When a bicyclist in San Francisco sets out for a ride, they should never have to worry about the careless or negligent actions of another person causing them harm. Unfortunately, there are times when others on the roadways with a cyclist fail to share the road. This can lead to devastating injuries for a cyclist. At Choulos, Choulos & Wyle, our San Francisco bicycle accident attorneys are ready to help if you or a loved one have been injured because another driver failed to share the roadway.
How Often Do Bike Crashes Occur?
According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we know that there were 155 bicyclist fatalities during the latest reporting year. There were also more than 11,000 total bicyclist injuries. The truth is that a high percentage of reported bicycle crashes result in an injury or a fatality because bicyclists are vulnerable roadway users.
Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, they are much more likely to sustain serious injuries in a crash. Bicyclists have very little protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them. Unfortunately, bicyclists also often suffer severe injuries due to a secondary impact with the ground as well.
What Does It Mean To Not Share The Roadway?
In most cases, bicyclists have a right to use the roadway, just as much as any other vehicle. This means that bicyclists are required to follow all traffic laws, including obeying traffic signs and traffic signals. This also means that other roadway users, including drivers in vehicles, must give bicyclists the space they deserve.
Unfortunately, it is often the case that drivers fail to give cyclists the space they deserve. This often includes the following behaviors:
Following a cyclist too closely (tailgating)
Passing a cyclist too closely
Cutting a cyclist off after passing
Turning into a cyclist
A vehicle traveling in a designated bike lane
Failing to stop at pedestrian/bicycle crossings
Each of these driving behaviors can lead to a serious accident for the bicyclist. In many cases, failing to share the roadway leads to a vehicle driver not having enough time to react to any movement made by the bicyclist.
Dooring accidents can also be considered “failure to share the road” incidents. These crashes occur when a vehicle driver or passenger fails to check their surroundings before opening a door. An unsuspecting bicyclist could strike the door and be severely injured as a result.
What Kind Of Compensation Is Available For These Cases?
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, victims may be entitled to various types of compensation. At Choulos, Choulos & Wyle, we want you to know that every case is different and the total amount of compensation awarded to victims varies depending on the circumstances of each case. However, our team has a proven track record of obtaining the following types of compensation for clients:
Coverage of all crash-related medical bills
Recovery of any lost income if a victim cannot work
Pain and suffering damages
Loss of personal enjoyment damages
Possible punitive damages in cases of gross driver negligence or intentional actions