The U.S. Centers for Disease Control compiled statistics and reported that bicyclists face a higher risk of injury or death than vehicle drivers and passengers do. Common sense tells us that, too, as bicyclists, because they do not have the protection afforded by a car, truck, or van, inherently are exposed to greater dangers on the road. That also means that the harm they suffer in an accident is often greater, as well. If you’ve been hurt (or a loved one killed) aboard a bicycle, you owe it to yourself to get in touch with an experienced San Mateo bicycle accident attorney right away to discuss your situation.
The name Greg Knapp is likely a familiar one to Bay Area football fans. The California native was a star quarterback at Sacramento State, then went on to spend nine years as a coach with the San Francisco 49ers, later serving as the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.
In 2021, Knapp was the quarterbacks coach for the New York Jets. Unfortunately, just a week and a half before preseason training camp started, Knapp made the news for the most tragic of reasons. The coach was bicycling a few miles from his Contra Costa County home when a 22-year-old northbound driver hit him from behind east of San Ramon.
The coach was operating his bicycle “fully within” a marked bicycle lane at the time, and the local District Attorney concluded that the primary cause of the accident was driver inattention, according to Pleasanton Weekly. The coach was taken to a hospital but died shortly thereafter as a result of his injuries.
Drivers who become distracted by cell phones or other devices, as well as drivers who become inattentive for any other reason, are a danger to everyone on the road, but they pose an exceptionally high risk to bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the road, and the problem is only getting worse. The University of Nebraska Medical Center found a 30% increase in incidents of bicyclists killed by distracted drivers between 2005 and 2010.
The Legal Options You Have if a Distracted Driver Caused Your Bicycle Accident
If the Northern California driver who hit you (or hit and killed your loved one) was texting or otherwise using their cell phone when the crash happened, you may have a very strong negligence case against that driver. In that kind of negligence action, police records may be a critical part of your proof. In addition to the police’s creation of an accident report, the police may also have ticketed the driver for illegal cell phone usage while driving. If the driver pleads guilty or is found guilty, then that evidence of guilt may be a vital component to finding the driver liable based on a legal concept called “negligence per se.”
If the driver was doing work for his/her employer, then that may create the possibility of holding both the driver and the employer liable. Holding a driver’s employer liable may greater increase your odds of collecting everything you’re truly owed. Again, amassing the right evidence is essential. If the driver was operating a company vehicle, that vehicle may have had an electronic data recorder and that recorder may have critical evidence for you to use. If the data reflected erratic driving consistent with a driver who was distracted, drowsy, or otherwise inattentive, that may go a long way in strengthening your case.
In all of these scenarios, the key to maximizing your outcome is to have skilled legal representation on your side who can help you get all the proof you need and then use it to your maximum benefit. Count on the diligent San Mateo bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to provide you with insightful answers and the powerful advocacy you need. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
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