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Car hits Cyclist in Starkville

Roberts Wilson, P.A. | June 16, 2011

I was shocked and saddened after reading the recent Clarion Ledger article about cyclist Jan Morgan who was struck by a car while riding her bike in Starkville.  The article by Gary Pettus tells Jan Morgan’s tragic story and gives the reader important background about the “Three Feet Rule.”  In Mississippi, drivers are required to give a cyclist at least Three Feet of room when they are passing them on the road.  If a driver fails to provide three feet the driver is subject to a misdemeanor conviction and a fine. Click here to read the full article.

After doing a quick search on the Clarion ledger, I was surprised at the number of articles written during the last few years about cyclist being struck by vehicles on the road.  These are not accidents. They are incidents caused by careless drivers making bad decisions.

From a legal stand point, the Three Foot Rule arguably provides a biker with heavy ammunition when it comes to obtaining justice after a vehicle vs. bicycle crash.  Negligence Per Se  is the legal term that describes the situation when a person has violated a statute in the process of causing an injury (speeding or drunk driving are typical instances of per se negligent acts).  In these situations, an injured party or their family is often able to get a jury instruction that the person who caused the accident is automatically to be considered by the jury to have been negligent.  This removes hurdles in the legal process for an injured cyclist or their family when seeking to bring careless drivers to justice when they have hurt or killed someone.

“Accidents don’t just happen, they are caused by careless people who make bad decisions.”

If you or a loved one has been struck by a car while riding a bicycle or walking, you can contact our office and we will evaluate your case for you for free.  Often, there are important avenues of recovery that may not be obvious that we can help you find.