For some, one of the best activities to enjoy during the summer is to take a leisurely bike ride, enjoying the breeze and sunshine. Sadly, despite an increase in bike lanes and laws designed to protect bike riders, distracted drivers still pose a serious threat to bicyclers.
55-Year-Old Bicyclist Run Over By City Employee
Recently, a jury awarded $1.58 million to a woman whose life was forever changed when a negligent driver prematurely ended what was supposed to be a relaxing bike ride.
The 55-year-old rider was on the should of a road when the unthinkable happened in a matter of seconds. While in an intersection, a pickup truck traveling in the same direction made a right-hand turn into her, knocking her off the bike entirely and running her over. Specifically, one of the rear wheels of the truck went over her left arm.
She was rushed to the emergency room where she was found to have an elbow fracture and there she underwent a closed reduction procedure as well as a skin graft to close her open wound. A few days later she arrived home and consulted an orthopedic surgeon who did a more extensive workup. He determined that she also had a torn rotator cuff and torn cartilage in her wrist.
Over the next two years, she had to endure multiple steroidal pain killer injections and physical therapy. She has a permanently limited range of motion because of scarring from the accident and has difficulty performing normal household tasks. She is also unable to participate in activities she enjoyed prior to the accident. In the future, her doctor has informed her that she will need to undergo surgery to her shoulder, her elbow, and her wrist, as well as additional physical therapy.
She decided to sue the driver of the truck as well as the city because he was acting as a city employee at the time of the accident and driving a truck owned by the city.
Bicyclist’s Lawsuit Goes To Trial
In response to the lawsuit, the defendants alleged that the plaintiff was actually at fault for the accident and argued that she had been on an intersecting road and had been the one to turn into the truck.
After reviewing the evidence presented at trial, the jury found the defendants to be 100% at fault for the accident and awarded $1.5 million for past and future pain, $60,000 for future medical bills, and $20,800 for past medical bills.
Is It Really Possible To Sue A City?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to sue a city – or even a county or state – depending on the circumstances of an accidents. These entities can be held responsible just like any other party if their negligence results in an injury.
However, the process of filing a lawsuit against a county, city, or state is slightly different and needs to be acted on as soon as possible, as there are often very short statutes of limitations. This is just one reason why it’s so important to contact a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident so that they can begin the legal process and the client isn’t in danger of losing an opportunity to recover compensation.
How Are Awards Determined?
When a case goes to trial, when determining what to award a plaintiff, a judge and/or jury reviews their actual losses. This can include both monetary losses and non-monetary losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
It’s important to remember that this can also include the anticipated future losses. For example, in this case, it is likely that the plaintiff will require additional surgery in the future which will lead to additional expenses.
Do All Cases Go To Trial?
No. Actually, the majority of cases are settled outside of a courtroom. In these situations, it’s best to have an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate a fair settlement. If a settlement can’t be reached, that’s when the case proceeds to trial.
At Banville Law, we carefully prepare each case from the very beginning as though it were going to go trial so that our client’s feel totally prepared for all outcomes. Ultimately the choice to settle or proceed to trial is yours and our legal team will make sure you understand all of your options before you decide.