I was riding my bicycle on the sidewalk in the opposite direction. As i was already in the driveway and the car coming out of did not stop to yield & hit me and damaged my bike. I was transported to the hospital with a knee sprain and received therapy for the next couple of months. At the time of the accident the officer told me at the hospital that the driver is mostly at fault & now the report has me at fault. The insurance company also has most of the fault on me. The medical report also had the wrong information saying i was treated for other injuries, wrong age, and other tests i did not receive. The medical and police report aren't helping my case & the lady that hit me called her police officer husband to come the scene (not sure if he influenced report). Anything fishy going on ?
The insurance company is acting contrary to your best interests because they don't want to pay despite the driver's fault. Since there are potentially multiple legal issues at play here (insurance bad faith [if insurance acts on bad faith you can sue and get punitive damages in addition to compensation for accident injuries, pain/suffering, bike damage] as well as police conflict of interest, intentional misconduct in performance of duties and improper influence. Definitely contact a California licensed attorney to research these issues as well as provide you with needed representation.
Fault is not determined by a police report, by an insurance adjuster, by a lay witness, by the driver, by the pedestrian (or cyclist)... but determined by a court of law. All the rest is just information that the court may or may not use to make such a determination. Should one get hit by a car while riding a bicycle, one should get immediate medical attention then hire a personal injury attorney to "represent" which means handling all of that procedural/testimony/medicals/reports/claims/etc... leaving the injured only to have to worry about getting better.
Should the police officer responding the scene of an accident be the driver's hubby, that would me a matter that the local investigative boards should be told... I'm no internal affairs investigator but it sure sound unethical, unprofessional, biased, and just plain wrong... quite embarrassing too should the town paper get wind of the story and run with it.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
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It is often the case insurers will argue that a bicycle should ride with the flow of traffic rather than the other way. But many bicyclists out of fear, ride in the opposite direction. Because of this practice, an argument could be made for those who choose to ride the other way.
Nonetheless, the backing vehicle also has a duty to back with caution. As you indicated, you were in the driveway first, and thus might be said to have control of the driveway so to speak at that moment, such that if the driver had prudently backed up, they would have noticed a pedestrian or bicyclist there, and stopped in time.
You should retain an attorney to protect your rights, and ensure that this is properly litigated against any attempts to rewrite the facts of the case.
Perhaps.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
While you were riding on the sidewalk, you may have a case. You may want to get a copy of police report and file a counter report if the information received is invalid in any way. As the other attorneys have suggested, contacting a bicycle accident injury attorney is the best option for you moving forward. I have handled bicycle accident cases for over 20 years and I can say without a doubt the most important thing to remember is to keep healthy. Hiring an attorney can help with taking the stress away from coordinating treatment plans and fighting with insurance companies. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that I can be of greater service to you.
In this type of case, the insurance company will raise an argument on 2 points: you should not have been riding on the sidewalk, and you should ride on the road with the flow of traffic. (You are required to follow all laws that apply to cars on the road). I would suggest that you hire an attorney and DO NOT give a statement to the insurance company. (If you go to my website you can download a book that I wrote about what NOT to do after a bicycle accident.) Best of Luck to you.
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