Henry Patrick Kuen, 63, who was critically injured in a bicycle accident in Burbank last month, has died from his injuries. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred when Kuen was biking eastbound on Magnolia Boulevard at Buena Vista Street when a car that was turning left on to Buena Vista Street struck him.
Kuen, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered severe head trauma and remained in critical condition for more than a month before he died. The driver was not arrested or cited at the time.
But, investigators have said they will present a case to the Burbank City Attorney’s office for filing consideration in the near future. Police don’t believe alcohol or drugs were factors.
But, it is not clear if excessive speed, distraction or inattention were factors. Police recorded four traffic fatalities in Burbank in 2014. They are now reminding motorists to avoid distracted driving, look twice for pedestrians and bicyclists and drive at safe speeds.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are a number of reasons why bicycle accidents occur. Often, when a vehicle strikes a bicycle, it’s the bicyclist who suffers severe or catastrophic injuries. Here are some of the most common causes of fatal bicycle accidents in Los Angeles:
? Distracted or inattentive driving: When a driver is distracted by a cell phone or fails to pay attention to the roadway, there is the danger of serious bicycle collision. It is fairly easy for drivers to miss bicyclists, particularly when they are inattentive.
? Excessive or unsafe speed: Drivers who operate their vehicles at an excessive rate of speed or at an unsafe speed find themselves unable to stop in time to avoid a major bicycle collision. Such crashes often prove fatal for bicyclists.
? Alcohol or drugs: Impaired driving is another major cause of bicycle accidents. It is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
? Failure to yield the right of way: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. This means that if you are motorist making a left or U-turn at an intersection, you must yield the right-of-way to a noncoming bicyclist.
Fault and Liability
In this particular case, if the driver is found to have been negligent, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. In such cases, even when charges aren’t filed against the driver, the decedent’s family members may be able to file a civil wrongful death claim. Such claims seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and pain and suffering.
Victims’ families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney who will stay abreast of the ongoing investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.