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Colorado bicyclist brain dead after car accident

Patricia M. Jarzobski

The roads around Denver and other areas of Colorado attract avid bicycle enthusiasts for both scenic and challenging rides. While the scenes are spectacular, the combination of bicyclists and automobiles sharing the road can occasionally prove fatal.

Most recently, a bicyclist was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run car accident in Canon City. The accident left the victim brain dead. Police located and arrested the suspected driver, due in part to tips from the community. The suspect was arrested and held on bail for investigation of vehicular homicide and hit and run causing death.

Criminal charges are only a part of the story in such tragic accidents. Many times injured victims or their families require compensation, due to the expenses and loss that such an accident can create. A victim is entitled to compensation when the injury was caused by another driver's negligence or recklessness.

A court will typically ask whether the driver's negligence caused the injuries, and whether the cyclist was negligent. A negligent driver may be required to pay for damages to a person or property.

When fatal accidents occur, the family of the victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim's estate. An action for wrongful death belongs to the family members of the victim -- commonly the surviving spouses, children and parents. Only a personal representative of the victim's estate may bring suit for a wrongful death claim.

The Canon City accident is an example of every bicyclist's worst nightmare. Those injured in accidents are entitled to compensation for their injuries, as well as family members struggling with the loss of their loved ones.

Source: The Pueblo Chieftain, "Hit-and-run victim accident declared brain-dead," Tracy Harmon, Sept. 27, 2012

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