As reported by Katu.com $1.8 million lawsuit filed by the family of a woman struck and killed by a delivery truck has been settled, according to reports. Although no charges were filed against the truck driver, the family sued the delivery company, claiming the driver and a passenger in the truck failed to be on the lookout for cyclists.
On May 16, 2012, Kathryn Rickson was riding her bicycle on Southwest Madison Street, approaching Southwest 3rd Avenue in Portland, when a delivery truck, driven by Dawayne Eacret, turned right. Rickson collided with the truck and died of her injuries. According to police, there was insufficient evidence to charge either Eacret or Rickson in the accident, prompting the family to file the lawsuit.
Closing arguments in the case were scheduled to begin when the settlement was reached between the delivery company and the family. The family accepted a settlement of $700,000 from the company, but hopes that the lawsuit will encourage trucking companies to educate their drivers of the importance of watching for pedestrians and cyclists when driving in downtown Portland (http://www.katu.com/news/local/Family-of-cyclist-hit-and-killed-in-downtown-Portland-reach-settlement-247382821.html).
Right Hook Crashes
The type of accident that killed Rickson is known by cyclists as a right-hook crash and is one of the most common types of accidents that cause injuries and death to those on bicycles. According to statistics, only 11 percent of cyclists involve collisions with vehicles, but of those that do, 45 percent occur in intersections. A right hook crash occurs when a vehicle is turning right at an intersection. In some cases the driver of the car fails to see the bicycle for many different reasons. The bicycle may be in the blind spot of the vehicle or missed as it is much smaller than the vehicle. In most cases, a right-hook crash is the fault of the vehicle driver, but there are measures cyclists should take to avoid a collision, such as never passing a vehicle on the right in intersections or driveways (http://www.bicyclelaw.com/nolo/a.cfm/nolo-bike-accidents-collisions-with-cars-at-intersections).
Despite the fact that police and prosecutors found no liability on the part of the truck driver, the delivery company agreed to settle the case. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, or a loved one has been killed by a vehicle while cycling, contact our office today to learn what rights you may have.