Stockton Bicycle Accident Attorney

Most people think about car accidents when considering dangers on the road, but many forget about bicycle accidents. These can be even more detrimental to those involved due to an increased risk of injuries to cyclists. If you ride a bicycle on public roads frequently, you should understand your rights and opportunities if you are injured during a trip. For additional questions on individual cases, contact a Stockton bicycle accident lawyer today.

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The attorneys at The Ward Firm have experience representing both individual clients and insurance companies. They have learned how insurance providers attempt to deny or limit coverage to those injured in vehicle accidents and can use this knowledge to help individual victims. The attorneys at The Ward Firm are dedicated to providing their clients with aggressive and compassionate support for their personal injury claims.

Best Stockton Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Fast Facts for Cyclists

Remember that protecting your personal safety should be of the utmost importance when cycling. Here’s what you can do in the event of a bicycle collision to protect your interests:

  1. Safety Check: Make sure that your bicycle is not in the way of traffic. Figure out who needs medical attention, and if it is needed, contact emergency services by dialing 911 as soon as possible.
  2. Call Local Authorities: If no one is injured, you should call the local police or call the California Highway Patrol if you are not in an incorporated city, town, or municipality. They will help you create a report of the accident, which is not only legally required but can also help in the event that you decide to file a personal injury claim against the other party.
  3. Document the Scene: After you have made sure that everyone is reasonably safe and those who need medical attention are being taken care of, begin documenting the scene of the accident if you can. Helpful things to record include:
    • Photos and/or videos of your bicycle and your injuries as well as the other vehicle, especially their license plate number
    • Images of the general scene of the accident
    • Record what the weather was like when the accident occurred
    • Note if there are any road signs around the scene of the accident that could have factored into the collision or prevented it.
    • Write down the contact information of the other party, along with their insurance information.
    • If possible, talk to anyone who witnessed the accident and see if they had a clear view of what happened.
    • Do not throw away your bicycle or any gear you are wearing, even if they are irreparable. They might come in handy during a personal injury claim. Keep them in the same condition as they were at the time of the accident.
  4. Receive Medical Attention: If you were involved in a collision with a car or other motor vehicle, you are likely to have experienced some form of injury. It is highly recommended to seek medical attention after the accident, even if you do not believe you were hurt badly. Injuries that seem minor can prove to be much worse as time goes by. Being examined creates more evidence of your injuries via a medical report.
  5. Wait for Police: Do not leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive unless it is medically necessary. It is important to review the police report at the scene to make sure it is filled out with correct information. If something is documented incorrectly, you can contact the police department to change or add information.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

To some, vehicle and bicycle accidents can seem like something they should leave to insurance companies to evaluate. However, an accident attorney can provide tailored assistance to your case that can help you retrieve more money from a settlement. A personal injury lawyer in Stockton can:

  • Gather Evidence: Someone not well-versed in accident law might not know what types of evidence are necessary for an effective negotiation or court trial. An attorney can help gather things like medical reports, witness statements, and sometimes even camera footage of the accident to give you better odds for an increased settlement amount.
  • Negotiate on Your Behalf: It can be scary to negotiate with a large company by yourself. Working with a talented attorney can help the negotiation process go smoothly and can sometimes result in more money for you.
  • Fight in Court: Sometimes, a case may not have to go to court for a satisfactory result. If it is clear that the case should be fought in court, however, an effective attorney will not hesitate to advocate for your rights in a trial.

Most accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is little risk to you for a case not going your way. Don’t let the fear of initial costs prevent you from receiving the damages you deserve.

Communication With Insurance Companies

In many cases, the other party’s insurance company will contact you regarding the accident. Remember that their main job is to protect their company, not you. Here are some tips for how to communicate with insurance adjusters:

  • Do not admit fault to the other party, the police, or an insurance company. This does nothing but limit your options for a personal injury claim.
  • If you decide to work with an attorney, you do not even have to talk to the other party’s insurance company and can simply refer them to your attorney.
  • Some people attempt to directly negotiate with the other party to prevent insurance companies from getting involved. This can be extremely risky and often involves unwritten agreements, which are often not legally enforceable. It is usually safer and more beneficial for a victim to contact an attorney, establish documentation, and file a claim.
  • If an insurance company gives you a settlement agreement, review it with an injury attorney first before taking the offer. Some offers are purposefully low, and negotiating the settlement or filing a claim can result in more money for your medical expenses and lost wages.

The Ward Firm’s former experience working on behalf of insurance companies makes our attorneys uniquely equipped to negotiate with them. To put our experience to work for you, schedule a consultation with us today.

