August 26, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Motorists must watch for cyclists after tragic Colorado bicycle accident
Colorado has made strides in becoming a safer state for cyclists. In 2013, the League of American Bicyclists named Colorado the second most bike-friendly state in the nation. Over the last five years, the state was able to move up from a 20th-place ranking.
Even in a healthy, bike-friendly state, however, bicycle accidents
can happen. Collisions between cyclists and motorists frequently result in serious injuries and even death.
A recent cycling accident near Boulder involved a driver who failed to yield. The cyclist was riding to work. A semi trailer driver making a delivery failed to yield and turning left into the cyclist's path. The cyclist was unable to stop and collided with the rear tires of the truck. Tragically, the cyclist died from very serious injuries he sustained in the crash.
In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, 677 people died in bicycle crashes, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration. In addition, 48,000 cyclists sustained injuries in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The number of cyclists killed in 2011 was 9 percent higher than the 623 killed in 2010 and made up 2 percent of all traffic fatalities.
The left turn danger is also common at intersections. A driver may fail to see a cyclist travelling in a bike lane and turn into the cyclist's path. Motorists need to watch for cyclists on the road as more people commute by bike to work. For cyclists who ride as dusk and dawn reflectors or reflective clothing can also increase their visibility.
Drivers have the duty to maintain a proper lookout for bicycles. Failure to spot a cyclist plainly visible on the other side of the road and exercise reasonable care not to turn into the cyclist's path could prove to be negligent conduct. A charge for failure to yield or stop at an intersection after a criminal investigation may also support a negligence finding. The vehicle's driver is always liable for his own negligence, but in certain circumstances, an employer may also be vicariously liable.
When the unthinkable happens and a loved one dies in an accident, there may be a wrongful-death claim
. A Colorado wrongful-death claim must be brought within two years of the death. In addition to compensatory damages to cover medical expenses and future wages, a plaintiff may also be able to seek punitive damages depending on the facts of the case.
Following the death or serious injury of a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can assist in investigating the cause of the accident. If the negligence of another motorist was to blame, monetary damages may be available. A lawsuit may also bring further awareness to a safety issue and reduce future accidents.
Article provided by D. Chadwick Calvert, LLC
Visit us at www.dcclawoffice.com