Shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14th, 28-year-old bicyclist Christian Rhineer was struck by a vehicle in an Irvine intersection, sustaining injuries that proved to be fatal. The accident occurred at the intersection of Von Karman Avenue and Michelson Drive when the 26-year-old driver of a Volvo Sedan collided with Rhineer. He suffered serious trauma and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Authorities are investigating the accident, reported the Orange County Register.
“After a fatal accident, the investigation can take several weeks,” explains Orange County-based injury lawyer James Ballidis, “which can be frustrating for a family seeking information about what happened to their loved one.”
Irvine accounted for none of the 12 fatalities and 71 of the 1,201 injuries suffered in bicycle accidents in Orange County in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. The California Office of Traffic Safety compares the accident statistics of counties with similar populations, giving those with the poorest records the highest rankings, with 1st place considered the worst. That year, Orange County ranked 11th out of 58 counties for bicyclist safety.
When the negligence of a driver results in a fatal accident, the family of the victim has legal recourse, including the right to compensation for the loss of the loved one; however, the outcome of such cases is dependant on evidence, much of which must be gathered immediately after the accident. Families in such circumstances should consult with a lawyer specializing in personal injury as soon as possible. The lawyer would conduct an immediate and thorough investigation, including visiting the scene, interviewing witnesses, and interacting with police working on the case.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Christian Rhineer, the Irvine man who sustained fatal injuries in the bicycle accident on Tuesday.
Resources for accident victims and their families, such as books and articles on the process of pursuing an injury or a wrongful death claim, are available to the public free of charge through our office.
To request one of these free resources, or to discuss a specific legal matter with an Orange County injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.