Riding a bicycle can be dangerous, but most riders try to mitigate the risks by wearing protective gear, being aware of their surroundings and riding at appropriate speeds. When bicyclists are riding on the street near cars and trucks, however, they cannot control whether the people in those vehicles are driving safely. When a motor vehicle is involved in a bike accident, the consequences are usually severe for the bicyclist.
This was the case in a recent accident in Orange County. A woman was riding her bike in a crosswalk when she was hit by a pickup truck. The accident occurred at the intersection of West Chapman Avenue and North Flower Street at around 6 p.m. Less than an hour later, the woman bicyclist died at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
The fact that the woman was riding her bike within a crosswalk may or may not be relevant to the investigation. It could serve as evidence that the pickup truck driver had a legal obligation to yield to the rider, or it may have been a mistake on the cyclist's part. Many facts are still unknown, and only a complete investigation will reveal all of the necessary information.
As this accident shows, bicyclists who are hit by automobiles can easily end up with life-changing or even fatal injuries. Even when wearing a helmet and other safety gear, a biker simply does not have adequate protection to withstand an impact from an automobile. Accordingly, drivers must be aware of riders in the area and they should take all reasonable precautions to avoid hitting a biker.
When a bike accident victim suffers injuries due to a negligent driver's actions, the victim and his or her family members may be able to pursue legal damages against the driver. But, like any other legal proceeding, victims must use all available evidence to prove their cases because the severity of the injuries, by itself, is not enough to guarantee compensation.
Source: The Orange County Register, "Woman struck, killed by driver while riding bicycle in Orange crosswalk," Hannah Madans and Alyssa Duranty, Sept. 29, 2015