pedestrian accident in memory of the residents of El Camino Avenue. He was killed when a vehicle struck him from behind as he traveled east on El Camino. According to the California Highway Patrol, Leeper was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and did not have any safety lights on his bicycle. The driver swerved into a light pole in an attempt to avoid the collision, which occurred at the corner of Laurance Avenue.
While this is the first accident residents of El Camino remember, it is the fourth deadly pedestrian crash in Sacramento within a week. The CHP does not intend to file criminal charges against the driver at this point, although an investigation into the crash is ongoing. The driver does not appear to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
Bicycle Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
While it is definitely the responsibility of car drivers to avoid collisions with pedestrians and bicycle riders, there are also steps those on foot or on two wheels can take to minimize the chances of a crash.
One thing bicycle riders can do to make themselves more visible to car drivers is to employ bright, easily-seen lights and reflectors on their bikes. They can also wear clothing that is reflective or put reflective tape on their clothing. Bicycle riders should always wear a helmet when riding.
Bicycle riders should also be sure to stay alert for car traffic around them and yield the right-of-way in any situation in which there is doubt that the driver will stop.
Liability for Bicycle Injury Accidents
When a driver hits a bicycle rider with a car, there are two types of issues that must be addressed. The first is the criminal element of the accident. If the driver was drinking, speeding, behaving recklessly or acting in such a way that an accident was imminent, the driver may face criminal charges. Criminal charges can also result if the driver is driving on a suspended license or flees the scene of the crime.
However, the criminal charges do not address the issue of payment of the victim’s medical bills or compensation for pain, suffering, emotional trauma and other problems that the victim may suffer as a result of the accident. In fact, the criminal charges will not even cover the cost of replacing the victim’s bicycle. In order to pay for these damages, the victim or surviving family members often must file a lawsuit against the driver in civil court.
A personal injury attorney handles this type of case. Anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident or who has lost a family member in such a crash may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer about his or her case.