Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Fresno, California

Between 2014 and 2019, 59,000 bicyclists were injured in collisions in California, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Safety should always be a top concern for drivers and bicyclists, but accidents still happen, and they often have serious consequences.

Our team at the Winter Law Group can help you in the aftermath of a bicycle accident. Whether the insurance company or the vehicle driver isn’t cooperating, it’s important to hold the party who was at fault for the accident liable for their actions. Joel Winter can help. He understands what it’s like to suffer a serious injury, and will work hand-in-hand with you to seek financial compensation for your losses.  Our team is proud to work with clients in Fresno, California and throughout the central valley.

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What To Do After a Bicycle Accident

No matter how cautious you are, an accident can happen. While the number of bike lanes seems to be growing, most bicyclists must share the road. If you or a loved one gets into a bicycle accident, here’s what you should do.

Call 911

The first step is to call 911. Even if you don’t need an ambulance to take you to the hospital, you should still call 911 so that a medical professional can check you for injuries.

Collect Driver’s/Witnesses’ Information

You should collect the driver’s information, including his or her name, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate numbers. If there were any witnesses to the accident, collect their names and numbers as well. Having this information will help you when you file either your insurance claim or a personal injury claim.

Record the Details

Write down exactly how the accident happened. Draw a diagram as well. Take pictures of the scene to help you remember what happened and so that you have evidence of the accident.

Obtain Medical Assistance

Although the paramedic on the scene may have cleared you of any injuries, it is still a good idea to see a doctor in case an injury presents itself later. If you end up needing to file a personal injury claim in civil court, your medical records may help your case tremendously. 

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

When insurance companies deny a claim or refuse to pay an appropriate amount, you can still hold the at-fault driver responsible. A personal injury attorney can help you resolve that problem by fighting for your case in and out of the courtroom. 

California Laws Affecting Bicycle Riders

It’s important to be aware of key California laws affecting bicycle riders. These laws pertain to liability in a bicycle accident:

Equipment

Your bike must have all of the appropriate reflectors on its pedals and tires. Your bike’s brakes must also be working; specifically, your bicycle must be able to make a one-brake wheel skid.

Additionally, if you wear any type of headphones while you’re riding, you must only use one ear and leave the other ear free to listen for ambulances, cars, etc. 

Operations

A bicyclist must ride in the same direction as traffic and follow the same laws that drivers follow. If there’s a bike lane, the bicyclist must use it. Whether or not you can ride on the sidewalk depends on the laws of your city and county. Bicyclists must always yield to pedestrians, including in crosswalks, which are designed for pedestrians.

Helmets

In California, all bicyclists under 18 are required to wear a bike helmet. It’s recommended that bicyclists over 18 wear helmets as well.

Laws Pertaining to the Vehicle

Knowing the laws regarding how vehicles are supposed to treat bicyclists is key. Vehicle drivers are required to maintain at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing. If that’s not possible, then they must pass the bicyclists slowly. It’s the vehicle driver’s responsibility to avoid an unsafe situation when passing a bicyclist.

Filing a Claim

If the insurance company refuses to pay or does not offer an appropriate amount, then you may want to file a personal injury claim.

California is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who caused the accident will be financially liable for any accident-related injuries, vehicle damage, property damage, and other losses suffered by the victim.

Pure Comparative Fault State

Under California law, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation from the other at-fault party. However, the amount you may recover in damages will be reduced by the percentage that the accident was your fault.

For example, if it’s determined that the accident was 10% your fault, and you were supposed to receive $50,000 in damages, then you would receive 10% less than that amount, or $45,000.

It’s important to note that in California, you don’t have forever to file a claim. You must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years after the date of the accident.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

An experienced attorney can review all the details of your case, conduct a private investigation, seek to prove fault, and estimate the value of your case before taking appropriate legal action. With our knowledge of California laws, we are ready to guide you through every phase of the proceedings. Don’t trust the insurance provider to protect your best interests. Our team can help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries.

Bicycle Accident Attorney in Fresno, California

A bicycle accident can affect your physical, mental, and financial health for years. You don’t have to face these challenges by yourself. Our team at the Winter Law Group can offer you the experienced legal guidance and compassionate advocacy you need to seek compensation for the losses resulting from a bicycle accident. We’re proud to serve clients in Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Madera, and Merced, California, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.