Q&A with San Francisco Bike Attorney Matthew J Quinlan

What makes San Francisco a great city for cyclists?

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are amazing sites to see from the seat of a bicycle. The city’s dedication to providing safe bike lanes through downtown and elsewhere helps cyclists stay safe while enjoying the challenging hills, the cool weather, and the amazing neighborhoods. Our city works hard to provide safe paths and to keep rider safety top of mind for bay area motorists. There are still improvements to be made as careless motorists still send too many cyclists to the hospital each month. However, San Francisco remains one of the best places in the country to ride a bike no matter your age.

Cycling is growing in popularity, how are cities like San Francisco adapting to the many cyclists on the roads?

San Francisco has embarked on an ambitious plan to give cyclists the safest rides possible. Over the past few years, they’ve added miles of bike paths and protected paths. They’ve reduced lanes on some of San Francisco’s busiest streets to make more room for riders. The city’s bold Vision Zero SF was enacted in 2014. Its stated goal is to work towards more livable streets and to one day reduce traffic deaths to zero. That includes plans for more bike lanes and to continue the effort to completely remove vehicle traffic from some streets. MJQ Law supports these initiatives, but we also realize that bicyclists will still be forced into accidents by reckless motorists and will suffer injuries. We want to make sure those victims understand every benefit that is available to them as they work towards getting back on a bike again.


What are the dangers of biking in San Francisco? What types of bike accidents do you typically see in your practice?

Cyclists may have bike lanes and paths to take advantage of, but motorists have gotten so careless lately that riders can be in danger even when using these supposedly safe routes. A car or SUV driver can use a bike lane to make a right turn without checking blind spots. Delivery vans can park in bike lanes, forcing riders out into traffic. In areas where there are no bike lanes, motorists are supposed to be carefully sharing the lanes. Yet, they often try to pass cyclists when there is too little room. Accidents also happen in neighborhoods, where families may be out with their children enjoying a bicycle ride. Motorists travel too fast on side streets and can put an entire family in danger.

How do you help your clients navigate the legal system after a bike accident?

Our number one goal is to make sure bicyclists and their families aren’t taken advantage of through such a vulnerable time. While cyclists are trying to heal from injuries, insurance companies can try to shift blame to the rider. They may also question how severely a rider is injured. These are just tactics used to try to reduce what an at-fault driver’s car insurer will have to pay. The answer to how much in compensation is enough is however much it takes to pay for every hardship an injured bicyclist faces and for however long recovery takes.


What steps should a person take if they have been injured in a bicycle accident?

If they are left strong enough, victims will find powerful evidence right there on the scene of their accident. Victims should take photos of the damage to bicycles and vehicles. They should get shots of their visible injuries. They should also get contact information from any witnesses. Victims should schedule appointments with their family doctors to get all injuries checked out in the days that follow, even if they’ve been to the emergency room. Afterward, bicycle accident victims should take advantage of a free case consultation with a skilled San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer. They’ll need to know what they should be demanding from a car insurance company and how to hold an unhelpful insurance provider fully accountable.

What types of things can San Francisco bicycle accident victims receive compensation for?

At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we help our clients earn fair compensation for every hardship they’ve endured. This will mean full support for every hardship the rider has suffered. That includes money to pay medical bills and to pay for the care necessary in the years ahead. Victims must get reimbursed for the wages and benefits they’ve missed out on while unable to work. Their bicycle accident settlement checks should include support for the pain and emotional trauma cyclists experience after an accident. That includes a loss of enjoyment of life and the frustration of not being able to return to riding a bike. Families who have had a loved one taken from them in a fatal bicycle accident should also receive full support for the costs that arise after a tragic accident.

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