Modesto has many bike paths for bicycle enthusiasts. Riders may take a trip out to Tuolumne River Regional Park or utilize the Trees For Tots paths. There are bike lanes provided along some avenues as well. And when bike lanes aren’t provided, cyclists have the right to any lane along Modesto streets.
Cyclists are permitted to ride just about anywhere, but being in close proximity with moving motor vehicles and less than cautious drivers would give anyone pause. Motorists are often careless around cyclists and may even be ignorant of the laws that protect anyone on a bike.
This negligence on the part of drivers can cause devastating accidents for cyclists and even put their lives at risk. Victims and their families must be informed of the options they have after a frightening bike collision.
Contact a Modesto Bike Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, is an advocate for cyclists and their right to safe rides in Stanislaus County. He comes to the defense of injured riders and makes sure they have everything they need in recovery.
Contact Mr. Gasparian for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out if you should be receiving more money than a car insurance company is offering you.
If possible, reach out to Maison Law before talking to any insurance representatives. One thing you’ll learn in a free case evaluation is how to avoid signing away your rights to proper financial support when an insurance company makes you a “lowball offer.”
Bicycle Accident Dangers On Modesto Streets
On cycling trips, most riders feel they must act defensively to avoid careless moves by motorists. That’s especially true in Modesto where many drivers seem unaware of the laws that protect cyclists and the “duty of care” they owe.
Drivers are required to show this duty of care no matter where they meet someone on a bicycle. They must slow down and travel at a speed that allows them to avoid an impact. Not every motorist shows this care to cyclists of course. Especially those riders who are perfectly in their right to claim a lane of the street with the same rights to it as any driver.
The California Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) found that Modesto had 65 accidents involving bicycle riders. Those accidents left 68 people injured and caused at least one tragic death.
What to Do After a Modesto Bicycle Accident
Insurance companies for careless motorists will be trying to take care of their policyholders and themselves after a bicycle accident. Riders will usually be required to show clear evidence of who was at fault before they can earn the financial support they need to cover the best medical care available.
Your Modesto Bike Accident Lawyer will be building a strong case for you, but they won’t be there in the moments after a bicycle collision. Unfortunately, this difficult time for victims is the best time to gather the strongest proof of your innocence.
With this in mind, it’s important to collect important details on the scene of an accident. First, make sure you are not in the path of other vehicles to get hit again.
Then, if you’re able, go about collecting all the evidence you can, because it likely won’t be there later:
- Contact 911 even if you think your injury is minor. That injury may hurt a lot more in the hours to come. Let paramedics check everything out. Tell the police everything you remember of the moments leading up to the accident.
- Use your camera app to take photos. Document the scene, your bike damage, street signs, and lane markings. Show the street lights present (or lack of them) on the scene in a nighttime accident. Get photos of the car, license plate, and any damage to the vehicle and bicycle. Get pics of any injuries that are visible and any damage to clothing. If you are wearing a helmet make sure your photos show that.
- Check for security cameras nearby. Businesses or homes might have documented your accident.
- Get witness contact information and find out what they observed.
- Exchange information with everyone involved but don’t make any statements about what happened. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
- Schedule a medical check-up with your doctor. Keep all bills for your care.
- Keep any damaged personal items, including your bicycle. Hold onto all evidence.
Compensation Available After a Modesto Cycling Accident
After an injury in a bicycle accident, you’ll face a challenging recovery and that recovery will usually be very costly. You should never seek anything less than the best in medical care. Your attorney will work to make sure those bills are the burden of the at-fault driver.
An attorney can help you seek coverage for damages to your health and finances you might not have considered. Those hardships you’ve suffered due to the negligence of a distracted driver might consist of:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost income
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress suffered. The anguish of not being able to ride
- Repairs to Bicycle or Replacement
- Loss of a normal life
Wrongful death accident support. In the worst bicycle accidents, riders can lose their lives doing something they love. Families may feel they must shoulder the costs of a memorial service and burial and all ambulance and emergency response fees themselves, but that’s not true.