What Can I Expect From a Settlement?

It is difficult to prove a general estimate of the value of an individual case. Every vehicle collision in Stockton is different, and numbers vary based on the context of the situation. Reviewing the case with an attorney can provide a targeted estimate of what you might be able to receive. They will consider the following types of damages when estimating the value of your case:

  • Damages to Property: Although bicycles cost less than motor vehicles, they can still be quite expensive. Depending on the damage your bike suffered from the collision, you might be able to retrieve money to fix or even replace your bicycle. If there was additional damage to your property, these costs can be considered as well.
  • Economic Damages: These are the costs most people associate with any accident. Many collisions require medical treatment that comes with a cost, and an appropriate settlement needs to take these expenses into account. If the injuries were severe enough that you lost wages from not being able to go to work, you might also be able to recover some of this lost income.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Costs like pain and suffering are sometimes not considered in bicycle accidents, but they are an important part of some cases. There is often enough information from similar past cases to estimate a value for non-economic damages, even if this can seem difficult to quantify.

Insurance companies do not consider some factors when making settlement agreements. This is why it is so important to review your agreement with a lawyer before signing anything to make sure you are receiving an appropriate amount.

What’s Involved in a Personal Injury Claim?

Filing a personal injury claim can be a daunting process, but it usually follows the following outline:

  1. An individual discusses their case with an attorney, and the two review which party or parties to file the claim against. You also work to gather the evidence needed to prove that damages are a result of the accident that occurred.
  2. Once there are enough details for a formal complaint, a document is drafted, filed with the local court, and served to the plaintiff. The plaintiff is then able to respond based on the accusations outlined in the complaint.
  3. In most cases, the plaintiff will attempt to settle the case out of court to avoid a lengthy legal battle and court fees. If this occurs, the case will move into the negotiation phase. If the negotiation phase is successful and both parties can agree to the terms, the case will be successfully resolved. If not, the two parties must go to court to resolve their differences.
  4. Before the case appears in court, both parties are given a period of time to gather as much evidence as possible to prove their side. Also called the discovery phase, this process can take quite a while.
  5. During the trial, legal representatives for the plaintiff and the defendant will present evidence and take depositions from relevant individuals in the case. The judge will then issue a final verdict that determines the results of your case.

While it is not legally necessary to hire an attorney for a bicycle accident, doing so can help you receive the highest amount possible for your injuries and recovery time.

Bicycle Personal Injury FAQs

Q: Who Is Usually at Fault if a Bicycle Is Involved in an Accident?

A: In most cases, a bicyclist and the other party are both partially at fault. The amount that each party is at fault is based on the individual context of the situation. If a bicyclist disobeyed a law like yielding or was riding on the road instead of the street, they might be more at fault. This also includes rules that specifically apply to cyclists, like wearing high-visibility gear at night and riding on the right side of the road.

Q: What Happens if I Get Hit on My Bike?

A: The most important thing to do is make sure you are in a safe area off the road. Next, call for medical attention. If possible, try to get photos or videos of the scene of the accident, including photos of your bike, your injuries, and the car and its license plate. Do not dispose of the bike, even if it is destroyed, so that it can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim if you decide to file.

Q: Can I Make a Claim if I Get Knocked Off My Bike?

A: If you get into an accident due to being knocked off your bike, you might be covered by your home or renters’ insurance, depending on your policy. Some insurance companies also allow you to add bicycle insurance on top of your auto policy. If you are injured, you might be able to file a personal injury claim against the person who collided with you for uncovered medical expenses or any lost wages due to missing work.

Q: How Much Do Accident Attorneys Charge in California?

A: Most accident attorneys charge what is called a contingency fee. This fee is assessed after the settlement for your accident is paid out, which means that there is usually no upfront cost to you for filing a personal injury claim. The amount an attorney takes in fees depends on their experience level, how long it takes to settle your case, and whether or not your case has to go to trial. This fee is typically 30-40% of your settlement.

Receive Support for Your Bicycle Accident Claim

The injuries incurred as a result of a bicycle accident can be worse than other accidents due to the impact a vehicle can have on the human body. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to review your options. An attorney can make sure you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation with The Ward Firm to learn how we can represent your case.

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Schedule a Free Consultation

At your free initial consultation, you will meet directly with Justin, and he will explain how he can best help you with your case. If you decide to work with us, we will immediately get started on creating a strategy that protects your interests.

To get more information, call our office at 916-443-2474 or send us an email using our contact form. We are available by phone 24 hours a day. Se habla español.

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