New Fees for Renting a Car in California

Here in our blog, we try to provide as much information as we can on updates to laws and ordinances in California to keep you safe.  As personal injury attorneys, that information generally relates to pedestrian and bicyclist safety, but we’ve talked about schoolyard bullying and safety for your kids as well as e-scooter rental policies and defective products.  Today we want to talk to you about rental cars and some new legislation already in effect and what it might mean for you if you get into an accident with a rental car.

Assembly Bill 901

Assembly Bill 901 makes modifications to rental passenger vehicle transactions, namely fees. 

Rental car companies can now add a fee to your rental if you let an unauthorized driver drive your car.  This means renters must take extra caution and add all drivers who might drive the car to the rental agreement at the time of renting.  There are exceptions to the penalty for family members like a spouse, parent, or sibling, but be cautious about letting someone not on the rental agreement drive your rental car.  Not being on the rental agreement can also mean this other driver is not covered by insurance.

Rental car companies can also raise the cap on damage waivers to $25 per day or partial day for small vehicles and beginning in January 2023, the cap can be adjusted “according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.”  And while many may believe the optional insurance of a rental vehicle to be optional, and want to take the newly-more-expensive damage waiver, there are new disclosures that must be outlined to the renter to make sure they are aware they are liable for damages that can reach the full value of the vehicle (just in damage to that vehicle, not including damages to other people and/or vehicles).  Check with your car insurance company to find out if they cover rental cars and how much of the damages they cover if so, before you plan to take the damage waiver. 

Assembly Bill 901 was produced by the American Car Rental Association, Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz, alongside the California Travel Association and the state’s Teamsters union.  It was introduced in 2021 while rental car companies were struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and went into effect on January 1, 2022.  Read Assembly Bill 901 here.

What This Means if You Get into an Accident with a Rental Car

Collisions happen.  It’s an unfortunate truth.  And collisions can happen with rental cars.  If you are a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist and you get into an accident with someone driving a rental car, first check for injuries and call 911 if needed, then get as much information from the driver as you can at the time of the collision.  You’ll want to get both their renal agreement insurance and their personal driving insurance information because you may have to navigate through claims with one or both.  There is a chance that they are not insured through their rental agreement, are not an authorized driver, or are underinsured.  Take a picture with your phone of their rental documents for a fast way to save the information.  Make sure you get their name and phone number, too. 

If you have damages such as vehicle or bicycle damage, or have injuries needing medical care resulting in loss of income (those are damages, too), contact the lawyers at Rahman Law.  We are here to help you.  Navigating through insurance companies’ paperwork is a tough job (especially if there are 2 companies involved) and you don’t have to do it alone. 

Request a free consultation here, or save our number into your phone: 415-956-9245. 

Bike Month Activities for the Whole Family! 

National Bike Month is here and we want to celebrate!  A lot of what we post relates to rules of the road, laws and ordinances, and safety, but today we’re going to talk about all the fun ways to celebrate National Bike Month with bike activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Plan a Ride with a Local Group

Ever city has cyclist riding groups, sometimes you just have to look for them.  And most of them offer rides for varying degrees of skill.  Some groups post their rides on the website and app Meetup (https://www.meetup.com) where you can find others to ride with for free.  In San Francisco, there is the San Francisco Cycling Club (http://www.sfcyclingclub.org) and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (https://sfbike.org) that frequently post scheduled rides.  You can also talk to the Coalition as they may know other groups with organized rides.  In Paso Robles, there is a list of groups that ride at Cycle Central Coast (https://www.cyclecentralcoast.com/resources) including a group that goes out every Sunday from Templeton and they frequently have beginner rides.  You can also talk to Bike SLO County (https://bikeslocounty.org) to find other organized rides and events. 

Tune Up Your Bike

A lot of riders are “fair weather riders” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If you put your bike away for the winter, and even if you don’t, the spring is a great time to get a tune up on your bike.  You can tune it up yourself if you’ve got experience, or take it into a local bike shop for some help.  In San Francisco and San Luis Obispo, there is the Bike Kitchen (http://bikekitchen.org and https://bikeslocounty.org/programs/kitchen) available on select nights where you can bring your bike in and tune it up alongside other cyclists.  This can be a great bike activity to make new friends and riding buddies. 

