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Could deadly bike crash lead to wrongful death claim?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

While the family of a 22-year-old California man are grieving their loss this month, investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department are looking into the events that led up to the young adult's death. In the end, the driver responsible for hitting the 22-year-old bicyclist may be considered negligent, which begs the question: could a wrongful death claim soon follow?

Some of our readers here in Santa Clara may not have heard about the fatal bicycle accident that happened this month in San Marcos. According to police, the 47-year-old driver of a cement truck had briefly stopped at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Las Posas Road before making a right turn. Unfortunately though, at this very moment, the 22-year-old was trying to cross the street on his bicycle. The collision with the large commercial vehicle caused fatal injuries from which the bicyclist died.

Although news reports indicate that the bicyclist may not have had the right-of-way at the intersection, it's possible to argue that neither did the truck driver who, according to reports, had a red light at the time of the collision. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers are supposed to yield right-of-way to pedestrians crossing roadways, even if they are not in a marked crosswalk. Provided the pedestrian also heeds caution to the traffic around them and does not suddenly move into traffic, a driver must exercise caution and slow their vehicle.

It's because of this that might lead some of our readers to think that the truck's driver was negligent. While police have not confirmed this suspicion, it might be argued in future litigation. Although reports do not indicate if the victim's family has considered taking legal action against the truck driver, it's worth noting that this might happen, especially if police determine that the driver was at fault in the crash.

Sources: CBS 8 News, "Bicyclist fatally struck by cement truck," Richard Allyn, April 11, 2014

California Department of Motor Vehicles, "V C Section 21950 Right of Way at Crosswalks," Accessed April 11, 2014  

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