Anthony Vesce, 53, and Jim Dorsey, 61, were killed in Sunrise, Florida this week when they were hit by cars as they rode their bicycles along the roadway. Neither accident was related to the other, but it was strange to have two bicycle accidents that resulted in death occur two days in a row. To make this even stranger, both men were killed at around the same time in the morning.
As an avid cyclist myself, I always fear being hit by a car as I ride along the roadway, even though I follow the rules of the road and always wear a helmet. These cases are tragic and are presently being investigated by police.
The first accident occurred on the 1500 block of Flamingo Road approaching Sunrise Boulevard around 6:00a.m. Tuesday morning. In this accident, Anthony Vesce was hit by a white sedan driven by Danielle Caruso, 41. Caruso has not been arrested nor has she been charged with any crime.
The second accident resulted in the death of Jim Dorsey and occurred during the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning. Dorsey was crossing the street at the 2500 block of West Sunrise Boulevard. It is claimed that he was not crossing at an intersection and may have been heading home from a bar.
Since both Vesce and Dorsey were killed in these car accidents, their families should hire an injury lawyer to begin an independent investigation as soon as possible. As a trial lawyer myself, one of the things I find most frustrating is when good evidence has been lost or destroyed because it took the attorneys too much time to get on scene and begin their own investigation.
For example, it is not uncommon for a lawyer to locate a surveillance camera that may have recorded important information, but whose tapes have already been recorded over because more than a week passed since the date of the event.
Since both men were killed, their families may be entitled to compensation for their deaths. Since evidence and witnesses can get lost, it is important for the families to hire an injury lawyer as soon as possible.
In the eyes of the law, cases like these come down to two main parts. First, was someone injured? In this case the answer is obvious since both bicycle riders were killed. Clearly, this is the most egregious loss a person could suffer.
Second, what was the cause of the accident? The answer to this question will play very heavily in any litigation that ensues from these cases.
In other words, the root issue here is to determine which party was at fault. Even though both victims were riding bicycles and had the right of way, did they do anything that may have caused the accident. In Dorsey’s case, I am concerned that alcohol intoxication and failing to use a crosswalk may have been the root cause of the accident.
If the evidence proves that either bicycle rider caused or contributed to the accident by riding into traffic or maneuvering in a way that caused the crash, it may be difficult for injury lawyers to obtain compensation for their deaths.
Since such little detail has been made public, both cases remain in a holding pattern while available evidence is collected and analyzed.
To determine what happened, expert accident reconstructionists will need to review the physical evidence collected from the scene of the accidents. This evidence will likely include photos of tread-marks made by breaking or swerving vehicles, gouges in the roadway, location and extent of damage to the vehicles, point of impact analysis, place of rest analysis, and direction of travel analysis.
It will also be necessary to obtain the cellular phone records of both the drivers and the bicycle riders to determine if anyone was distracted by phone calls, text messaging, or internet surfing while they should have been paying attention to the roadway.
Additionally, it will be necessary to review Anthony Vesce and Jim Dorsey’s autopsy reports to determine if either man was impaired by alcohol, medication, or drugs. Even though Dorsey may have been riding home from a bar, it does not mean he was drunk at the time of the accident. While I agree that such a conclusion is extremely likely, we cannot rely on assumptions, but rather, must defer to an accurate toxicological analysis of his blood.
At this stage of the case, no conclusions can be drawn. Rather, it is all about collecting and analyzing evidence.
From an injury lawyer’s standpoint, compensation for Vesce and Dorsey’s deaths will sink or swim on the quality of the investigation being done as I type this.
From there, it is matter of determining what the evidence proves. If the available evidence proves that the drivers of the cars were responsible for the accidents, then Vesce and Dorsey’s families may have good claims against insurance companies and the drivers themselves.
If the evidence proves that Anthony Vesce and Jim Dorsey either caused or contributed to the accidents, then their claims may be weakened or even eliminated, depending on how strong the bad evidence is and what it exactly proves.
As an injury lawyer, my opinion about these cases is presently “wait and see.”
Most importantly, I hope Anthony Vesce and Jim Dorsey’s families recover from their respective losses. As a fellow cyclist, I hope their deaths send a message to the public to be more alert while driving and to pay attention to people riding bicycles. For cyclist, these cases should also be a lesson about when to ride, using helmets, and making sure to cross streets at designated crossing points.