In April of 2011, a 25-year-old University of Minnesota student was riding her bicycle in a marked bike lane in Dinkytown (near the University of Minnesota) when she was hit and killed by a dump truck turning right onto 4th Street. Her death was deeply felt by her family, friends and the community. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represented the family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the dump truck driver and the company that owned the truck.
The family worked with the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee to get a bill into the Minnesota Senate that would help prevent similar accidents. In addition to other bicycle safety measures, S.F. No. 415 would require drivers to yield to bicycles before crossing a bicycle lane in order to turn.
“Although our clients’ daughter was riding her bicycle in a marked bike lane, the truck driver claimed he did not see her before he made the right turn across her lane,” said Fred. “He also claimed he did not know that a bicycle is a ‘vehicle’ under Minnesota law, and has the right-of-way when a vehicle is turning across a bike lane.”
S.F. No. 415 would change the existing law to read as follows:
“Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane adjacent to the driver’s lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall first signal the movement, then drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn, and shall make the turn, but only after it is safe to do so. The driver shall then make the turn consistent with any traffic markers, buttons, or signs, yielding the right-of-way to any vehicles or bicycles approaching so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
Fred and Eric support this bill, which makes it clear that a driver must yield to a bicyclist when crossing a bike lane to make a turn.
“We strongly believe this change is important to promote bicycle safety and have a clear and consistent understanding for both motorists and bicyclists as to who should yield when they share bike lanes,” said Eric, who is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Interstate Trucking Litigation Group.
Wrongful death lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represent accident victims throughout Minnesota and the United States. This is important in truck accident cases because the driver and/or accident victim may not be a resident of the state where the accident happened. Fred and Eric were named 2011 “Attorneys of the Year” for winning a verdict in another bicycle-truck wrongful death accident case. Fred is listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America. If your loved one was killed in an accident, our lawyers can help. You can contact them for a FREE consultation here or call 1-888-377-8900 and talk to Fred or Eric at no charge.