A Fresno man was bicycling through the intersection of Merced Street and
Van Ness Avenue. The defendant approached the intersection at the same
time, but turned right on a red light without looking both ways or making
a complete stop. The bicyclist had no chance to avoid the defendant, and
the two collided. The bicyclist suffered a fracture to his ankle which
required surgery at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
At the scene of the accident, the defendant apologized to the bicyclist.
But once it came time to take financial responsibility for his negligence,
the defendant’s insurance company, Allstate Insurance, became involved.
No doubt hoping to avoid paying any compensation, Allstate blamed the
collision on the bicyclist even though the bicyclist had a green light.
Eventually Allstate would offer the bicyclist only about $12,700 in full
settlement of his claim, even though his medical bills were significantly higher.
The Dunnion Law Firm investigated the scene, and demonstrated to Allstate
that under the applicable California law, the bicyclist could not be held
at fault for the collision. Dunnion also used medical evidence to show
that the ankle injury seriously compromised the future health of the joint.
Allstate increased it’s offer from less than $13,000 to $100,000,
the maximum Allstate was obligated to pay on behalf of the defendant.