Introduce Your Kids to Riding with Others

Many kids have a bike and ride around on their own street but don’t go much further.  This month is a great time to introduce your kids to an organized ride.  Talk to other parents and plan to have adults front, middle, and back of a few kids riding together in a quiet area.  There are bike trails to keep them away from traffic completely, or you can make this a time to learn the rules of the road by finding a route with minimal traffic and wide bike lanes to give them room.  Remember to ride single-file and obey traffic ordinances like red lights and stop signs.  Both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Bike SLO County organize riding events for kids, so be sure to check their calendars and see if there is an event you’d like to bring your kids to: https://sfbike.org and https://bikeslocounty.org.

Set Up an Obstacle Course

This bike activity can be fun for the whole family or you can arrange it for adults with a few modifications to the difficulty levels.  Break out some sidewalk chalk on a street or set up cones (sometimes you can find small cones at the $5 and under stores or at sporting-goods stores).  You can make it exciting with a few water balloons on the ground you have to ride over to pop or use a pool noodle to create a limbo pole.  You can set up tight curves or even really thin lines to make a sort of on-the-ground balance beam to help work on precision riding. 

Ride to Geocache Locations

Have you ever gone Geocaching?  It can be a lot of fun and even a little bit addictive.  There are even Geocaches in hard-to-reach places like bike trails that normal Geocachers can’t get to, which makes this an excellent activity for cyclists.  What is it, you ask?  It’s a game where you use GPS coordinates (and your phone) to guide you to hidden compartments that contain a log book for you to sign and sometimes an object for you to trade with.  Always bring a pen with you to sign the log book as some compartments are too tiny to hold a pen.  For objects to trade, think small: a friendship bracelet, charm, keychain, or small plastic toy can all be Geocache treasures to trade for what you find in the compartment, if it has something for you to trade with.  Learn more here: https://www.geocaching.com/play.

Ride to Rewards

If Geocaching isn’t your idea of a treasure hunt, think of something worth riding for, like ice cream or a fancy doughnut.  Call up some friends or grab your family and ride to a local boutique with your favorite treat.  Afterall, it’s National Bike Month and that’s something worth celebrating with ice cream! 

Make it a Game

If you’ve got a group of kids, there are lots of great bike activity games out there you can play.  You can play music and all riders must freeze when it stops, or cycle in a line and play copy-cat with the leader of the line.  There are 20 games outlined in this PDF we found: https://www.cyklistforbundet.dk/media/mksfflaz/cykellege_bog_engelsk_4.pdf

Whatever you do, have fun!  We like to think ever month is bike month, but really, May is our National Bike Month and it’s time to get your bike prepped and go out there are ride! 

Training Wheels

I can still remember my first ride on a two-wheeler.  It was a hot, sticky summer day in New York and my brother and I were out in the front yard, my brother tooling around on his Evel Knievel big wheel and me riding in circles on my prized possession-my very first bicycle, a pink number, with training wheels, a sparkly banana seat and rainbow-colored ribbons coming out of the handlebars. For weeks, I had pestered my mom to take the training wheels off of my bike and it was on this summer day she finally capitulated and carefully unscrewed those little wheels. When the deed was done, I took hold of my new and improved bike, swung my leg over the seat and got ready to start racing the big kids on the block up and down our stretch of jutted sidewalk.  Before I could put my feet on the pedals, my mom gently explained that this was like a new bike and I had to learn how to ride without training wheels.  She suggested we practice riding with her holding onto the back of the seat to help me.  I found this to be a ridiculous notion, and tried to tell her that I was big enough to do it by myself and didn’t need any help—that was for babies.  She ignored my protests and wordlessly took hold of the back of my seat and told me I could start pedaling. 

With the first stroke of the pedal, I felt something different than usual in my well-worn bicycle.  It felt wobbly and unsteady.  I wasn’t sure I liked this.  I was used to a smooth, unadulterated ride.  It was then that I started to feel afraid.  Without those two extra little wheels, my world was unbalanced and I would have to learn on my own how to stay upright.  I yelled to my mom that I wanted to stop, that I was going to fall, but my bike kept moving forward, and after a few seconds, the wobbling stopped and I was cruising along the sidewalk. The fear dissipated and all I could think about was how far I could go now.  I yelled back at my mom that she could let go now, but I could no longer hear her behind me, or smell her perfume.  When I realized she had already let go, there was a distinct moment of panic that was overcome by the newfound freedom that comes with navigating your own way.

