The Wisconsin roads are full of all kinds of vehicles–from 18-wheelers to bicycles. Bicycles, of course, are some of the most vulnerable vehicles on the road. The riders have little to no protection if they become involved in a car vs. bicycle accident.
Back in May, a woman riding her bicycle on a state highway in Mosinee was hit by a car and died as a result of the massive injuries she sustained in the accident. When authorities arrived at the scene, they arranged to take the male car driver whose car struck the victim to an area hospital to have blood drawn for the purpose of toxicology reports. Preliminary investigation disclosed that the 43-year-old man, a local resident, was driving on a suspended license.
The man has now been charged with operating while suspended causing death. According to the results of the investigation, he was not impaired at the time of the accident. As a matter of fact when authorities asked the driver what happened, the driver acknowledged that he simply didn’t see the bicycle.
As the family struggles to cope with the grief of losing a loved one, the Wisconsin criminal courts will likely move forward with the prosecution against the driver. Regardless of the result in those proceedings, the victim’s surviving family retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against any party whose negligence is deemed to have caused or contributed to the fatal bicycle accident. The family may seek to offer proof of any criminal conviction — if one is obtained — as evidence of liability in their civil lawsuit. A successful wrongful death lawsuit cannot undo what has already happened, but it can help the family with the financial burden resulting from the tragic death.
Source: WSAW.com, “Mosinee Driver Charged in May Crash that Killed Bicyclist,” Liz Hayes, July 23, 2012