Ikuyo Ohigash, 65, was arrested after bicycle accident in Lake Worth, Florida. Police say narcotics were involved when Ikuyo Ohigash rammed her SUV into the rear of a man riding a bicycle along Lake Worth Road at Corrigan Court. This action caused the man to be thrown from his bicycle. The man’s name and identity have not yet been released by police.
As an injury lawyer and a criminal attorney, I can tell you that not only does Ikuyo Ohigash face some very serious felony DUI charges, but she also is liable to the man for major monetary damages as a result of the injuries she undoubtedly caused.
Bicycle accidents are very common in South Florida, mostly because we have good weather and people are able to ride bikes all year round.
Regardless, a successful injury case for the bicyclist who is injured in an accident with a car has three elements:
1) The bicyclist must be able to prove that the driver of the car was at fault.
2) The bicyclist must have sustained some kind of quantifiable injury.
3) The driver of the car must either have insurance or other personal assets which can be used to pay any settlement or judgment.
In the case of Ikuyo Ohigash it appears that the first element is easily proven by an injury lawyer. First of all, police seem to make it appear as though she was DUI. Second, anytime a driver rear ends another, the driver who did the rear ending is presumed responsible. Third, pedestrians always have the right of way, this includes bicyclists.
In regards to the second element, it is clear that the bicyclist in this case has very serious injuries because he was airlifted to a hospital after being rear ended by an SUV. Injuries sustained under these types of conditions typically require very large settlements because the victim’s injuries are so pervasive.
This leads me to the third element, collectibility. This third prong is one that injury attorneys for the bicyclist need to investigate. A review of the crash report will indicate who Ikuyo Ohigash is insured by, if anyone.
Once her insurance company is identified, accident attorneys for the bicyclist will be able to make contact with that insurance company and begin the pre-suit claim process.
The bicyclist’s injury attorney will also perform an asset search for Ikuyo Ohigash to determine what money or property she may own that can be used to satisfy any judgment or settlement.
At the end of the day, the bicyclist has undoubtedly suffered a major injury from a very serious accident. The news reported that he was airlifted with life threatening injuries. In my opinion, based on the information provided in the media, the bicyclist is entitled to substantial compensation not only for his injuries, but for lost wages, and future disability. In the event that he were to pass away from his injuries, any surviving heirs would be able to make a claim on his behalf.
As a cyclist myself (I have a Trek Madone 6.5 road bike), I am always afraid of careless of DUI drivers on the roadways. Hopefully my fellow cyclist will survive this accident and make a speedy recovery.
My heart goes out to him and his family. This case is awful and should have never happened. Shame on Ikuyo Ohigash if she really was driving while under the influence of narcotics.