Recently, I read an article in a local newspaper about a car/bicycle accident. The newspaper article quoted the police chief from the local town indicating that the boy on the bicycle “ran the stop sign” and that the rules of the road apply equally to bicyclists as they do motor vehicles. The good news is that the young boy only received minor injuries. The driver of the car was not ticketed.
It sounds like an open and shut case. Again, the good news is that the young boy was not injured. Many times, bicyclists are not as fortunate and are seriously injured and some are even killed. When doing battle, the automobile almost always prevails over the bicycle.
Having represented many injured bicyclists as well as families of bicyclists who have been killed in accidents during my 26 years of practice I have learned that the story is not always as it seems. In this case, what did the witness actually see? Did the witness actually see the bicyclists observe the stop sign and intentionally blow through the stop sign to crash into the car or did the witness see the bicyclists at the moment of impact and assume that the bicyclists did not stop because he was coming from the direction of the stop sign? What did the automobile driver see? Did the automobile driver have an opportunity to avoid the collision even though the bicyclist may have run the stop sign? Was the automobile driver on a cell phone or distracted in some way and not paying attention? Finally, was the driver impaired in any way by either prescription medication, alcohol or illegal drugs?
These are just a few questions that we have come across over the years that, upon further investigation has taken a case that originally did not look to have a chance for our client to receive money damages only to later receive a substantial damage award or settlement.
In the case with the young boy who was not injured there would be no need to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the accident and answer all of the unknown questions. However, in those cases where you, a family member or a loved one are seriously injured or a loved one killed while riding a bicycle by an automobile please do not assume that what the police find out in their very limited investigation is what really happened. These cases are taken on a contingency fee basis which means you do not pay unless and until there is a recovery. We offer free, no cost initial conferences to discuss the case and provide you with our initial opinions and suggestions on how to proceed. We will not pursue a claim that has no legal basis but we will investigate all reasonable claims to your benefit. Please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Mark L. Krueger to answer your questions. Be sure to share your comments with us regarding any accidents you may have experienced.