Almost a week ago, a young woman on her bicycle was hit by car in Minneapolis and later died. The driver fled the scene of the accident. He had been speeding with his lights off when he ran a red light and struck bicyclist Jessica Hanson, according to witnesses. This morning, the driver was arrested and is in custody at the Hennepin County Jail for criminal vehicular operation.
This is the second fatal hit-and-run bicycle accident in Minneapolis this year. On March 30, Elyse Stern was killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver at the intersection of E. Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. The driver, Juan Ricardo Hernandez-Campoceco, pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run and fourth-degree driving-while-intoxicated in that incident. He got 90 days for the DWI charge. No word yet on the felony hit-and-run, and he is being deported. How tragic that the penalty for killing someone with a car is a slap on the wrist.
Hit-and-Run and DWI
In this first hit-and-run, the driver was intoxicated. In cases like this, there may be a dram shop claim. Under Minnesota dram shop laws, a bar, restaurant or similar establishment may be held legally responsible for personal injury and wrongful death under certain circumstances. For example, if prior to the accident, a bar served alcohol to the driver when he or she was obviously intoxicated, that bar can be sued for personal injury and wrongful death caused by the drunk driver.
In last Wednesday’s bicycle wrongful death accident, the hit-and-run driver was not arrested in time to determine if you was driving while intoxicated. This limits the family’s options for seeking full and fair compensation and for holding all responsible parties accountable.
Our Minnesota bicycle accident lawyers have won millions for our clients in bicycle accident wrongful death lawsuit settlements and verdicts against drivers, trucking companies and others responsible for fatal bicycle accidents. You can contact our lawyers for a free consultation here.
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman of our law firm. have been named “Attorneys of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer. Each year Minnesota Lawyer recognizes the best achievements in the Minnesota legal profession with the Attorneys of the Year awards presentation.
Pritzker and Hageman won this coveted award for their a hard-fought win in a bicycle accident wrongful death case on behalf of the heirs and next-of-kin of a bicyclist, Julie Casey, who was killed on August 15, 2008 when she was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning semi-trailer at a busy intersection. One of the significant aspects of this case is that, at the outset, the case did not look promising, but Pritzker and Hageman won a $2,469,339 verdict.
Following Ms. Casey’s death, the the investigating police officers determined that she was at fault for accident, but Pritzker and Hageman’s investigation of the case revealed that the truck driver:
- Had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors at all during his turn
- Believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer
- Falsified his driver’s log book.
“Eric and I are proud of the result in this case,” stated Attorney Fred Pritzker. “The insurance company refused to offer any settlement. We believed strongly in our case and worked hard to prove it. The result brought closure to the family and helped them move on.”
Fred and Eric can be reached at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or by submitting our free consultation form.
Bell Sports of Scotts Valley, California, has recalled over 30,000 Bell Sports Exodus Full-Face Bicycle Motocross Helmets (Youth). The plastic buckle that connects the chin straps can fail, causing the helmet to come off the wearer’s head. If this happens during a fall or a collision, the rider could suffer head trauma and other injuries.
If this has happened to you, you may have product liability claims against Bell Sports. If this happened during a collision, you may also have claims against the at-fault driver.
For a free consultation regarding a Bell bicycle helmet recall lawsuit, call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or submit our free consultation form.
Products Included in the Bell Bicycle Helmet Recall
This recall involves the Bell Sports Exodus full-face bicycle motocross youth helmet, marketed for racing and downhill riding. The helmets come in two styles: black/red helmet with red interior padding, or blue/gray/black helmet with black interior padding. The helmet wraps over the front edge (around the chin) and has an adjustable visor. The helmet also has removable cheek pads.
Recalled helmets can be identified by UPC 0 35011 89802 x and 0-35011-91771-9. The helmets also come with a white sticker on the inside of the helmet that identifies them as “Exodus” with the weight and size also marked. The helmets have an angled visor and were sold in youth size. The model and part number can be found on a removable sticker located on the side of the helmet.
The recalled Bell helmets were sold at Walmart stores nationwide and Amazon.com between August 2009 and March 2011 for between $50 and $60. They were manufactured in Taiwan.
In 2010 Minneapolis was named the nation’s “best city for bicycling” by Bicycle Magazine. We would like to see it become the safest bicycling city in the nation. In spite of a bicycle-friendly culture and designated bicycle lanes Minneapolis bicycle and pedestrian accidents are on the rise. On average, every year 8 people are killed in bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Minnesota.
Summer has not even started and we are halfway to the yearly average. Just in the last two weeks the following accidents were reported:
- Minneapolis Pedestrian Accident: A pedestrian was injured when hit by a pickup truck near Target Field.
- Uptown: A taxi cab hit four people while they were crossing the street at Hennepin Avenue and Lake street in Minneapolis, in the crosswalk. One woman was killed.
- Dinkytown: A hit-and-run driver struck three pedestrians, killing one and injuring the other two.
- Dinkytown: A bicyclist was hit and killed by a right turning truck at 15th Avenue SE and 4th Street SE.
