Hawaii is a beautiful place to ride a bicycle. On any given day, you will see cyclists, whether they are tourists or locals, enjoying the sights and weather all over the island. Unfortunately, there are times when careless and negligent drivers cause serious harm to bicyclists. At Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli & Pratt P.A., we are dedicated to helping families who have lost loved ones secure the compensation they are entitled to. Today, our Hawaii wrongful death attorneys want to discuss a case that has recently been filed.
The family of a Hilo man who was killed while riding his bicycle nearly two years ago has filed a lawsuit against the driver who struck him. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the man’s daughter came before an indictment returned against the man who allegedly caused the incident.
Police say that Dylen J. Benevides, who was 26 years old at the time of the incident, was driving a Nissan sedan north on Hawaii Belt Road on December 6, 2017, when he allegedly struck 70-year-old Jerry Lee Wiseman, who was riding his bicycle north on the shoulder of the highway.
At the time of the crash, police arrested Benevides under suspicion of negligent homicide and said that they believed speed was a factor in the crash. Wiseman died at the scene. Benevides was released from custody at the time without officially being charged.
Now, Benevides has officially been charged with second-degree negligent homicide. This is punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction.
Wiseman’s daughter, Noel Gerulat, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Benevides. Her complaints states that “suddenly and without warning…failed to yield the right of way” to Wiseman and “ran off the roadway, striking the decedent.”
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages for pain and suffering as well as emotional distress, funeral expenses, economic loss, medical costs, as well as attorneys’ fees.
If you are reading this and wondering how it is possible for someone to face criminal charges as well as a civil lawsuit, you are not alone. We want you to be aware that civil wrongful death claims can be brought by surviving family members regardless of whether or not a person faces criminal charges for their part in a person’s death. In this case, even if Benevides is found not guilty of the criminal charges brought against him, he could still be held liable for his part in Wiseman’s death.
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another person, please seek legal assistance today. At Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli & Pratt P.A., you can count on having a compassionate and experienced team by your side. We will investigate all aspects of what happened so we can secure the compensation your family is entitled to, which can include: