The warm summer temperatures which give way to mild autumn weather are often a perfect time for bicycle enthusiasts to take to the roads in Missouri, Illinois and across the rest of the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently sent out a reminder with summer safety tips for bicyclists and motorists alike. For bicyclists, these include wearing appropriate helmets, being alert while riding, never riding while intoxicated, wearing bright or reflective clothing and obeying all traffic rules, among others. Unfortunately, no matter how many of these precautions a bicyclist might take, bicycle accidents can and do happen due to the negligence of others. Some of these collisions become hit-and-run car accidents.
This became the allegation in a recent bicycle crash between a 47-year-old bicyclist and the mayor of Sunset Hills, Missouri. According to an account by the alleged victim, Mayor Mark Furrer not only intentionally ran the bicyclist off the road, but he also left the scene before later coming back. The man claims that Furrer shouted expletives at him, including to “get off my **** roads!” At that point, the bicyclist says he did shout an expletive back at the mayor, which is when the car reportedly smacked into his bike.
The man fell to the pavement and suffered cuts, bruises and an injured Achilles tendon. At least one witness made a call to 911 in the aftermath of the alleged hit-and-run collision. Recordings of that call include a voice shouting for the driver to “Pull over, pull over! You just hit that guy and took off!” The recording also includes the caller claiming that the motorist drove off after he hit the bicyclist, only to return to the scene.
The mayor tells a different story, claiming that the bicyclist first sped around a corner, ignored a stop sign and then cursed after Furrer admonished him to obey the rules of the road. Initially, Sunset Hills police were investigating the alleged hit-and-run. Now, however, St. Louis County police have taken over the investigation. One Sunset Hills official reported that this was done so that the public wouldn’t perceive a conflict of interest preventing the bicyclist from receiving a fair investigation.
It isn’t immediately clear whether the mayor’s pulling away from the scene before turning around and coming back will be construed as a hit-and-run, or whether police officials will ultimately charge him criminally. Regardless of that fact, however, the injured bicyclist will likely retain the right to seek financial restitution in a civil court of law. Missouri and Illinois personal injury laws allow injured victims to pursue such monetary compensation against a party or parties believed to be negligent.
The goal of such personal injury or wrongful death (in the event of fatalities) lawsuits is to return the victims to as whole of a state as possible. When pursuing such civil claims, however, it can be useful to have a full understanding of the laws and how to give a case the best possible chance for success. Many victims of bicycle accidents and hit-and-run car accidents can benefit from having a St. Louis personal injury law firm assisting them in seeking civil restitution. My St. Louis personal injury law firm can be reached, free of charge, by dialing 1-888-586-7041. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of potential cases and charge nothing until–and only if–we successfully obtain compensation for our clients.
Disclaimer: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Source Article: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/furor-erupts-over-clash-of-bicyclist-mayor-of-sunset-hills/article_81ac765b-e12c-5990-abe6-afa62e3f51c9.html and http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/sunset-hills-caller-says-car-hit-bicyclist-and-fled-scene/article_7f2e0746-f152-5f7c-86b4-fa2fa299d45d.html and http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2014/NHTSA’s+Tips+for+Safer+Summer+Bicycling