A teenage boy recently hit by a truck while riding his bike has died at the hospital from the injuries he sustained in the accident. The Louisiana boy was struck by a Dodge pickup when he crossed over into an oncoming lane of traffic. The car accident resulted in the boy being ejected from the bike and suffered serious injuries that led to his death four days later. The driver of the pickup truck submitted to a breath test and was over the legal limit of 0.08. He has been charged with DWI and police said other charges could be pending.
In situations where both parties to an accident may have acted negligently, recovery will be apportioned accordingly. To act negligently, a party must fall below its duty of care such as to make unreasonable maneuvers on the roadway or drive while intoxicated. In the past, the contributory negligence of the injured party to an accident would completely bar recovery for the other party's negligence. Today, most states follow a comparative negligence system which apportions recovery for damages sustained by taking into account the negligence of the injured party seeking compensation.
In Louisiana, pure comparative negligence is the method used by the courts. This approach will reduce the award the injured party receives by the amount of that party's negligence. In other words, in a wrongful death action brought on behalf of the victim's loved ones, a drunk driver who struck the deceased party will be liable. The amount of the award the family recovers will be reduced by the victim's own negligence, if any is determined.
Accidents of this nature are a sad circumstance. Compensation, however, is available according to the nature of the accident to ensure that injured parties do not continue to suffer.
Source: WVUE, "State Police: 14 year-old dies from weekend bicycle crash," Nov. 7, 2012.