- Winona Bicycle Accident: A 73-year-old woman was killed in a bicycle – school bus collision. The bicyclist was in the bike lane on Sarnia Street when a 2003 International school bus made a wide left turn from Chippewa Street onto Sarnia, hitting and killing the bicyclist.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, the number one contributing factor to bicycle – pedestrian – motor vehicle accidents is failure to yield. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians share the blame:
- Motorists fail to be observant of bicycles and pedestrian.
- Bicyclists disregard traffic signals and do not obey the rules of the road.
- Pedestrians disregard traffic signals and jaywalk in congested areas.
With the warmer weather, drivers need to exercise more caution as they drive. Then, even though the law is on their side, pedestrians and cyclists need to be alert and watch out for themselves.
Attorney Fred Pritzker is an avid bicyclist and he knows how to get injured cyclists the compensation they deserve. If you were injured in a Minneapolis bicycle accident, a Minnesota bicycle accident lawyer at PritzkerOlsen, P.A. will meet you wherever it is convenient for you. For a free consultation with a Minnesota bicycle accident attorney, please call 612-338-0202 or submit our free consultation form.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Attorney Fred Pritzker
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman of PritzkerOlsen, P.A. obtained a significant verdict from a Hennepin County, MN, jury on April 14, 2011 in a tragic bicycle accident wrongful death case. 53-year old bicyclist Julie Casey was killed on August 15, 2008 when she was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning tractor-trailer at a busy intersection. The consensus of the investigating police officers had been that Ms. Casey should have seen the truck and that the accident occurred because Ms. Casey was unable to remove her feet from her new clipless bicycle pedals.
PritzkerOlsen’s investigation of the case revealed, however, that the accident had not occurred as the truck driver had initially claimed. After obtaining the truck driver’s logbooks, Pritzker and Hageman were able to determine that there were numerous falsifications, which should have caused the driver to be out of service at the time of the accident. The falsifications in the logbook, which cast doubt on the truck driver’s account of the accident, were compounded when he repeated them under oath at his deposition. Moreover, the deposition revealed that the truck driver had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors during his turn, which is crucial due to the significant “off-tracking” which occurs. This failure was compounded by the truck driver’s admission that he believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer.
“Never give up on a case without doing your own investigation,” Hageman said. “You can’t fully evaluate a case until you know all of the facts.”
At trial, the defense asserted that Ms. Casey was primarily at fault because she had fallen off her bike prior to getting run over, should have seen the semi and did not have the right-of-way. The jury disagreed. After an eight-day trial, the jury found 70% fault on the truck driver and 30% fault on Ms. Casey and awarded her heirs and next of kin $2,469,339 in damages.
“Our clients are extremely pleased with this result,” said Pritzker. “While no amount of money will ever make up for the terrible loss they have endured, they are thrilled that someone has been held accountable for Julie Casey’s death.”
Minneapolis bicycle accident attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman can be reached at 612-338-0202. PritzkerOlsen, P.A. is a Minneapolis, MN personal injury and wrongful death law firm that represents accident victims and their families throughout Minnesota, including in the following cities: Minnesota Cities: Twin Cities, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Moorhead, Mankato, Brainerd, Bloomington, Eagan, Eden Prarie, Apple Valley, Maple Grove, Edina, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Stillwater, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Austin, Worthington, Woodbury, Maplewood, Golden Valley, Shoreview, Blaine, Anoka, South St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Roseville, St. Cloud, Arden Hills, Brooklyn Park, Forest Lake.
Today another bicyclist has been killed by a commercial truck, a dump truck turning at a busy intersection in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota. The facts are similar to those in a case we just won at trial. We represented the family of a bicyclist who was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning tractor-trailer at a busy intersection. As is often the case, the trucking company said the bicyclist was 100% at fault, but our independent investigation proved otherwise.
Our investigation of the bicycle accident found the following evidence:
- There were falsifications in the truck driver’s logbooks;
- The deposition revealed that the truck driver had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors during his turn; and
- The truck driver’s admitted that he believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer.
After listening to our evidence, the jury found the truck driver 70% at fault and awarded the family of the bicyclist $2,469,339 in damages. While no amount of money will ever make up for the terrible loss the family has endured, they are thrilled that someone has been held accountable.
Our Minnesota bicycle accident lawyers are warning consumers of a Giant Bicycle recall of about 370 2011 Anthem Giant bicycles. The importer of the recalled bicycles is Giant Bicycle Inc., of Newbury Park, California. The manufacturer is Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd., of Taiwan.
The bicycles were recalled because the frame can crack at the junction of the seat post and top tube, posing a fall hazard to riders. No injuries or incidents have been reported.
This recall involves 2011 model year Giant Anthem X 29er 1, 2 and 3 model bicycles. The bicycles were sold in small, medium and large. “Giant” and the model name are printed on the bicycle.
The recalled bicycles were sold by authorized Giant Bicycle dealers nationwide during August 2010 for between $2,200 and $3,500.