On Monday, 35-year-old Tito Bradshaw became the second San Antonio cyclist to be fatally struck by a drunk driver in the past eight weeks.
Bradshaw, who owned a bar and bike shop and was a central figure in the San Antonio cycling community, was killed on Monday when 67-year-old Linda Collier Mason's vehicle collided with his bike at around 12:30 a.m. Mason was charged with intoxication assault.
On February 4, 58-year-old surgeon Naji Kayruz died while cycling after he was hit by a vehicle driven by Melissa Peoples on an Interstate 10 access road. On April 12, Peoples will appear in court to face charges of intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.
The cycling community has been mourning these deaths with various memorials throughout the city. San Antonio officials are working on a plan for more bike lanes and to promote the three-foot rule, which protects cyclist safety by requiring motorists to stay at least three feet away from bikes on the roads.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan helps families who have been affected by drunk driving crashes find justice. We've asked Marc to share some information regarding the legal options available to those who have been hit by drunk drivers in Texas:
Drivers have an obligation to pay attention to cyclists and drive safely so that these cyclists are not at risk of suffering a preventable injury. Unfortunately, our roads are often not as safe for cyclists as they should be, as stories of cyclists suffering severe or fatal injuries after being hit by drivers are common. When a drunk driver hits a cyclist, the victim (or their family in fatal accident cases) may have a couple of options for justice through the legal system.
In all states, people who are injured by drunk drivers can file a personal injury lawsuit against that driver. Additionally, Texas and many other states have laws that allow alcohol vendors to be held liable for alcohol-related accidents caused by their customers, under certain conditions - these are known as dram shop lawsuits.
According to Texas dram shop law, alcohol vendors (like bars or restaurants) can be held liable for alcohol-related injuries caused by their customers if they served alcohol to someone who was obviously intoxicated to a point where they posed a clear danger to themselves or others.
If you or someone you love has recently been hit by a drunk driver, you can better understand your full legal options by discussing your case with an experienced car accident lawyer.