turn: Bicyclists can be overlooked by drivers performing a right turn. It is possible for a car to end up directly in the path of a bicyclist if the driver fails to look before turning in the blind spot.
  • Bicycle collisions at intersections: Bicycle accidents at intersections are common because vehicles are going straight as well as turning. In addition, not all areas have designated bicycle lanes. Aside from traffic merging from all directions, riders must contend with motorists turning right in the bike lane.
  • Backing accidents caused by motorists: Backing into the path of a bicyclist while leaving an alley, side street, or driveway can result in a collision. There are times when the driver does not pay adequate attention and fails to spot the rider.
Accidents Involving Bicycles: Additional Causes

Taking care when driving can prevent a lot of bicycle crashes that can cause serious injuries. Since bicycle riders are more vulnerable, even a driver’s speed can increase the risk of severe trauma or a fatality. A cyclist can be injured or killed by a variety of risky behaviors by motorists, including:

  • Distracted driving is a leading cause of all types of accidents as motorists use their cell phones or text. Changing the radio station, talking to passengers, eating, and drinking while driving are also forms of distraction. A bicycle accident attorney in Berkeley can help you recover compensation if your accident was caused by a distracted driver.
  • Speeding: There are many accidents caused by speeding. In an emergency, not only is the driver less likely to be able to stop, but the increased speed also puts the bicyclist at greater risk of injuries and death. 
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Drunk and drugged driving contribute to a significant number of all traffic accidents. As a result, someone riding a bicycle may end up suffering a serious injury as the driver lacks judgment, has poor reflexes and has impaired vision.
  • Reckless driving: Reckless driving involves speeding but can also include racing, running a red light, tailgating and other disregard for traffic laws. This type of disregard for the safety of others often leads to an accident.
  • A fatigued driver is much more likely to cause a traffic accident involving a cyclist if he or she is too tired to drive. It's possible to get fatigued from medical problems that are untreated, working shifts or simply staying up too late the night before. However, the effects of fatigue on a driver are similar to those of someone who has had too much to drink. The driver may fall asleep at the wheel or drift into another lane, causing a bicycle accident.
Accident Investigation Involving a Bicycle Collision

A strong case for the recovery of financial damages for the client can be built by establishing evidence before it disappears or is destroyed. Our team of experienced investigators goes directly to the accident scene to speak with the witnesses and check the police report for errors. The investigators also collect evidence such as the following:

  • Accident reconstruction provides investigators with useful information about how the collision occurred and the type of negligence demonstrated by the driver.
  • During the investigation, they will be looking for violations of the three-foot distance rule that led to the injuries. This type of evidence is often available by using camera footage of the area.
  • When there was a bicycle collision at the intersection, they search for video footage from traffic and business cameras.
  • The investigators look for evidence of road damage that could have caused the accident, meaning the government entity responsible for its maintenance could be liable for damages.

We then turn the case over to our experienced Berkeley bicycle accident lawyer team to build a strong case after all of the evidence has been collected. Providing this information is useful in negotiating on the client’s behalf with the insurance company. The evidence can also be used in civil court since not all insurance companies cooperate and seek ways to lower or deny a claim.

In the video that follows, Attorney Ed Smith discusses how to choose an injury lawyer to handle your case:

Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Berkeley

I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley bicycle accident lawyer. The help of an attorney can make all the difference when it comes to receiving a settlement that covers your losses when you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident. Please feel free to contact us for free and friendly advice by calling (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400. Alternatively, you can send us a message using the online contact form.

You can benefit from knowing information about a law firm when you are looking for advice. This is why we provide links illustrating how our personal injury lawyers have helped others:

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