Texas bicyclists and pedestrians are just as at risk for fatal accidents as motorists. One woman was tragically killed in a hit-and-run while riding her bike recently. The 24-year-old woman was riding her bike to her boyfriend’s house after work when she was struck by an SUV headed in the same direction. The girl was thrown off the bike and onto the windshield of the SUV before hitting the ground.

The driver of the SUV was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death and was sentenced to three years in prison. The driver is now facing a wrongful death suit filed by the family of the woman. The suit is seeking $5 million in damages for mental anguish and other pain resulting from the young woman’s death. The suit alleges that the driver was operating his vehicle negligently and recklessly.

The complaint states that the bicycle was white and had large white headlights in the front, red reflectors and flashing red lights in the back. However, the driver of the SUV says that he could not see the girl due to the vegetation near the road. He allegedly thought that he struck a deer and did not realize that he hit the woman until the next day.

Fatal car accidents often result in successful wrongful death suit if the driver operated his car negligently. Drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists and pedestrians on the road to operate their motor vehicle responsibly. If a driver breaches that duty and his actions cause an injury or death, he could be held liable for damages.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Family files wrongful-death lawsuit in a hit-and-run,” Reed Williams, July 6, 2013