Across the country, from 750 to 800 cyclists die each year in accidents with automobiles.
Though Louisville has been awarded a Silver award from the League of American Bicyclists for its bicycle friendly status, it ranks 5th out of 36 major U.S. cities in annual cyclist death rate with a 3.25 fatality rating. This means for every 1 million people in the Louisville metro area, there are 3.25 cyclist deaths, and only four major U.S. cities have a higher cyclist fatality rating than Louisville.
How are Cyclists Dying in Louisville?
Louisville has over 117 miles of shared us bicycle-pedestrian paths that take traffic away from the city streets and 85 miles of bike lanes where cyclists ride in their own lane alongside the cars and trucks. The rest of the time, they have to ride in traffic with those vehicles if they want to get around the city on their bikes.
This leads to accidents which in turn leads to serious injuries and sometimes fatalities. Louisville averages 2 to 3 deaths a year out of over 600 bicycle-motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately for the cyclist, because of the weight and mass difference between a car and a bike, a small bump can lead to a serious crash.
Some of the most common crash types that lead to serious injury and death in Louisville are:
- Rear-End Crashes: Cyclists don’t have the protection of a car, so a rear-end can be devastating to the cyclist.
- Dooring: When a car occupant opens their door in the path of cyclist, serious injury and death can result.
- Blind Spot: Motorists have blind spots where they can’t see what’s around them. Cyclists often get caught in one of the spots.
- Cyclists Unseen: Many times, a motorist gets tunnel vision and doesn’t “see” a cyclist even though he or she is in the driver’s field of vision.
- Right Hook: Anytime a car makes a right turn into the path of a bicycle, it can be deadly as the cyclist has little time to react.
Wrongful Death Claims
When bicycle accidents become fatal, then the family members left behind can make a claim for their financial and other losses that stem from the death. This is called a wrongful death claim, and the law allows for certain specific damages to be paid:
- Medical Bills: All those bills that accrued before the death of the victim can be claimed as a loss.
- Funeral/Burial: The law allows reasonable funeral and burial expenses to be claimed.
- Loss of Wages/Support: This isn’t based on the wages that the deceased would have earned, but the financial support that would have come to the family members had the victim lived.
- Mental Anguish: The grief and mental anguish felt by the family because of the death can lead to an award.
- Loss of companionship and Consortium: Taken from the perspective of a spouse or child, the loss of companionship or consortium (physical intimacy) can be claimed.
Contact a Louisville Cyclist Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The death of a loved one is overwhelming and devastating for the family left behind, and the knowledge that the death was the direct result of someone else’s negligent actions can make it that much more painful.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you need to talk to an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in wrongful death claims. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our attorneys have handled wrongful death claims successfully and know how to deal with insurance companies.
Even if you don’t hire an attorney, you owe it to yourself to talk to a Louisville Bicycle Accident Attorney that knows insurance law and can evaluate your specific case.