An 18-year-old female was injured after a car collided with her bicycle on the evening of March 24th, 2013. According to reports, the 53 year old driver of a 1998 Jaguar struck the woman on her bicycle from behind as she rode in the northbound lane, near the shoulder, of a rural county road. On impact, the rider was thrust backward, onto the Jaguar’s hood and windshield, with enough force to break the windshield and cover the driver with glass. She then rolled off the hood of the car and landed in the intersection of another county road.
According to reports, the woman operated her bicycle without any lights, at night, while wearing dark clothing. Reports also indicate that the driver of the vehicle that struck here neither slowed down nor swerved to avoid the bicyclist, likely because he could not see her. She also was not wearing a helmet – her condition remains unknown. The crash happened just outside Woodland, CA.
Bike Safety Gear Saves Lives
Safety equipment like reflective gear, bicycle lights, helmets, etc. do more than just make a person more visible on the road, they also make it easier for victims of bicycle riding related accidents to show that it was not their own negligence that caused the injury. In the case above, it is very likely that the driver could not see the rider because of the lack of lighting / reflective gear. Had the woman been wearing safety gear, not only would she have been less likely to be hit, it would have been easier for her to argue after being hit that she did nothing wrong and that full fault for her injuries lies with the driver of the Jaguar.
In many jurisdictions, when a person is partly responsible for his or her own injuries, the amount of monetary compensation that he or she will be able to recover from other involved parties is reduced by an amount to reflect the victim’s part in the injury. For example, victims found to be 25% at fault for causing their own injuries, in many jurisdictions, would be limited to collecting up to 75% of a judgment.
Each case is different, so bicycle injury victims are encouraged to speak with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to determine what compensation they may be entitled to.
When a person is awarded cash from a civil judgment, it is said that the person has collected “damages”. The word “damages” is another way of saying monetary compensation for the injuries and/or losses sustained. In personal injury cases, damages may include medical expenses, the cost of physical therapy and, if the victim is unable to work as a direct result of his or her injuries, lost future earnings. The types of damages that a person will be able to collect will also depend heavily on the specific facts of a case and is something else that an attorney can provide custom tailored advice and guidance on.