California empowers families left behind to protect themselves through a wrongful death claim filed against an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider. This lawsuit would also seek to help replace the future income the victim would have provided close relatives in the years to come.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
These and other hardships must be listed on a claim for damages to make sure victims are compensated for them. If they are left off, victims can have to pay for their injury care out of their own savings.
These costs can be enormous, especially when considering the range of devastating injuries Modesto bicyclists can suffer in a collision:
- Road Rash – When cyclists are thrown from their bikes they can suffer terrible scrapes on the pavement. This removal of layers of skin is known as “road rash.” These wounds can become infected and in severe cases, skin grafts are necessary to facilitate healing.
- Facial and Dental Injury – Cyclists sent from their bikes can land face first and break noses, jaws, cheekbones. Teeth can be knocked completely out.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) –A TBI can result in a mild concussion or something more serious like memory loss and even permanent brain damage. Seizures and vision problems are also potential symptoms.
- Amputation – Arms, legs, and fingers may be crushed in collisions. Once cyclists are on the ground their bodies may be run over by the driver who hit them or another car. These limbs may be removed in an impact or may have to be surgically removed.
- Paralysis – The loss of control of the parts of the body. This is caused when the brains lines of communication are cut off. Paraplegia is a loss of function in the lower half of the body and quadriplegia is a loss of function in both upper and lower regions.
- Fractured Bones – Bones in the chest, neck, shoulders, and up and down the arms often broken in cycling accidents.
- Joint Dislocation – Shoulder dislocations are one of the most common injuries as riders throw out their arms to try to cushion a fall. An Acromio-Clavicular Joint Injury is also possible. This term describes a sprain to the connection between the collar bone and the shoulder blade.
Time Limits on California Bicycle Accident Injury Claims
Modesto injured victims are allowed up to two years to file a claim for damages over a bicycle accident. If you attempt to file a claim against a driver after this deadline, your case will be thrown out unless you can show that you had a good reason for missing your filing date.
Do I Need a Modesto Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
It’s important to contact a Modesto bike accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible. You want to give your attorney access to the scene, to witnesses, and to important documents as soon as you can.
Your attorney will be conducting an investigation into what happened. Lawyers use your evidence and the evidence they collect to build the strongest case possible.
This is vital because car insurance companies will be working to restrict the amount of support they must provide you. Even worse, they’d like to find a reason to reject your case and pay you nothing at all.
To this end, insurance adjusters will:
- Delay responding to your claim.
- Blame you. Dig into your driving records to try to prove you’re a reckless driver.
- Dig into your medical records to try to prove you had your injury before the accident.
- Extend a “lowball” offer hoping you’ll be desperate enough to take far less in compensation than you need.
- Misrepresent some terms of the insurance policy so they can unjustly reject your bicycle accident claim.
- Leave you uninformed of other benefits in the insurance policy that would benefit you.
It’s all these tactics and more that leave you vulnerable without a bicycle accident lawyer handling every aspect of your case. A skilled personal injury lawyer has seen all of these tactics before and knows how to shut down insurance adjusters and their unfair practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I file a Bicycle Accident Claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
Yes. You can still file for damages in a bicycle accident even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. You might be assigned part of the blame for your injuries, but the driver involved could also take a percentage of the blame and have to provide support for that percentage of support.
Who may file a wrongful death claim after a Modesto bicycle accident?
A spouse or domestic partner of the victim and the children of the victim can file a wrongful death claim. The parent of a child taken in a bicycle accident may also be able to file. A lawyer working on behalf of all family members can also move this claim forward.
How much is my bicycle accident claim worth?
Each bicycle accident is different and there’s no set value that covers every accident. Your support would depend on the severity of your injury and the length of recovery. The driver’s car insurance limits would also affect how much compensation you received.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Serving Modesto Victims
There’s one risk-free way to determine how much your injury and your suffering could be worth. Contact Maison Law for a free Bicycle Accident Case Consultation. Find out what you should be expecting in compensation from a negligent driver. You’ll also talk over your best path to receiving the support you need to rebuild your life.
Mounting a difficult recovery after a bicycle accident can leave victims feeling completely alone and vulnerable. Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, wants to make sure victims simply trying to earn what’s fair from a car insurance company never face these battles alone.