Near-Fatal Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
A 75-year-old homeless man is expected to recover after a speeding driver struck him while he was on his bicycle.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the crash occurred in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue. Investigators are looking for a red Mini Cooper which probably has extensive damage to the front end and windshield. This vehicle hit the bicyclist and did not even slow down. First responders rushed the victim to a nearby hospital, where he is expected to survive.
Bicycle Crash Injuries
During collisions, vehicle occupants have multiple restraint layers and steel cages to protect them from injuries. But pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists have no such protection. As a result, these individuals often sustain serious injuries. Common wounds include:
- Biker’s Arm: The force of the impact usually throws riders off their bikes. Just before they hit the ground, they often naturally extend their arms to break their falls. As a result, they often sustain permanent nerve damages in the brachial plexus area.
- Head Injuries: Thin bicycle helmets offer excellent protection against accidental fall injuries, but they offer almost no protection in high-speed collisions. Additionally, helmets do nothing to protect against motion-related head injuries. Just like a person can scramble an egg without breaking the shell, an accident scrambles the brain without cracking the skull.
Damages in a bicycle crash usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Tracking Down the Responsible Party in a Hit-and-Run
Many hit-and-run victims do not partner with attorneys. They reason that if there is no tortfeasor (negligent driver), in court, they have no claim for damages. That’s not always true, as outlined below. Additionally, an experienced attorney knows how to locate runaway tortfeasors.
Emergency responders often overlook important evidence in these situations. Attorneys frequently partner with private investigators to collect proof like:
- Additional Witness Statements: For various reasons, many people do not like talking with police officers. But these people generally will speak with a personal injury attorney. Even if the witness did not see the entire crash, the witness’ testimony may be valuable.
- Body Shops: If a runaway tortfeasor’s car needs work, the owner will probably not take it to Service King. Instead, the owner will take it to an under-the-radar body shop that does not ask questions. Lawyers know how to find these places.
- Stakeouts: There is nothing glamorous or fun about sitting in a car for several hours and waiting for a vehicle to pass. But many times, the criminal really does return to the scene of the crime.
In civil court, a little evidence goes a long way. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, identifying the vehicle and the owner may be enough. It is more likely than not that the owner was also driving a vehicle at a particular time.
Even if an attorney cannot track down the tortfeasor, victims may still have legal options. Most victims in these situations can file claims against their own insurance companies. SInce the company wants to keep its customer happy, these claims often settle quickly. Car crash victims may be entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We routinely handle matters throughout Southern California.
Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.