Dinkins was not arrested for hit-and-run, but the 31-year-old cyclist, who says he’s been unable to return to his restaurant job since the accident, is suing Dinkins for personal injury. According to The New York Daily News, the cyclist had just finished making a delivery and was returning to his employer when he stopped at an intersection to make a left turn. Dinkins was reportedly traveling in the opposite direction and clipped the cyclist’s bike, according to reports.
An eyewitness to the incident saw the bike spin 180 degrees and was alert enough to take note of the license plate of the car. This was around noon on June 30th. They tracked the vehicle to the former mayor, who lives nearby.
However, police did not go to Dinkins’ residence before he returned. According to The New York Post, Dinkins said he was taking his wife to the hospital at the time of the incident because she wasn’t feeling well. The couple had reportedly just been to the doctor’s office and the physician instructed them to immediately go to the emergency room. Dinkins says he was unaware his vehicle had struck a cyclist when, as they neared the hospital, he was informed by a man who tapped on his window that he’d struck a cyclist. He told the man his wife was having a medical emergency and he was taking her to the hospital and would return. He did keep his word, got his wife checked into the ER and returned to the scene. He insists he fully complied with police investigators and allowed them to inspect his vehicle.
Plaintiff’s attorney said the mayor has tried to pin the blame on the cyclist, who refutes that assertion. Further, plaintiff’s attorney questions the mayor’s insistence that he didn’t know his vehicle had struck a bicyclist, while also alleging the bicyclist was at-fault and struck his vehicle.
Dinkins was mayor in New York City from 1990 to 1993. The bicycle accident lawsuit filed by the bicyclist indicates the victim was seriously injured, but does not provide details other than that his ankle was broken. Plaintiff seeks unspecified damages, and criticized the police report for biases in favor of the mayor.
Our Orlando bicycle accident attorneys know plaintiffs often face an uphill battle, and there are sometimes inherent biases that can skew a case against an injured plaintiff. There are still a fair number of people who take the stance that bicyclists shouldn’t be allowed to share the road with motor vehicle traffic in the first place. Take for example the recent case of Truong v. Waste Services of Florida Inc., recently weighed Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Court in Orange County. This was a $12 million lawsuit where a cyclist suffered severe injuries to his arms and legs in a collision with a 15-ton garbage truck. He was hospitalized for more than 200 days while he battled numerous antibiotic-resistant infections. He’ll likely need to one day amputate his left leg. Plaintiff alleged the truck driver was traveling at an unsafe speed and failed to check his mirrors when he collided with the cyclist on John Young Parkway in Orlando four years ago. Defendant argued the driver used due care and the cyclist tried to speed up to pass the truck through the intersection, even though the truck’s turn signal was activated.
The Courtroom View Network reported jurors ultimately sided with defendant, prompting plaintiff’s attorney to speculate that some of the jurors likely had biases against bicyclists and had made up their minds before the case even began. He asserted that if they had realistically listened to the testimony, it was likely they would have seen, at minimum, comparative negligence by both parties.
We won’t second-guess the decision of the jury, but those biases certainly do exist and they can be challenging for a legal team to overcome. That’s why it’s inherent that bicycle accident victims in Orlando choose a law firm with extensive experience and proven success.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
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