A bicyclist was hit by a car in Pasadena on Saturday and killed.
The accident happed at 5:30 p.m. on westbound Del Mar Blvd., between Michigan Ave. and Wilson Ave., just north of the Cal Tech campus.
Phillip O'Neill, a 25-year old Los Angeles resident, was riding his bicyclie with a female cyclist when O'Neill was struck from behind. The impact launched the bicyclist into a parked vehicle.
O'Neill was transported to Huntington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The female bicyclist was not struck.
The driver of the car which struck the cyclist remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
The bicycle accident remains under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department.
This accident marks the third bicyclist's death in Pasadena since 2011, and the 17th bicycling fatality in Los Angeles County this year.
A bicyclist being struck by a car passing from behind is the #1 cause of adult bicyclist fatalities in California and the United States.
In California, the law which applies to passing-from-behind bicycle accidents is Vehicle Code Section 21750, which states:
"The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle…"
The motorist's auto insurance company will often attempt to blame the bicyclist for the accident by contending that the motorist was traveling at a safe distance from the cyclist, and the cyclist is to blame for suddenly swerving into the car or the car's path.
When pursuing a claim against the motorist in passing-from-behind bicycle accidents, it is critical to immediately begin a scene investigation. Are there any witnesses to the collision? Did any video surveillance camera in the vicinity of the accident capture the collision or the behavior of the driver or cyclist as they approached the location of the impact?
Assuming liability can be established against the motorist, the issue will be: what is the motorist's policy limit? If the driver had no auto insurance, or not enough auto insurance, the bicyclist's family can make a claim under the bicyclist's own auto insurance, as long as the bicyclist had uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Most bicyclists, and even many lawyers, do not know that a bicyclist's own auto insurance can apply if the cyclist is hit by a car. The cyclist's uninsured motorist coverage will apply if the driver who hit him was uninsured. The cyclist's underinsured motorist coverage may apply if the driver did not have enough insurance to cover the claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death as the result of a bicycle accident, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. The lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates have extensive experience representing bicycle accident victims and their families and have represented many passing-from-behind bicycle accident victims. We know what to expect from insurance companies in this type of bicycle accident, and know how to win these claims.
McGee, Lerer & Associates is a husband and wife team of bicycle accident attorneys with almost 40 years of combined experience. We specialize in serious injury and wrongful death cases.
We have five locations to serve our clients: Pasadena, Santa Monica, Los Angeles and Long Beach. A lawyer at our firm is available 24-7 for a free consultation. Let our family help yours.