And it was in that way that  cycling always seemed to mimic the contours and challenges of life from childhood to the transition to adolescence and finally adulthood, and somehow the milestones of my own life transitions are marked by memories of biking.

Long after I outgrew my wonderous banana seat bike, I began to covet my older cousin’s sleek, baby blue Schwinn 10-speed.  By then, we had moved out of the city and into the suburbs on Long Island, with wide, flat, tree-lined streets, nature preserves, a bike route to the beach and of course, shopping malls.  As a pre-teen (what we call “tweens” now), oh how I thought a 10-speed would change my life.  With it I could travel great distances far and wide on this island we lived on, no more begging rides from my mom or failing that, the dreaded slow pace of walking to get to where I needed to go.  And then one day, the unthinkable happened.  My cousin came over to our house, gliding into the driveway, already swinging one leg off the bike of my dreams before it had come to a stop. She gave the kickstand a whack, so I could get the full view of the bike standing tall in all its splendor.  She told me the bike was mine if I wanted it. Mind-blown, I couldn’t even stammer out a proper thank you before I climbed up on it and asked if I could take it for a spin.  She started to explain to me how the brakes were different than on my bike—they were on the handlebars! And that this bike had gears.  So much information, much of which was important, I would later learn, but I waved her off.  I know, I know.  I can do it myself.  And with that I pedaled out of the driveway and down the street.  I tried to remember how my cousin would hunch down low over the handlebars, gripping the curved bars, with fingers fluttering over the brakes, just in case.  I adjusted my position, into something that seemed like what I had seen, and gave the brakes a little tap to make sure they worked, and then pedaled flat-out. The speed at which I travelled seemed faster than a car and it was glorious.  This was the bike that I would ride with my friends down to the mall, to the beach, to school, to wherever we could go that was away from our parents to our own world. This was the bike that ushered me into my teenage years and allowed me the freedom to explore. I loved the simplicity of this freedom.  Just grab your bike and go out into the world—no plans, no responsibilities, no limits on what you could do.

Many years later, after I moved to San Francisco and became a lawyer, I was bike-less and living in a concrete world, with hills like mountains and traffic that was unrelenting.  It didn’t particularly seem like a hospitable place for riding but I saw bikes all over.  When I decided to buy a new bike, I was certain that I would ride only within the safety of car-free trails, too afraid of the traffic congestion, but once I got on my new bike, (and put on a helmet, of course) it was like being transported to childhood—a few minutes of riding released my worries and made me feel free from the heaviness of my day-to-day obligations.  I slowly started venturing out on short rides close to home, and then farther, plotting out my routes to take advantage of the growing number of bike lanes, and minimizing my interactions with the dreaded MUNI busses.  It was a different kind of riding, one that was less care-free, but  energizing, nonetheless.   It was then that I got involved with the local bike coalitions, and began representing cyclists injured by drivers.  The work felt important, as each case made small changes to the way the driving world viewed cyclists and the ways in which cities decided to prioritize traffic.  20 years after my first bike ride through San Francisco, the cycling infrastructure there is a pure amazement, connected bike routes, segregated bike lanes, and people ditching their cars for bike-only living. 

After moving to Paso Robles, I had to readjust my riding once again.  Riding through the rural areas of North County is serene, with horses, cows and farms replacing honking horns, truck exhausts, and angry bus drivers.  I still get surprised when a grape harvester passes me by or when I have to slow down for my neighbor riding her horse in front of me.  It reminds me of the peacefulness of my teenage riding days on Long Island.  In town, here and there, I see the glimmers of bike advocacy creating change in the form of bike lanes, and marked share lanes, but we have a long way to go before catching up to the work that has been done in San Luis Obispo, with the help of Bike SLO County.  I’m looking forward to someday being able to bike to my office in downtown Paso through a secure, connected network of bike lanes.

What is Negligence in Cycling Injury Cases?

If you can believe it, one of our team members was behind a car getting on the freeway when one of the rear tires flew off of the car, narrowly missing another vehicle and causing a lot of mayhem on the onramp.  Someone failed to put the tire back on the vehicle with proper care.  This is negligence.  And negligence is often a point of dispute in cycling injury cases. 

What is Negligence?

