According to a news story by ABC30, the Fresno Police Department will be increasing their efforts to make roads safe for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Police analyzed bicycle and pedestrian accidents for the past three years to determine where these accidents occur. Between 2013 and 2015, the police report more than 50 pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. The increased enforcement efforts come at a time when the police expect more pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads because the weather is improving.
Lt. David Ramsey of the Fresno Police Department advises drivers to leave earlier and be aware of their surroundings. In addition, he advises motorists to reduce speed and utilize hands-free devices whenever possible too.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Increase
The NHTSA reports a 9.5 percent increase in pedestrian deaths from 2014 to 2015. During 2015, 5,376 people lost their lives in pedestrian accidents. This is the highest annual number of pedestrians killed since 1996. Approximately 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic-related accidents during 2015. That same year, the NHTSA reported 818 cyclists were killed, a 12.2 percent increase from 2014. An estimated 45,000 cyclists were injured in traffic-related accidents during 2015.
California had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities during 2015 (742). This represented 23.4 percent of the total traffic fatalities that year. California had the second highest number of cyclist fatalities in 2015 (129). Factors that contribute to pedestrian accidents include:
- Weather conditions
- Poorly designed streets and roadways
- Lack of crosswalks and traffic signals
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians
- More pedestrians and bicyclists on the road
- Impaired driving (drugs and alcohol)
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy
Even though drivers have a duty to use reasonable care to avoid an accident with a pedestrian or bicyclist, pedestrians and bicyclists must also use reasonable care to avoid an accident with a motorist. In California, both parties can be held liable for an accident if a jury determines that each party contributed to the cause of the crash. Therefore, it is very important to determine fault in a pedestrian or bicycle accident to increase your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries.
Determining Fault in an Accident
If a motorist injures you, you need to take steps to protect your right to recover full compensation for all damages. The insurance company for the driver may try to blame you for the crash. If the company can convince a jury you were partially at fault, your compensation will be reduced by any percentage of fault assigned to you for the collision.
Therefore, call the police immediately after an accident and seek medical care, regardless of whether you believe you are seriously injured or not. It is important to have an official record of the accident even though our Fresno accident attorneys conduct independent investigations to identify liable parties and secure evidence to prove fault. Seeking immediate medical care is also important because you do not want to give the insurance company any reason to claim that you were not injured in the accident.
In addition to reporting the accident to the police and seeking medical treatment, you also need to protect your legal rights. Call a Fresno accident lawyer as quickly as possible, especially if the insurance adjuster is pressuring you to provide a statement, sign a medical release, or accept a quick settlement. The adjuster does not represent you. You need an attorney working for you as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Call a Fresno Accident Attorney Now for a Free Appointment
Contact the attorneys of Torem & Associates to get more information about how they can help you recover money for your bicycle accident or pedestrian accident. You can contact our law firm by telephone at 1-800-954-4444 or online by using the contact form on our website.