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Bicyclists injured in car accident, drunk driver blamed

The number of car accidents involving bicycles is outrageous in the Washington, District of Columbia, area. In fact, the Anne Arundel police have responded to five motor vehicle accidents that involved bicycles from June 26 to July 1. One of these accidents involved an alleged drunk driver who ran into two bicyclists.

The two bicyclists were out to enjoy the nice weather along the Annapolis waterfront. On their way there, they were riding in the marked bike lane on the shoulder of southbound Route 450. A 54-year-old driver apparently veered onto the shoulder, which is actually the marked bike lane, and struck the 23-year-old female and her boyfriend.

The driver of the Nissan had a blood-alcohol content level of .15 percent. Charges are pending against her, but police have opted to wait to pursue charges until their investigation is complete. They say that it doesn't appear that the bicyclists were in the wrong.

In the car accident, the male bicyclist suffered only minor injuries. Both were taken to the hospital via helicopter, and he was released the same day. The young woman didn't fare as well. Instead, she suffered four broken bones and a trachea injury. She has already had two surgeries and is expected to have more. She also has a tracheostomy now because of the trachea injury. Fortunately, her condition has changed from critical to serious.

Medical bills for the young woman are likely mounting at an incredible rate. On top of those, she is likely having to deal with loss of her income. The combination of mounting bills and lack of income can cause serious stress that might end up slowing her recovery.

Anyone who has been hit by a drunk driver has the right to seek compensation for injuries suffered in the accident. Understanding what compensation can provide and the civil process to seek it can help you decide on how to proceed.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Bicyclist in crash: 'Everything just kind of went black'," July 1, 2014.

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