Negligence is a term you may have not heard before if you haven’t been involved in a legal dispute.  In California, negligence is defined as “the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or to others.  A person can be negligent by acting or by failing to act,” (CACI No. 401).  This means when someone fails to take proper or reasonable care in doing something or doesn’t take steps or precautions necessary to proceed safely, and this failure to act or negligent act injures someone, the injured party can recover monetary damages from the negligent party.

What’s Considered Reasonable Care?

The argument for what’s “reasonable” as a step or procedure is often debated.  “A person is negligent if that person does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation” (CACI No. 401).  A “reasonable person” is also sometimes referred to a prudent or rational person.  Often violating a California law, such as laws applying to drivers and cyclists found in the Vehicle Code is determined to be negligence.

What is Negligence in Cycling Injury Cases?

When cyclists are struck by cars, the most common types of a driver’s negligent behavior include distracted driving, like texting while driving, driving too fast for the surrounding conditions, and failing to obey traffic signs and signals. 

A company, like bicycle manufacturer or bicycle repair shop, can also be found negligent if their product or repair is unsafe. We handle a lot of cycling injury cases as personal injury lawyers, but we also represent cyclists in product liability cases.  If you were cycling and a weld suddenly broke loose on your bicycle causing an accident, the question would arise if there was any negligence on the part of the manufacturer or repair shop. 

Insurance Companies Fight Liability to Avoid Paying Compensation

Remember that in all legal cases, gathering the evidence to establish another party’s negligence and liability can be a complicated process.  Insurance companies fight very hard to try and show the injured person was negligent, not their driver.  Things may not always be black and white, which is why it is so important to hire a cycling injury lawyer as soon as possible.  We’re here to help fight for your rights and we bring years of experience in handling cycling injury cases, plus… we ride, too!  We know what it’s like to cyclists out there.  If you have been injured or had property damage to your bicycle, give us a call; consultations are free.  You may also contact us online here.

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San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney Shaana Rahman Recognized by Super Lawyers for 13th Year

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., AUGUST 19, 2021 (EIN Presswire) —

Rahman Law PC announces the thirteenth year of the law firm’s principal and founder, Shaana A. Rahman, a personal injury attorney in San Francisco and Paso Robles, has been selected by Super Lawyers® for a spot on their coveted lists.  Ms. Rahman has been selected as a Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in San Francisco, California on the Northern California Super Lawyers List

Ms. Rahman was first selected as a Rising Star in 2009, a list in which only 2.5% of attorneys are selected.  Beginning in 2012, she was selected as a Super Lawyer, a list containing only 5% of attorneys within each region.  The Super Lawyers rating service reviews attorneys in a variety of practice areas broken down by region and makes their selections based on professional achievements, independent research, peer-recognition, and peer-evaluations. 

Other professional activities are also taken into consideration including pro bono work and community service.  Ms. Rahman is an advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian safety concerns in her communities of San Francisco and Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast.  She is a member and/or sponsor of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bike East Bay, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Walk San Francisco, and San Luis Obispo County Bike Coalition.  In addition to published works, Ms. Rahman also maintains a blog on her website to raise further awareness of personal injury issues surrounding her communities.

“I think it’s so important that we fight for the rights of pedestrians and cyclists and this award tells me that I’m making a difference,” said Ms. Rahman, “and my work at Rahman Law PC will continue to help make the voices of victims be heard and hopefully prevent future injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.”

Ms. Rahman’s other achievements which were taken into consideration for her Super Lawyers rating include: being one of the Top 20 Personal Injury Lawyers in San Francisco by Expertise in 2017 and 2018, a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, recognized as a Top 40 under 40 Attorney by The National Trial Lawyers, receiving Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® (the Highest Level of Professional Excellence) peer review rating based on the opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary, and Avvo’s Rating of Superb as a Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney by client reviews.

Super Lawyers has many candidates for their top 5% list.  Ms. Rahman was selected through independent research and peer evaluations.  To remain within the top 5% as a Super Lawyer for thirteen years is an accomplishment to be proud of for any personal injury attorney in California. 

About Rahman Law PC

The personal injury lawyers at Rahman Law PC are powerful advocates for people who have been injured through no fault of their own.  What makes Rahman Law PC different from other personal injury law firms is they care about what happens to their clients; they aggressively advocate for their clients’ interests and have a personal relationship with each client, taking the time to listen and figure out solutions that make sense from a legal point of view but also from a human perspective. By providing the highest quality legal services to those who have been injured or have suffered wrongdoing at the hands of other individuals, corporations, or public entities, the personal injury attorneys and trial lawyers at Rahman Law PC have a proven track record of results and have successfully recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout California. Rahman Law PC offers clients attentive service backed with big firm experience, making them ready to take on any opponent.  To learn more about the personal injury lawyers at Rahman Law PC, visit https://www.rahmanlawsf.com or call (415) 956-9245 in San Francisco, (805) 619-3108 in Paso Robles, California.

