Family of a Southern California Bicyclist Killed by a Sheriff’s Deputy Receives $12M Settlement in a Case of Alleged Distracted Driving

Any time a loved one is killed due to the negligence of another person, it is heartbreaking. It is also a scary time, as the loss of a loved one may, in addition to causing great emotional damage, also inflict financial hardship upon the loved ones left behind. While no sum of money can replace the loss of loved one, an award of compensation may be both proper and necessary to address the possible financial crisis that a loved one’s sudden death might bring about. To make sure your family gets the compensation that you should, be sure to work with a skilled California injury attorney when it comes to handling your case.

A recent Southern California accident demonstrated how harmful alleged negligence behind the wheel can be. According to a Los Angeles Times report, the accident occurred on a straight and unobstructed stretch of Mulholland Highway in Los Angeles County. A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy was returning from having responded to a call. A he traveled down the straight stretch of highway, he allegedly sent a personal text message to his wife and also typed on the patrol car’s computer. The patrol car eventually strayed into the bicycle lane and crashed into a bicyclist at roughly 48 mph. The bicyclist slammed into the police vehicle’s windshield.

Although he was wearing helmet, the bicyclist was declared dead at the scene. The Los Angeles government and the cyclist’s family reached a settlement in which the family received payment of $12 million.

Seeking compensation from those responsible can be a challenging process. This is especially true if the person responsible was a police officer, as was the case for this bicyclist’s family. In order to obtain compensation, you have to show that the person you sued was negligent. That means that you have to demonstrate that the defendant had a legal duty to do something that he didn’t do, or refrain from doing something that he did do, and the injuries inflicted were the reasonably foreseeable result of this negligence. If the person responsible was on the job when the accident happened, you may have the chance to receive compensation from that person’s employer if you can meet all of the legal rules for proving that the employer was what’s called “vicariously” liable.

Even after you clear all of these hurdles, you still have to prove the amount of harm suffered. This can involve many types of evidence, including medical bills and expert witness testimony.

The process becomes that much more difficult if you are suing a public employee, like a police officer. Many of these employees, especially law enforcement officers, can be immune from being sued in certain situations. In order to get an award of compensation or secure a fair and full settlement (as the bicyclist’s family did), you often have to defeat a claim that the officer was entitled to immunity, which means that you are entitled to zero compensation.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of someone else, consult the skilled San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our attorneys have been helping clients seek the compensation they deserve for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Southern California Bicyclist Injured by a Pothole Settles with the City of L.A. for $6.5M, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Feb. 20, 2018

California Bicyclist’s $3.7M Jury Verdict Survives At-Fault Driver’s Appeal, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, May 24, 2016