Dangerous Cycling: Bicycle Accidents in Mississippi

Dr. Joe Campbell was riding his bicycle on Clarksdale Street in Clarksdale, Mississippi at approximately 6:00 a.m.  At the same time that Dr. Campbell was riding down the two-lane road, Christopher Brown drove the same road to work on Lee Drive.  The weather was overcast, having rained earlier, and the lighting not particularly good.  Brown was smoking a cigarette and had his window rolled down.  He claimed to have heard a thump and assumed he hit a bird.  He kept traveling.

A fellow motorist came upon the roadway and viewed a flashing light.  He stopped and discovered Dr. Campbell and his bicycle along the shoulder of the road.  The flashing light had been a strobe light attached to Campbell’s bike.  Dr. Campbell was immediately transported to the hospital but later died of his injuries.  Christopher Brown was convicted of a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident which caused the death of another.  He challenged the conviction, claiming he could not see the road and thus lacked culpability.  The State Court of Appeals just recently issued a decision upholding the conviction, finding the evidence as to Dr. Campbell’s strobe light and orange flag contradicted Brown’s claims.

There are over 85 billion bicycle riders across the U.S., and thousands of bicycle accidents occur across the U.S. each year.  Over 90% of bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways die in crashes with motor vehicles.  Given the lack of protection afforded bicyclists, the following serious injuries often occur:

  • Broken leg
  • Fractured clavicle
  • Hand fracture
  • Brain injury
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Elbow fracture
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Joint dislocation
  • Jaw injuries or injuries to the teeth or tongue
  • Spinal cord injuries

While some bicycle accidents in Mississippi occur as a result of irresponsible biking, far more are due to negligence on the part of the driver of the motor vehicle.  Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Motor vehicles merging or turning into the path of the bicyclist, often because they fail to adequately check mirrors and do not see the approaching bicyclist.  In fact, nearly half of all crashes involve cars making left hand turns in front of the bicyclist.
  • Unsafe passing of bicyclists by motorists who fail to accurately judge the space requirement.  This is particularly a problem on bridges and small shoulders, where the bicyclist has no room to move to avoid the accident.
  • Failure of motor vehicles to yield the right-of-way at a junction.  Often, this involves a motorist violating a sign or signal and entering the intersection or crosswalk, then striking an oncoming bicyclist.
  • Distracted driving on the part of the motorist.
  • The motorist fails to see a bicycle rider ahead on the road.
  • Motorist pulling away from a stop and failing to observe the passing bicyclist.

Bicycle riders injured in a car-bicycle crash may have the right to recover from the negligent automobile driver in a personal injury suit.  Possible compensatory damages will include:

  • Medical bills, including ER bills and ambulance transportation
  • Ongoing medical bills and physical therapy bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages as well as future lost wages
  • Loss of consortium—brought on behalf of the spouse of the injured biker
  • Punitive damages may additionally be awarded in limited scenarios involving particularly egregious conduct.

If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, call Giddens Law Firm today.  Our experienced, dedicated attorney staff will pursue your claim to the fullest.  We have the resources, passion, and knowledge to maximize your recovery.  Call our team of qualified Mississippi Bicycle Accident Attorneys today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule a free consultation.