Personal injury attorney Matthew Davis started biking in San Francisco when he moved to the city for law school in 1986. There were very few bicycle commuters back then, but Davis has seen a rapid increase in bicycle commuters over the past few years. Now Market Street is packed with cyclists in the morning, many of them young professionals who work for the many startups throughout the city.
The increase in bicycle commuters also means that more cyclists are involved in traffic accidents. As a partner with the downtown law firm of Walkup Melodia, attorney Davis has noted an increase in bicycle accidents due to distracted drivers.
"Having handled a number of cases involving injured cyclists, what you typically hear the driver saying is that 'that cyclist came out of nowhere,'" Davis said.
Davis also noted the recent high-profile pedestrian fatality involving a cyclist who allegedly ran a red light and hit an elderly pedestrian.
"It's troubling because bicyclists are now behaving like bad motorists where they are not respecting the other users of the road and operating their bicycles in a way that endangers other users of the roadway," Davis said. "I don't like to see anyone do that."
Davis believes that bicycling is good for San Francisco, but noted that the issue has become a "flashpoint" in the courtroom. When selecting juries for bicycling accident cases, Davis is concerned about how polarized drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in San Francisco have become.
As an avid cyclist, Davis is uniquely equipped to represent cyclists in personal injury cases against motorists and understands the unique challenges involved with successfully litigating a bicycle accident case.
"There are a lot of attorneys who bike like myself, and we like to represent cyclists," Davis said.
Source: The Recorder, "Critical Message: Cycling Accidents," March 2, 2012