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Bicycle Crash

CASE RESULTS

$250,000 Settlement for Biker Struck During Morning Ride

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Attorney: Greg Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

The Client was a regular avid cyclist, who rode with a Cycling Group in Virginia Beach.  He was well familiar with cycle safety and was properly equipped with a helmet, mirrors, lights and other safety equipment.  On a Sunday morning, while traveling on a 4 lane undivided well traveled road, he was struck by a young man from behind, who simply was not watching for traffic ahead.  The impact threw my client into the grass shoulder, knocking him unconscious and causing him substantial injury.

 

We were able to obtain the body camera video from the officer, as well as his dash camera, as it happened that the officer was traveling in the opposite direction as the cyclist, just before the crash.  We also interviewed witnesses who were traveling in front of, and beside, the client, to establish that the young man was legally liable for the crash.  

 

The client’s injuries were complicated and took a while to stabilize.  We were able to build a case with the insurance company that spoke to the impact of this injury on the client’ quality of life, well beyond just a consideration of his medical expenses, and the case resolved without the need for litigation.

$250,000 Settlement Vehicle Turned Across Cyclist’ Path

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Attorney: Greg Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Whether it is bicycle crashes or motorcycle crashes, statistically the overwhelming pattern of injury is when a vehicle makes a left turn across the path of an oncoming rider.  The dynamic is such that drivers of cars are used to seeing a wide, flat plane coming toward them and when the oncoming rider is linear, like a bike or motorcycle, the driver’s brain just doesn’t register the oncoming cycle.  

 

Our client was simple out for his regular ride, traveling on Great Neck Road in Virginia Beach.  The driver was in an oncoming vehicle and intended to make a left turn through a median cut-through, failed to see the cyclist and crashed into him.  Our client suffered orthopedic injuries requiring a substantial amount of medical care.  In addition our client suffered from post traumatic stress as a result of the crash, reliving the impending crash.  Counseling and emotional support helped his recovery, as well as obtaining a service dog, that accompanied him almost everywhere he went.  Once again the value of the claim was based on the harms, losses and emotional impact of the crash and the effect on the client’s activities of daily living.  

Policy Limit Settlement For Bicyclist Struck By Hit And Run Driver

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Attorney: Greg Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Cycling is, and can be, a source of recreation, exercise and transportation.  In Virginia Beach, there is an awful lot to see and enjoy on a bicycle, that you can’t really enjoy by car.  However, those of us who live here know that there was a particularly perilous stretch of road on Shore Drive, where drivers need to be careful in sharing the road with cyclists.

In June of 2011, my client, a regular cyclist, and employee of the United States Navy, was engaged in her morning route of cycling for exercise along Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.  For reasons that we will never know, a driver in a black mercedes, according to a witness, came up from behind the client in the same direction, failed to move over to give her room and passed her close enough for the right side mirror of the car to crash into her, sending her off the roadway into the adjacent trees. The impact was enough to knock the mirror from the car. However the negligent driver hit and ran, leaving our client alone, injured in the trees.  She crawled to the side of the road and a passing motorist helped her get to Fort Story, where an ambulance took her to the hospital.

The damage was severe. The client suffered a comminuted fracture of her L3 vertebra and a fracture of her L1 vertebra, as well as a broken ankle. Surgical corrective measures were performed and she remained in a back brace for months, trying to heal both her back and her ankle.

The only source of recovery for this cyclist was her own automobile policy under the uninsured motorist provisions. Virginia Code Section 38.2-2206 requires that all policies written for vehicles garaged in Virginia contain a provision that requires them to cover all damages which might be awarded as a result of the use of an automobile. The limits of this policy for this client were $50,000.00 and I made a claim on her behalf for that sum.  Needless to say, when there is no other driver known, the insurance company will take every opportunity to claim that the cyclist’s crash was entirely her fault, simply running off the road. Our ability to secure the witness who saw a black vehicle driving away, and the presence of the mirror at the scene, allowed us the ability to demand and receive the total limits of the client policy as a $50,000.00 SETTLEMENT.

Lesson:

When one generally buys auto insurance, agents customarily tell you that you are buying “Full Coverage." However that only means that you have met the minimum limits for liability coverage required by Virginia to drive a car, $25,000.00. By statute, the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage equal your liability coverage unless you elect lower limits. In order to adequately protect you, your family and other persons in YOUR car, from substantial injury caused by someone else, YOU SHOULD INCREASE THE LIMITS OF YOUR POLICY. The cost for increased coverage DOES NOT go up proportionately, so ask for, and buy, additional coverage, as you may need it one day, if someone causes you injury and leaves the scene.

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