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Media Contact:

Lacey Clifton

(805) 619-3108

1111 Riverside Avenue, Suite 500

Paso Robles CA 93446

What you Need to Know About California Assembly Bill from a Bicycle Accident Lawyer’s Perspective

California Assembly Bill Number 122 was introduced in December of 2020 but has undergone some amendments in March and May of 2021, as is typical in the lifecycle of an Assembly Bill.  Here’s what you need to know about Assembly Bill 122 to limit bicycle accidents from a bicycle accident lawyer’s perspective. 

First, it’s important to know that more than a dozen bicycle advocacy organizations support the Bill across the state of California, including MCBC (Marin County Bicycle Coalition, an organization focused on bicycle safety which we support).  Also, other states already have similar vehicle codes in place, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Arkansas, and Delaware, which means AB 122 is not a new concept. 

What does AB 122 Change?

If passed, California Assembly Bill Number 122 would change the vehicle code in California to allow bicyclists to treat Stop signs as they would a Yield sign.  This increases bicycle rider safety and decreases bicycle accidents, which has been demonstrated in studies in Idaho (who was first to create the stop-as-yield law) and Delaware.  In 2008, an investigation was conducted locally by the San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which has added to the data on this subject.  In 2009, a study of Idaho conducted by J. Meggs at UC Berkeley showed a decrease of 14.5% in bicyclist injuries after the passage of the new law. 

As bicycle accident lawyers, we support new systems which reduce the rate of bicyclist injuries. 

What does AB 122 Not Change?

California Assembly Bill Number 122 is not a free license to blow through stop signs all the time or every time.  Bicyclists will still obey red traffic lights and treat them as a full stop.  Bicyclists will also still give the right-of-way to pedestrians who always have the right of way.  And bicyclists will continue to stop at stop signs when there is traffic with the right-of-way.

Intersections are Dangerous for Cyclists

While according to the NHTSA, most bicyclist fatalities occur away from intersections in 45- and 55-mph zones, most bicyclist injuries occur in 25-mph zones where intersections and stop signs are most prevalent.  Bicycle accidents do often happen at intersections and the UC Berkley study calls intersections the “most dangerous zone” for bicyclists.  Reducing injury rates by 14.5 % would be a great step in the right direction. 

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E-Scooters May Not Be as Green as You Think

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Electric scooter (or “e-scooter”) sharing companies want consumers to believe the use of an e-scooter is a green method of transportation.  Two major e-scooter companies, Bird and Lime, advertise that the use of e-scooters is environmentally friendly and Bird says they are a carbon-free alternative to cars. Unfortunately, science does not back up their claims. 

Are E-Scooters Carbon Free?

A common complaint from communities with e-scooter sharing services it the litter the scooters themselves produce when they are broken and abandoned on the sidewalk, street, or even in rivers (check out @BirdGraveyard in Instagram to see pictures of e-scooter debris).  E-Scooters are relatively disposable items with an average lifespan of just two years.  With all of the components involved in the manufacturing of an e-scooter, the carbon footprint is hardly carbon-free.  Add to that the emissions attributed to the collection and storage of the scooters and it’s easy to see that e-scooters have an environmental impact from their lifecycle.

E-Scooters Have Emissions

While a study in North Carolina published in the MIT Technology Review in 2019* found that e-scooters produce about half of the emissions of a standard motor vehicle, the study also found that their per-passenger-mile emissions are higher than an electric moped, an electric bicycle, or even a diesel bus with high ridership.  And while e-scooters may be seen as an alternative to using a standard vehicle, the study found that only 34% of users would have used a car instead of the e-scooter leaving the many users replacing the true carbon-free mode of transportation – walking. 

Sponsorships

E-Scooter sharing companies have been known to give sponsorship money to non-profits and advocacy groups to gain support.  In the beginning, little was known about the cost e-scooters would have on the environment, so you may see advocacy groups promoting the eco-friendliness of e-scooters, but over time more and more studies will emerge showing the true color of e-scooters, and it isn’t going to be green.

