Manteca Bicycle Accident Lawyer

bicyclist

Manteca bicyclists are fortunate that there are many bike trails for them to enjoy, including the Tidewater Bikeway and popular cycling trails. Cycling clubs are popular and a great way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. However, the joys of being outdoors on your bicycle also mean the risk of an accident with a negligent motorist. If that happens, a Manteca bicycle accident lawyer can help.

Reach out to us at AutoAccident.com or by calling (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for a free evaluation of your case. Our Manteca bicycle accident attorneys can collect the evidence needed to build a strong claim, so you can recover your lost wages and your medical expenses as well as your pain and suffering. 

San Joaquin County Bicyclist Fatalities and Injuries

You may be surprised to find out that in 2019, the latest year for statistics, the California Office of Traffic Safety reported 198 bicyclist injuries and fatalities occurred in the county. The number of bicycle incidents may be much higher than those that are noted because many accidents go unreported. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Manteca have a lot of experience in helping clients obtain fair compensation after an injury or wrongful death biking incident.

Bicycle Accidents Often Occur Due to Negligence

Due to their vulnerability, cyclists often suffer serious injuries in accidents. Some common risky and illegal behaviors displayed by drivers of passenger vehicles can lead to injuries or fatalities such as:

  • Distracted driving: As a result of distracted driving, a number of accidents are caused when drivers use their cell phones or text. Other ways to be distracted while driving include switching radio stations and talking with passengers as well as eating and drinking.
  • Speeding: Motorists often cause accidents with bicycle riders due to speeding. The higher speed increases the risk of injuries and fatalities when bicyclists are involved, in addition to reducing the driver's ability to stop in an emergency.
  • Fatigued driving: If a fatigued driver is operating a vehicle, he or she can easily cause an accident involving a cyclist. Working shifts that change frequently, going to bed late the night before, or suffering from an untreated medical condition such as sleep apnea can all lead to fatigue.
  • Drunk and drugged driving: Alcohol and drugs contribute to numerous traffic accidents, including drunk driving. As a consequence, someone riding a bicycle may end up suffering serious injuries because of the impaired driver’s affected vision, poor reflexes and lack of judgment. 
What Are the Most Common Bicycle Accidents Caused by a Driver’s Negligence?

Avoiding bicycle crashes with negligent drivers may be helped by knowing how these collisions occur. First of all, the majority of bicycle riders are injured or killed in accidents that occur outside of intersections. Another high percentage happens during the evening hours, probably due to the cyclist’s lack of visibility. Most accidents caused by motorists that involve bicycle riders are due to the following:

  • Cutting into the bicycle lane too soon: Drivers often cut into the bicycle lane to make a right-hand turn. However, if the driver cuts in too soon or doesn’t look for the presence of a rider occupying that lane, it can cause a serious accident. 
  • Sideswiping a bicycle rider: California enacted the Three Feet for Safety Act, which is intended to prevent dangerous sideswipe accidents when a driver is passing a bicycle rider.
  • Rear-end collisions: Drivers who are distracted or tailgating another vehicle may not stop before causing a rear-end crash. By paying attention and keeping their distance from a bicycle rider, an accident can be avoided. Nearly 40 percent of bicycle accidents occur from rear-end collisions.
  • Right-hand collisions with bicycles: Bicyclists are often overlooked when drivers make a right turn. Drivers fail to look before turning when bicyclists approach them from the right and end up directly in the bicycle's path.
  • Intersection crashes: Forty-two percent of all bicycle accidents occur at intersections. Bicycle lanes are not always marked in certain areas, making it more likely that riders will get injured. In addition, the rider needs to deal with traffic moving in all directions, as well as motorists making right turns, which cut into the bicycle lane.
  • Motorists who are backing up: When a driver crosses into a cyclist's path while backing out of an alley, driveway or side street, accidents can occur. The driver sometimes fails to notice the rider, usually because they aren't paying attention enough.
  • Dooring accidents: A bicycle accident on a busy street can result in a dooring accident. It is possible for the driver or passenger of a vehicle parked on the side of the road to cause a serious injury if they open the door without checking for bicyclists.
What Are the Methods of Conducting Bicycle Collision Investigations?

A bicycle accident lawyer in Manteca can investigate to determine if there is evidence that supports the claim of a client. By investigating, a strong case can be built to recover financial damages for the client. Immediately after an accident, one of our investigators goes to the scene to speak with witnesses and examine the report filed by the police. Additional evidence that we gather includes:

  • When bicyclists are involved in accidents, it is essential to determine whether the driver failed to observe the three-foot distance rule.
  • Using surveillance footage from traffic and business cameras, investigators search for evidence of how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
  • Accident reconstruction can be performed by the investigators to show how a collision with the bicyclist occurred as well as the nature of any driver negligence such as speeding, distracted driving and others.
  • Government claims: If the investigators find that road damage or other negligence caused the accident, the government entity may be liable for damages. You can hire a Manteca bicycle accident attorney to ensure the claim is handled within the statute of limitations. Government claims need to be filed within six months of the injury. When dealing with an insurance company after suffering serious injuries, they sometimes stall reaching a settlement because they know they can’t be sued if it is dragged out long enough that the statute of limitations has expired. An injury lawyer will ensure this does not happen.

When all the bicycle accident evidence has been collected, our lawyers will begin assembling a solid compensation case for our client. This evidence may be used by the lawyer to negotiate on the client's behalf with the insurance company or to prepare a case for trial if an agreement cannot be made. 

The video below by attorney Ed Smith shows you a few things you should consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer:

Manteca Bicycle Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Manteca bicycle accident lawyer. If you are involved in a bicycle collision, an attorney can make the difference between receiving an award for your losses and being denied one or settling for less than you deserve. Call us to make an appointment with one of our injury lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for our free and friendly legal advice. 

Your free consultation can either be virtual or in person, where you can have your case reviewed and discover what opportunities are available to recover compensation. You can also contact us online by filling out the message form provided. Click the Verdicts and Settlements link to find out how we have helped others.

Photo attribution: by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay 

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