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San Jose Bike Accident Attorney

Bicycling in San Jose and San Francisco is almost an extreme sport. In cities crowded with people and motor vehicles, there seems to be no safe space for bicyclists to maneuver. Pedestrians walk in bicycle paths, and San Jose passed an ordinance in 2015 banning bicycles from riding on sidewalks in downtown. Lack of bicycle-friendly city infrastructure has led to bicyclists putting their lives at risk during daily commutes. If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle accident in the area, call on Henshaw & Henry, PC for legal advice.

Your Rights as a Bicyclist in San Jose

Bicycles have much the same rights as other vehicles in San Jose. Bicyclists can ride on all roadways other than major highways in the Bay Area, as long as they stay as far to the right side of the road as possible (except when turning left or avoiding debris). Bicyclists cannot ride while legally intoxicated. They have the same maximum blood alcohol concentration limit as drivers – 0.08%. Bicyclists must obey all applicable rules of the road, including stop signs and traffic signals. The law requires bicycle helmets for San Jose riders under the age of 18.

Bicycle accidents can happen no matter how careful you are as a bicyclist. Sometimes, you simply can’t avoid distracted and negligent drivers. In 2014, there were 343 bicyclist victims in collisions in San Jose. Of these victims, 41 were under the age of 15. If you become the victim of a bike accident, you have the right to pursue compensation. After your accident, remain calm and request an ambulance if you believe you have injuries. Call 911 and report the collision right away.

If you are able, collect information such as the driver’s name and insurance information. Get the information of any eyewitnesses as well. Take photos of the accident scene, your wrecked bicycle, and any injuries if you can. Once police arrive, be sure to give them your side of the story. Call the driver’s insurance company as soon as possible to report your damages. Then, call (408) 533-1075 to get in touch with Henshaw & Henry.

How Our Lawyers Can Help After a Bike Accident

If you suffered broken bones, soft tissue injuries, abrasions or lacerations, road rash, concussion, or a head or brain injury, contact a qualified personal injury attorney in San Jose. The same is true if the crash totaled your expensive bicycle or if you were involved in a hit and run. You deserve an experienced lawyer to stand up for your rights and argue for fair compensation after a bad accident. Do not settle for less than the true value of your claim. Our attorneys can take over settlement negotiations with an insurance company on your behalf, and perform tasks such as:

We provide services on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you won’t pay unless we win. With our skillful bicycle accident attorneys at Henshaw & Henry, PC representing your case, you could maximize your compensation.

Bike Share Liability

Community bike share programs are popular in San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area. Tourists, locals, and college students use the bikes for cheap modes of transportation. Bicyclists can travel by bike without worrying about storing or maintaining the equipment. The program is a wonderful way for cities to cut down on traffic congestion, but the programs can also create liability issues in the event of accidents.

Common Bicycling Injuries

Unfortunately, many biking accidents on congested streets are serious and require medical care. Traumatic brain injuries are the cause of most bicycle-related deaths and about one-third of bicycle-related injuries. The use of bicycle helmets can prevent many of these injuries. The problem is that most bike sharing programs do not include helmets; the rider is responsible for providing and wearing his or her own. The increase in popularity of bike sharing programs will likely result in increased numbers of traumatic brain injuries from accidents involving cars and bikes.

Who Is Responsible?

Traveling by bicycle can be dangerous on congested streets. When people are riding bicycles that do not belong to them, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in the event of an accident or malfunction. Some bike share programs post a sign, attach stickers, or require riders to sign a waiver accepting any risks. These releases are meant to remove the program’s liability for such risks.

Insurance companies would likely never agree to take on liability for such programs. The risk would simply be too high. The waivers signed by riders make it appear that they cannot file claims for damages against the company. If a rider is injured during their participation in a bike sharing program, he or she can likely seek compensation from the company.

What to Do If You Are Injured Participating in a Bike Sharing Program

If you are injured while riding a bicycle from a bike share program, it is important that you make strong records of the incident. Take lots of pictures and ensure you have multiple channels for contacting the driver of the vehicle in the future. Follow the steps below to ensure that you document your accident properly for insurance and personal injury claims.

  1. Call 911 and report the accident. If there are injuries, request an ambulance.
  2. If you have no serious injuries, schedule a same-day appointment with your primary care provider to check for unknown injuries.
  3. If able, collect information at the accident scene. Gather make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle involved. Ask for insurance and driver’s information.
  4. Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, the bike, your injuries, and any other factors that contributed to the accident.
  5. Save evidence, such as torn clothing and your helmet.
  6. Be wary when speaking to insurance companies. They will be looking to deny the claim, leaving you with the bills.

Henshaw & Henry, PC

If you or someone you know sustained injuries while riding during a bike share program, contact us now for a consultation. We will analyze your case and the accident to help you determine whether you have the basis for a personal injury claim. If you have signed a waiver or the shared bicycle company claims it is not liable for damages, you still need to call us. Companies are not always upfront or completely honest about insurance claims. Hiring an experienced California personal injury lawyer will ensure that all avenues are explored. We have successfully litigated thousands of personal injury cases and can navigate the legal system effectively. Contact us today to schedule your first complimentary appointment.