An allegedly impaired driver struck a 61-year-old female cyclist and then fled the scene. According to Visalia Police, the accident happened Wednesday afternoon, September 11, 2019, when the cyclist exited the Modoc Ditch Bike Trail onto Court Street and was hit by a car.
The driver stopped for a moment but didn’t render any aid. He then drove off running over the cyclist and dragging her 200 yards. She was taken to the hospital, but was later pronounced dead by officials. Police also say that the driver was later found after witnesses were able to identify him. He has been charged with a DUI causing death, felony hit-and-run and homicide.
We are deeply saddened to hear about this horrific crash.
Hit-and-Run Cyclist Accidents
When a driver flees after hitting a cyclist, it puts the victim at greater danger, and it produces another layer of anguish for the victim or the victim’s family. When a car and bicycle collide, it’s usually the cyclist that is injured, and the driver is often able to provide aid to the victim and call for help.
But when the driver flees, it can deprive the victim of any needed first aid, cause a delay in contacting first responders and even cause a second impact putting the victim at risk for a more serious injury or death.
Liability in a Hit-and-Run
Another difficulty a hit-and-run driver heaps on the victims is the difficulty he or she will have in getting compensation because the insurance carrier is unknown. When this happens, the victim can’t make a claim against the insurance policy unless the driver is eventually caught.
If the driver is never caught, then the victim has few options for compensation. One possibility might be using his or her own insurance policy if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist, personal injury protection or medpay. All of these coverages are not required in California so the cyclist will have to have added one of the provisions prior to the accident. These are accessible even though the victim was riding a bicycle because the other vehicle was a car. Also, all three of these will pay the policy holder for damages regardless of which party was negligent.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Family members of loved ones killed in accidents should be aware of what is called Wrongful Death.
After any accident involving a serious injury, speak to an experienced Visalia bike accident lawyer such as Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.