A local man is dead after an automobile crashed into his bicycle in Lacombe, Louisiana, and then fled from the scene. Fellow Louisiana residents should learn from this story. It illustrates just how dangerous car accidents can be when they involve bicycles. It also underscores the complex legal and financial issues that can arise when a negligent driver flees the scene of an accident.
As a bicyclist peddled down Louisiana 434, an unidentified driver struck the man's bicycle and launched him into traffic. The accident was a tragic hit and run -- the driver immediately fled the scene and the bicyclist died soon after the serious impact. During their accident investigation, police learned that the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet. It is unclear why the driver hit him. They also located the vehicle involved in the hit and run. The driver apparently abandoned it in a nearby parking lot. Unfortunately, the police have still not found the driver of the car. As a result, at the present time, the bicyclist's family is now responsible for all of the expenses flowing from the accident.
Often, Louisiana law offers relief to individuals and their families for injuries and deaths that flow from serious car and bicycle accidents. The law weighs the negligence of the vehicle's driver against the bicyclist's negligence to determine whether a victim or his family can recover from the driver. Typically, failure to wear a helmet will not serve as evidence of a bicyclist's negligence, although it may be a mitigating factor when addressing the issue of damages. In the case of hit-and-run accidents, however, it is not always possible for a victim or his family to recover from the driver. This is because the negligent driver cannot be identified.
Car accidents involving bicycles can be particularly dangerous. As a result, it is important for Louisiana drivers and bicyclists to be especially precautious when sharing the road together. It is even more imperative that the local community helps out in hit-and-run accidents to identify those who have fled from the scene so that victims can obtain the relief they deserve under the law.
Source: NOLA.com, Lacombe bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash, Ramone Antonio Vargas, Aug. 27, 2012