Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer & Car Accident Attorney
J&Y Law Firm Oakland
505 14th St. Suite 900-9051
Oakland, CA 94612
Oakland is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay area. Its population was greatly enlarged following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when many former residents of San Francisco relocated to Oakland, increasing homebuilding and infrastructure construction. Now a busy port, Oakland is home to several professional sports franchises and major corporations.
Also, Oakland is America’s most ethnically diverse major city, brimming with a wide enough variety of restaurants, museums, recreational and entertainment options to satisfy residents and tourists alike.
Like all well-populated cities, Oakland has its share of accidents. Because it is a city in which 17 percent of households are “car free,” many of its accidents involve bicyclists as well as automobiles. If you are involved in any type of accident in Oakland as a result of which you suffer injuries due to the negligence of another, J&Y Law personal injury attorneys are ready to assist you in receiving just compensation from our local office at 505 14th Street, Suite 900-9051. At J&Y Law, we always work on a contingency basis, meaning you never have to pay a fee until we win your case through settlement negotiations or through litigation in a court of law.
Why J&Y Law Is Your Best Choice
At J&Y Law, we have been successfully representing clients for many years, always with competence, compassion, and commitment. Fervent advocates for all of our clients, whether their cases are large or small, we bring our skill and knowledge of the law to bear as we fight to win them the highest possible compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, resulting disability, and pain and suffering.
We want to provide you with the peace of mind you require to heal properly, both physically and emotionally, from your recent trauma. By putting your legal case in our hands, you are relieved of the complexities of paperwork and legwork necessary to prove you are deserving of compensation. In Oakland, as elsewhere, our services cover a wide range of personal injury cases, including:
- Vehicular accidents (bicycle, bus, car, truck, boat, motorcycle, plane, train)
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Pedestrian accidents
- Sexual assaults
- Child abuse and neglect
- Wrongful Death
Throughout the country, bicycling has become a more and more popular means of transportation, for commutation as well as recreation, due to increased awareness of physical fitness, high costs of car maintenance, and environmental concerns. In Oakland, where 17 percent of households are “car free,” this is especially true.
While bicycles certainly have many advantages in terms of maneuverability and low cost, they also put their riders at higher risk of personal injury. Riding in a car, you are surrounded by a heavy protective structure; riding a bicycle, your body, even if you are wearing a helmet and some padding, is much more vulnerable. Clearly, when bicyclists collide with larger, faster vehicles, they are at a distinct disadvantage, more likely to sustain serious, even fatal injuries than those in automobiles.
Who is at fault in an accident between a motorized vehicle and a bicycle?
There is not always a clear-cut answer to this question. While the driver of the car clearly has more power and speed at his/her disposal, and while too many drivers behave as if cyclists have no right to be on the road, cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road just as drivers of other vehicles are.
When the Driver is At Fault
California has a 3-foot buffer zone law on the books, meaning that any motorized vehicle must leave at least 3 feet between the larger vehicle and the bicycle to offer the cyclist some protection. Other violations that put the motorist at fault include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted
- Drifting into the biker’s lane
- Failing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Failing to yield to a cyclist
- Turning directly into the path of a cyclist
- Attempting to pass a bicycle with limited space
- Opening a vehicle door in front of a cyclist
Reasons the Cyclist may be at least Partially be at Fault
In Oakland, as well as in most other parts of the United States, cyclists are expected to follow the rules of the road in the same way that drivers do. Therefore, cyclists may be faulted for:
- Riding against, instead of with, traffic
- Riding the wrong way down a one-way street
- Not coming to a full stop at a stop sign or traffic signal
- Failing to signal a lane change or turn
- Weaving between cars or other vehicles
- Not wearing a helmet if under 18 years of age
- Not wearing reflective clothing or having a headlight on during hours of darkness
Surprisingly, the majority of bicycle accidents — 59 percent — are solitary events, occurring when the cyclist loses control of the bike and crashes into a curb, tree or another object. Nonetheless, it must be remembered that many of these accidents are the result of the cyclist trying to avoid a driver who is aggressive or inattentive.
In most of the country, including Oakland, both parties involved in a vehicular accident may be held to be partially at fault. In the case of an accident between a cyclist and a driver, if each is found partially responsible for the accident, the case may have to be decided in a court of law according to rules of comparative negligence.
Other Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents may also be caused by factors that have nothing to do with other drivers. For example, a cyclist may be injured, or even killed, as the result of an improperly maintained roadway, construction equipment, an improperly placed sign or non-working traffic light. The injuries you suffer may also be the result of defective parts on the car or bicycle. If you are a cyclist injured in this type of accident in Oakland, you may be able to file a successful claim against the city or county in which the accident took place, or against the manufacturer or seller of the defective vehicle parts.
What types of compensation can a cyclist receive?
If your bicycle accident was caused by the inattention or negligence of another, you are entitled to compensatory damages to cover your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If the accident resulted from illegal activity on the part of the other driver, such as DUI, speeding, or texting while driving, you may also be awarded punitive damages to punish the driver for egregious behavior and to discourage such behavior in others.
Where the court decides that both parties bear some responsibility for the accident, the rules of comparative negligence apply. In such cases, only some portion of the compensatory damages may be awarded to the bicyclist, based on the determined percentage of his/her responsibility for the accident. It is also possible for the driver of the car to countersue the cyclist for property damage or personal injury.
If you are seriously injured in a bicycle accident or lose a loved one in such as accident due to the negligence of another driver, you should receive the full compensation you deserve. There is no better way to ensure that this takes place than to consult with J & Y Law’s personal injury attorneys. We are always on your side, fighting vigorously for your rights. Our long-term experience and extensive legal skill will be put to work for you from the moment you engage our services. We have the know-how and resources to investigate the specifics of your case, to gather the necessary police reports, visual evidence, eyewitness and/or expert testimony to make sure you receive just compensation. J&Y Law personal injury attorneys in Oakland can be contacted through the form on our website or by calling 510.447.1676.