$100,000 Policy Limits Careless Cyclist Hits Another Cyclist, Our Client, – Causing Severe Arm Fracture
Total Settlement: $100,000
Case Handled by David W. White
Our client was participating in a local sprint triathlon. She was on the bike leg of the race, traveling on a town road in southeast Massachusetts. Everything was going fine until a rider, who was not part of the event but who was riding on the same street, decided to take a right hand turn from the main road to the side street. He did not signal his turn or the fact that he was slowing. Instead, he just slowed suddenly and cut across the path of our client. Both riders crashed to the pavement. Coincidentally, a detail police officer, who was working on the event, was right there. He recorded the basic facts of the crash, including the identity of the errant rider.
Our client suffered a severe fracture of her forearm, which required surgical repair (open reduction with internal fixation by means of a metal plate). After a period or recovery from the surgery, our client went through a course of physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion.
After our office was retained, we immediately sent an investigator to talk to the negligent cyclist. Although he did not give a signed statement, he did admit to the investigator that he did not turn to look before making his turn; and that he did not signal his turn before making it. In Massachusetts, cyclists must obey all of the rules of the road. He violated the rules of the road by failing to signal his turn.
The insurance company initially resisted the claim and blamed our client for the accident. The adjuster claimed that the accident was caused by our client’s negligence. However, the adjuster was forced to back down when she was given a copy of the insured’s statement.
Because the metal plate continued to irritate our client’s elbow, and also because it limited the recovery of her full range of motion, she had a second surgery to remove the plate. She had a brief round of physical therapy to complete her treatment, and regained good function in her arm.
Fortunately, her work schedule allowed her to work from home, so time lost from work was fairly minimal even though her rehabilitation was extensive. In all, the medical bills were approximately $42,000.
Unfortunately, the cyclist responsible for the accident had only $100,000 in liability coverage. Once the treatment was concluded, the insurance adjuster offered the full policy limits to settle the claim. The matter was concluded less than ten months after the accident had occurred.
Accidents involving two bicycles are not a major cause of cycling injuries, but that does not mean they are infrequent. Riders need to be aware of other cyclists on the road, to obey the rules of the road, and to take care to signal their intentions with hand signals and verbal cues. In addition, riding against traffic is extremely dangerous, and puts yourself and others at risk for serious injury.
About our Experience: Cycling Accidents
Read more about our attorneys’ experience representing cyclists who have been injured by the negligence of others.
From the Client:
“David White was absolutely terrific in handling my case a few years back and my wife’s this year. Dealing with David is a totally seamless affair – he regularly communicates with you, provides superb counsel and is simply an easy person with whom to work. We were very satisfied with our respective outcomes and I highly recommend him.”