E-Scooter Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know has been injured in an incident involving an e-scooter, please contact us for a free consultation.  The hundreds of pages of cell phone screen space it takes to read an entire rider agreement should not make you feel powerless.  At Rahman Law, we advocate and fight for the rights and safety of pedestrians and cyclists.  We’re here when you need us.

*MIT Technology Review, Sorry, scooters aren’t so climate-friendly after all, James Temple (August 2019)

E-Scooter Personal Injury Cases are on the Rise

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Electric scooters (often called “e-scooters”) are a relatively new resource promoted by sharing companies, like Bird Rides, Inc., that are found in major cities like San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  There was almost immediate backlash for the distribution methodologies of these companies by pedestrian and disability advocates with concern for safety.  Now, a few years into the use of e-scooters as a shared resource for transportation, studies are finding personal injury cases related to e-scooters are on the rise. 

Bird Rides, Inc. conducted their own research and have been promoting e-scooters as equally as-safe-as or safer-than riding a bicycle, but these “key findings” are related to internal (“secret”) data and “independent research.”  However, there is published research evidencing the rate of injury for e-scooters may be higher than that of personal vehicles and motorcycles with particularly heavy incidences of head and limb injuries.  Injuries from e-scooters treated in emergency rooms throughout the U.S. nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019.*  In California, helmet use is only required for riders under the age of 18, but while other vehicle laws remain in place inclusive of e-scooters, personal injuries result from a multitude of factors including failure to obey the traffic laws, alcohol, and rider inexperience. 

There has been a string of class action personal injury lawsuits nationwide against e-scooter sharing companies and e-scooter companies are calling for safer streets, but better roadway infrastructure as a way to lessen scooter-related injuries does not follow the emerging research on e-scooter injuries.  A limited study conducted by Austin Public Health in 2018 revealed only 10% of riders who were injured sustained injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle vs. 37% of injured e-scooter riders reporting excessive e-scooter speed contributed to their injuries.  And despite legislation already being in place and continuing to remain in place prohibiting the use of e-scooters on sidewalks, riders still ride e-scooters on sidewalks, putting pedestrians at risk of injury, too. 

The rental agreement from Bird to use an e-scooter is 261 cell phone screens long and incudes a waiver of a (constitutional right to a) jury trial in favor of binding arbitration and a provision to protect the company (and any Municipality contracted to provide the services) from all claims of negligence.  The rider is riding at their own risk, but the chances of them reading through the 18,404-word agreement are small.  This creates a consumer hurdle to suing Bird for a personal injury. 

As personal injury attorneys in San Francisco, we advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian safety as personal injury attorneys.  In San Francisco and other California cities, e-scooters are appearing to be adopted as a way to shift away from gas-powered vehicles, which is beneficial, but there is a complete disregard for the safety of users of these e-scooters.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an e-scooter collision, contact us today for a free consultation

* JAMA Network Open, Estimated Incidence of Electric Scooter Injuries in the US From 2014 to 2019, Kevin Xavier Farley, Matthew Aizpuru, MD, Jacob M. Wilson, MD. (August 2020)

How to Recover Property Damage for a Bicycle after a Collision

No collision is a good one, but thankfully in many instances there is only property damage to your bicycle without any physical harm to you, the rider, and we’re always thankful to hear someone wasn’t hurt.  However, this still leaves a nagging issue – how to recover property damage for a bicycle after a collision.  We’re here to help!

The first thing to know is that you’ll want to gather as much information at the scene as possible; including the name, phone number, and insurance company of the driver.  You’ll be filing a claim with the insurance company, which can be a slow and frustrating process, but we have some tips for you to help make it a less stressful process.  In fact, we have an entire property damage demand toolkit available for free download here if you need it.

Tip #1 – Don’t throw anything away or get it repaired

An important component of dealing with an insurance company is evidence.  The insurance company may want to take a look at your damaged bicycle, helmet, and/or accessories.

Tip #2 – Take pictures of everything

If you can, take pictures at the scene of the collision, then take more pictures of your damaged bicycle and other items (if any) to show the damages in detail. 

