This past month has resulted in at least two car-bicycle collisions, each with its own tragic consequence. Several weeks ago, Boise Police Officer Chris Cowling was struck by a driver in Caldwell. Officer Cowling was the victim of a hit and run that has left him hospitalized and facing a long recovery. A little more than a week ago another Boise bicycle rider was struck by a car making a left turn. That driver was cited for an infraction. Some might say that this year has been kinder to bicycle riders than last year – when three riders were killed. Here are three things you need to know if you have been hit by an Idaho driver while riding your bike:

First – you have the right to collect your damages from the driver of a vehicle that strikes you while riding your bike, but bicycle riders have obligations and duties to others on the road too. Those duties include your duty to follow the traffic laws. If you fail to follow those laws and are struck as a result, your own negligence may preclude a full recovery.

Second – like any other civil action in Idaho, there are time limitations on your right to recover. Generally in Idaho a civil action for negligence requires that you commence your suit in two years. The actual statute may give you more time if you were a minor at the time.

Third – you need to keep good track of the records that demonstrate your damages. Keep copies of those medical bills and pharmacy records so that you can demonstrate your actual damages. The same is true of your lost time at work. And keep a simple log of your recovery – who you saw, what physical therapy or medical visit occurred and when, and how you felt.

Most importantly, take time to heal. We ride because we love being out there on the road – so get back in shape and back out with friends riding in Boise. 

I was reminded how dangerous riding bikes in Boise can be last night when a car decided to play "chicken" with me as I was riding in Columbia Village. My iPhone camera did not capture that blue sedan as it bore down on me – and I chased the driver back to Federal Way to get the license number, but never quite got there. Here’s hoping that idiot does not strike some rider – and here’s hoping Chris Cowling and other cyclists hit recently on the roads have a full recovery.


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When a police officer goes too far – and uses excessive force – he can be held accountable for the harm he causes. Police officers have a tough job. We rely on them to keep us safe, and most of the time an officer uses force it is justified. Still, if you have been harmed by the actions of a police officer, you may have a case. The officer and his or her agency may be responsible for your damages.

Holding a law enforcement officer accountable is not an easy assignment. The evidence must make it clear that the force used was unreasonable or unnecessary. For example, if an officer used a baton or stun gun on someone who was simply arguing whether he or she had been speeding, a case might be made that the officer had used excessive force.

Here are three things to keep in mind about your potential excessive force claim:

First, a law enforcement officer may use force that is necessary under the circumstances presented. So not every use of force will result in a case.
Second, juries want to believe that law enforcement officers “did the right thing” when confronted with a tough situation. This means that you will likely start at a disadvantage when it comes to credibility, so your choice of a lawyer to handle the case is critical to your possible recovery.
Finally, there are procedural hurdles designed or intended to keep you out of court and to limit your recovery. Do not wait to contact an attorney and review your rights as the passage of time may destroy any opportunity you have to recover.

To safeguard your rights, your lawyers need to build your case expecting to go to trial. This means that we will help you safeguard evidence, document your medical treatment, account for lost wages and employment, and identify and interview witnesses.

If you or a family member have been injured or killed as the result of a confrontation with the police, call us for a free consultation.

 


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