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Family Awarded $19 Million in Deadly Las Vegas Bike Crash Case

The family of a Las Vegas hand surgeon who died when he was struck and swept underneath a bus was just awarded close to $19 million in a wrongful death case that focused on the design of the bus.

Fifty-one-year-old Dr. Kayvan Khiabani, the head of micro and hand surgery at the University of Nevada’s School of Medicine and the University Medical Center’s Chief Hand Surgeon, was killed last year while riding his bike near the Red Rock Resort. According to witnesses, the doctor was cycling near a Motor Coach Industries tour bus when it looked as if he had accidentally shifted left. This quick move caused the handlebar of his bike to hit the passenger side of the bus, and after that contact, Khiabani fell right into the large vehicle’s path.

After a trial that lasted five weeks and deliberation of under a day, the jurors on the case found the bus did not provide adequate warning. They awarded the doctor’s two young sons $16.3 million and another $2.5 million was awarded to the estate of his late wife, who passed away from cancer this past October.

According to court documents, the doctor’s family argued that the sharp edges and square design of the bus created a negative pressure zone, and that airflow is what pulled Khiabani off of his bike and under the bus. Two decades ago, the bus company hired engineers to design a vehicle that was more aerodynamic but with a front end that reduced the air pressure and increased safety. However, that design was not used in the 2008 model that struck the doctor in April of last year. In addition, the model in the fatal crash did not have sensors to alert cyclists or pedestrians of its proximity or to warn its driver that people were close by.

Before the fatal crash, Khiabani was riding his bike on the South Pavilion Center Drive bike lane in the Summerlin area, according to police.

In June of last year, around 400 bicyclists met in Summerlin to install a white metal bike with a light blue seat near the intersection where Khiabani was hit, in his memory. Known as a “ghost bike,” these memorial bikes aim to raise awareness of cyclist deaths while remembering someone who was lost. A video of the ceremony, which took place the weekend of Father’s Day, was posted on YouTube and featured his 16-year-old son, Aria Khiabani, who said his father was a runner, cyclist, and swimmer who loved being outdoors. The young man also noted that far too many cyclists are killed by motor vehicles annually and said that there is absolutely no excuse for it.

Auto-cyclist accidents almost always have serious consequences for the cyclist because of the differences in size, speed and driver protection between bikes and cars. If you have been involved in a bike accident or have lost a loved one because of an auto-cyclist accident, contact a lawyer, like a motorcycle accident attorney Denver, CO turns to, about your case and your rights today.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.

 



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