The Barnes Firm

a bike on the ground after being hit by a car

What Do I Do if Hit By a Car While Biking in San Francisco?

What Do I Do if Hit By a Car While Biking in San Francisco?

Especially amidst the San Francisco traffic, bicycling around is a fantastic way to avoid traffic congestion, live more sustainably, and get some exercise while traveling around The Bay Area.

Unfortunately, bicycling can be dangerous and leads to hundreds of deaths per year, says bike accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,

  • 840 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016
  • The average age of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016 was 46 years old
  • The highest fatality rate per million population occurred in Florida: 6.7

One of the most common causes of serious injuries to San Francisco bikers is due to speeding. The recommended speed limit is implemented for many reasons, one of which is to ensure proper braking in high-traffic areas. Especially in areas where pedestrians and bikers have significant foot traffic, such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and crossing streets, the traffic in San Francisco, coupled with speeding is a recipe for disaster. Motorists need to follow the speed limit to ensure safety for everyone.

California’s Three Feet for Safety Act mandates drivers maintain a three feet buffer between their vehicles and a bicycle. Specifically, the Safety Act mandates drivers:

“overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.”

Other San Francisco bike accident examples:

  • Drivers running red lights
  • Drivers making an illegal left or U turn causing a collision with an oncoming bicyclist in the opposite direction
  • Pulling out of driveways or parking lots without sufficiently looking for cyclists
  • Drivers turning right without indicating and directly into the path of a cyclist
  • Distracted driving such as texting and driving
  • Being “doored” – Drivers or passengers opening a car door without looking to see if a bicyclist is coming
  • Drivers illegally entering bike lanes

The Barnes Firm attorneys encourage bike riders to practice defensive driving — even though they’re not behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. The best way to avoid a potential accident is to be aware of your surroundings and avoid inattentive drivers.

Recovering compensation for damages for injuries in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles involve many of the same components as an auto-on-auto accident lawsuit, according to San Francisco bike accident lawyers.

Generally, the liability for bike accident injuries comes down to negligence – whether it was solely the motor vehicle operator who neglected to drive safely to avoid injuring a cyclist or if the cyclist contributed to the negligence of the accident.

It’s important to note this can go both ways. Cyclists can also be sued for causing someone else injury and determines the outcome of a lawsuit. For example, if a biker is riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, or making an abrupt turn in front of a motor vehicle.

Protect Yourself

The Barnes Firm always urges both drivers and cyclists to exercise extreme caution on the roads. This is especially true in The Bay Area where traffic can be hectic in both San Francisco and Oakland.

If you have already experienced an accident or injury due to a bike accident in San Francisco, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you get compensation for things like:

  • Medical bills
  • lost wages
  • pain and suffering
  • transportation costs
  • rehabilitation
  • and more


For more information on receiving compensation for a bike accident injury, contact The Barnes Firm to for a free consultation with an experienced bike accident attorney in Los Angeles, San Diego, or the Bay Area.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000

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