Santa Fe Cyclist Injured While Riding in Dedicated Bike Lane

823923_its_been_a_long_road%20sxchu.jpgOn April 25th, 59-year-old Frank Witwol was struck while riding his bicycle in a dedicated bike lane on Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe. Although the lane he was riding in is devoted solely to bicycles, it is also situated between two motorized vehicle lanes. Witwol was reportedly struck from behind by 83-year-old Jeannine Smith as she allegedly crossed the bike lane in order to navigate her automobile into the right-hand turn lane. Although Smith claimed Witwol rear-ended her vehicle, her car was damaged on the front passenger side. Despite that Witwol’s bicycle was destroyed and he spent three nights in the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center with broken ribs and a collapsed lung, Smith was only ticketed by local police. Because alcohol was not a suspected factor in the crash, Smith was cited for inattentive driving.

Witwol stated he has no recollection of the accident that hospitalized him. Still, he is unsure whether he feels confident enough to use similar dedicated bike lanes in the future. He feels his safety may have been placed at risk by using a bicycle lane that is situated between two lanes of vehicle traffic. Despite that such lanes reportedly meet the best practice requirements of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, some cyclists claim bike lanes like those on Old Pecos Trail foster a false and dangerous sense of protection from motorized traffic.

Whether you are traveling in an automobile, riding a bicycle, or merely walking on a sidewalk, an unexpected collision with an inattentive driver can happen anywhere. According to Section 66-3-702 of New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Code, all bicyclists on the roadway should be afforded the same rights as cars. The injuries that a bicyclist may sustain as a result of a crash are often severe and disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive driver while riding in your car or on your bicycle, you may be eligible to receive compensation for pain, suffering, lost wages, and other damages. If you tragically lost a family member or other loved one in a crash, you may also have a New Mexico wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the collision. You should contact an experienced Roswell bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after any accident with an automobile.

If you were hurt in an accident with a car, truck, or other motorized vehicle, contact the Fine Law Firm. Our knowledgeable Santa Fe bike and pedestrian accident lawyers are available to help you get the compensation you deserve following a collision. At the Fine Law Firm, we represent injured clients throughout the State of New Mexico. Our skilled attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience assisting individuals who were hurt due to a driver’s carelessness or negligence. Call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463 today to schedule a free case evaluation. You may also contact our dedicated and hardworking lawyers through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Motorcyclist Killed in Albuquerque Collision, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2012
Wrongful Death Case Filed in Fatal Santa Fe Drunk Driving Accident, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2012
Additional Resources:

Crash spotlights dangers of mingling bikes, cars, by Tom Sharpe, The New Mexican