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Colorado family feels the tragic cost of bicycle accidents

In a recent hit and run accident in Colorado, a woman was being held in lieu of $15,000 bail in relation to charges stemming from an accident that claimed the life of a cyclist. Bicycle accidents are typically more severe than accidents between motor vehicles, even if the cyclist is wearing a helmet. The woman is being charged with vehicular homicide and hit and run causing death.

The victim, a 49-year-old man, was riding his bicycle without a helmet at the time of the accident and suffered massive injuries to his head. He was taken to St. Thomas More Hospital and later airlifted to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately the extent of his injuries was too great, and he was reportedly being kept alive after being declared brain dead. The victim is registered as an organ donor, and doctors say his generosity postmortem will help save many lives in need.

The driver was driving south and attempted to turn westbound when the accident occurred. Full details were not disclosed due to the ongoing investigation effort by police and the Combined Investigative Response Team. The charges brought against the woman may grow as the investigation continues, and prosecutors seek to find all of the elements which caused this tragic loss.

Regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings, the family of the victim is entitled to seek reimbursement for the loss they have experienced. Colorado law provides for the right of surviving family to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit to claim monetary damages occasioned by a fatality. To prevail in court, the family will need to prove that the death was caused by the negligence of the driver. While no amount of money will ease the family's emotional pain, it may help cover the expenses occasioned by the tragic loss. In the future, it can only be hoped that we all take care to try and avoid similar bicycle accidents from occurring.

Source: Pueblo Chieftain, "Hit-and-run victim accident declared brain-dead," Tracy Harmon, Sept. 27, 2012

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