Tip #3 – Gather receipts

If you can find your original receipt for your bicycle, that’s great! You can also find listings online of your bicycle model for sale to show how much it would cost to replace everything.  And when we say ‘everything’ we mean the frame, the tires, the rims, and all of your upgrades, if any, to the bicycle that were damaged in the collision.  Make a list of everything on your bicycle that was damaged (including anything you were wearing like your helmet or riding shirt) and write down how much it would cost to replace and include the source of that price.

Tip #4 – Get repair estimates

Some damages might be repairable rather than needing to be replaced.  If that’s the case, get a repair estimate from a cycling shop you trust.  You may want to get a repair estimate even if the repairs would cost more than the price of the bike because showing that to the insurance company may prompt them to replace the bike rather than insist on repairing it. 

Tip 5 – Compile everything into a demand for payment letter

Our property damage demand toolkit includes an editable demand letter that you can use as your template or starting point.  It’s free to download and many cyclists have found it to be helpful at this step when trying to recover property damage for a bicycle.  You’ll most likely open a claim with the insurance company over the phone first and then send this letter with your claim number written on it to outline your damages.  From here, the insurance company will likely make you an unreasonable offer (one that might buy a kids’ bike at Walmart) or start using delay tactics.  Stay strong and stick with it. 

Tip 6 – Be ready to negotiate

Remember, it is the job of the insurance adjuster to pay you as little as possible.  Your job is to get a fair settlement or take them to court (it might be a ‘Small Claims’ lawsuit).  If you are struggling with this step, you are welcome to give us a call.  We love talking to cyclists because we ride, too, and we know what it’s like to negotiate with an insurance company!  Consultations are free and sometimes that’s all you’ll need to get the courage to negotiate with the insurance company.  If negotiating isn’t working or you have damages that exceed a ‘small claim,’ we can talk with you about your options, too. 

Download our Property Damage Demand Toolkit here.

Pedestrian Fatalities Peak in 2019; Highest Since 1988

pedestrian accident lawyer

We are pedestrian accident lawyers and we take our mission as advocates for pedestrian (and bicyclist) safety to heart, and we think you’ll agree with us when we say the increase in pedestrian fatalities is something to speak up about. 

Over the past 30 years, pedestrian fatalities have been increasing in the United States and California is one of the states with the most fatalities.  New (preliminary) data is out and it shows that 2019 will be the year with the most pedestrian fatalities since 1988! The report comes from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and they predict that 6,590 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2019 from their preliminary data.  This is a 53% increase of pedestrian fatalities just since 2009.

California is looking like it will reclaim its place as the state with the most pedestrian fatalities (Florida took the title away from California in 2015).  Vision Zero in San Francisco has been raising more awareness for pedestrians and pedestrian safety in San Francisco, but 2019 did not meet its target even though 2017 and 2018 saw reduced numbers in pedestrian fatalities within the County.

We won’t stop until we see ZERO pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and neither should you!

This new data is alarming.  But that doesn’t mean we should quit fighting.  The report from the GHSA included correlational data about the increase in smartphones and the shift between owning fewer passenger cars and more light trucks or SUVs, but correlation isn’t a guarantee of causation.  We’ve written in this blog before about the relationship speed plays in pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and concerns over the relationship rideshare services play in the rise of traffic fatalities.  There are many factors involved. 

Here’s what we do know:

  • Distractions while driving are increasing
  • Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of pedestrian accidents with a fatality
  • Speed is the top factor in pedestrian accidents with a fatality
  • Most incidents resulting in pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas and at night
  • Injuries and fatalities happen at intersections but most fatalities occur away from intersections

What this means for drivers:

  • Put distractions out of reach
  • Never drive impaired by drugs, alcohol, or sleep deprivation
  • SLOW DOWN
  • Be extra vigilant when driving at night
  • Watch for pedestrians around parked cars and not just at crosswalks

None of these requests are difficult to achieve and when driving, we all must do our part to protect pedestrians, after all, we are all pedestrians even if that’s just walking to and from our car.

If you would like to read more about the rise of pedestrian fatalities from the GHSA, the report is available here: https://www.ghsa.org/resources/Pedestrians20

As pedestrian accident lawyers, this topic is important to us.  You are welcome to browse through our other articles on pedestrian accidents, injuries, safety and advocacy here: https://www.rahmanlawsf.com/archive/category/personal-injury-lawyer/pedestrian-accident-lawyer/

If you or a loved one wishes to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer, please contact us.  Consultations are free.  We have offices in San Francisco and Paso Robles, California.