In a crash that involves a motor vehicle and a bicycle, the bicyclist is always at a major disadvantage. Without an air bag, seat belt, and metal cage that keeps drivers of cars and trucks protected during impacts, bicycle riders are often seriously injured in accidents even while obeying traffic laws and wearing protective helmets.
A 62-year-old bicyclist of Suffern, New York, suffered severe injuries after colliding with a 1990 Dodge Ram pickup truck around 5 p.m. on Sept. 10. The pickup, driven by a 64-year-old Mahwah man, was traveling south on Ramapo Valley Road when the driver cut into oncoming traffic and struck the bicycle head-on. Authorities said the cyclist fell from his bike. He was transported to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
According to the Bergen County prosecutor, the pickup truck driver appeared to be intoxicated the time the collision occurred. A blood sample taken from the driver will be submitted for toxicological examination. The driver faces charges of assault by auto while drunk driving. He was issued summonses for reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.
While drunk driving is a crime under New Jersey criminal laws, it may also create civil liability arising from the drunk driver’s negligence. Intoxicated drivers are not only committing a crime, but they are also endangering the lives of the people sharing the road with them. Bicyclists who are able to survive a collision with a motor vehicle are likely to suffer serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, broken bones, internal damage, and brain injuries that often require hefty medical bills, high rehabilitation costs, and expensive therapies.
Bicyclists who sustained serious or critical injuries due to the negligence of a drunk driver may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and the losses they incurred. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can help injured cyclists and their families pursue any possible compensation claim against a drunk driver.