Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cary Bicyclist Who Was Seriously Injured Thinks Driver Was Distracted at Time of Accident

 Cyclist Craig Purcell remained hospitalized at WakeMed Thursday – almost a week after nearly losing his life in a car on bike collision. Mr. Purcell was cycling on Cary Parkway near Kildaire Farm Road in Cary in October when the accident occurred.

"I saw the black car using the left hand turn lane to come across the road," Purcell recalled. "All I could do was brace for impact."

Purcell said the collision’s impact threw him in an opposite direction from his original direction.

"My body hit his car. I could hear it. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. I hit the ground. As soon as I hit the ground, I knew I was in trouble," the bicyclist said.

Purcell suffered multiple injuries that includes broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He will undergo months of rehabilitation.

According to the accident report, speed was not a factor in the crash. The driver who crashed into Purcell was cited for failure to yield in a turn. Purcell believes the driver was likely distracted.

Purcell and other cyclists say there are too many accidents and near misses between cars and people on bikes. He's urging more respect and attention to safety.

"I have a right to that road just like any other car does," said Purcell.

By law, Cyclists are required to follow the same rules on the road as drivers, and drivers are required to treat bikes the same way they would any other vehicle.

"Slow down. Share the road. Respect that we're out there, even if you don't like to do it. As cyclists, we have to share the road too," Purcell offered.

Sanders Law Firm, PLLC


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Jury finds for Plaintiff Bicyclist in Motor Vehicle Wrongul Death Accident in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, CT — The family of Jose Mauricio Campos Thursday won a jury verdict of nearly $2.3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against a hotel corporation and its employee, the driver of a van that struck Campos. Mr. Campos was riding his bike around 7:00 pm on 9-15-08 when hit by the hotel van driven by a Mr. Coleman.

Coleman was a defendant in the civil suit, along with his employer, LaQuinta Inn and Suites. The driver and the employer-hotel were found to be equally liable.

Campos, who was NOT wearing a helmet, was thrown to the pavement by the impact and suffered a serious head injury. He died three days later. The plaintiff was his wife, Gregoria Campos of West Haven. The Camposes had three sons, now adults.

The six jurors announced their verdict just after noon in New Haven Superior Court in a trial presided over by Judge Terence Zemetis.

The driver was traveling 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. In addition, it was alleged in the complaint that the defendant driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, in violation of CT state law. While not illegal in NC, yet, Sanders Law Firm includes claims for gross negligence when a defendant driver is using a cell phone at the time of the accident. This is because the driver is distracted while serving their own self interest.

Mr. Campos, the bicyclist, may or may not have run a stop sign, it was not known for sure.

The jurors ruled both Coleman and Campos were at fault in the accident. But the jurors said Coleman, and thus LaQuinta as well, were responsible for 58 percent of the negligence and Campos was responsible for 42 percent. Connecticut is a comparative negligence state whereas NC is a contributory negligence state. That means if the jurors in a NC trial find the plaintiff bicyclist was also negligent in his death or injuries, the court would not award the injured plaintiff any monies for death or injuries. NC is one of a handful of states that still has contributory negligence as the rule.

Mills said after the verdict that Campos was found to share some of the negligence probably because “no one can say for sure” if he obeyed a stop sign. According to Mills, Coleman did not have a stop sign.

The jurors awarded $1,709,840 in damages to the victim’s estate and $580,000 in damages to the widow.

The complaint noted the widow had incurred medical and funeral expenses, loss of wages and permanent loss of his earning capacity. The plaintiff’s attorneys also said she suffered loss of her husband’s moral support and companionship.


If you or someone you know was injured while biking, contact the attorneys at Sanders Law Firm, PLLC 336-724-4707



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