Injured Bicyclist Recovers $4.85 Million Settlement from the City of San Diego for the City’s Failure to Maintain and Repair an Uneven Sidewalk

cracked pavementMany times, a bicycle accident is a result of the negligent conduct of another driver on the road. Sometimes, though, the source of your injuries may have nothing to do with the conduct of any other driver. In a portion of bicycle injury instances, the harm the bicyclist suffers results solely from the presence of a dangerous condition located along the path the bicyclist took. Just like drivers who are injured by such dangerous conditions, bicyclists too may be entitled to compensation, which is why, if you’re injured in a bicycle accident, it pays to consult a California bicycle accident attorney right away. A recent case from Southern California reported by the San Diego Union Tribune illustrates this.

In other recent cases, injured drivers in the Los Angeles area have recovered damages awards based upon a failure to maintain public property properly. The family of a scientist killed at a blind intersection in San Pedro recovered $23 million in 2016. Another intersection in Redondo Beach with sight-line issues was the basis for a former UCLA football player recovering $35 million.

Further south, a bicyclist who was injured in 2014 while cycling in the early afternoon hours along a sidewalk in Del Cerro, a neighborhood in the eastern part of San Diego, recently secured a multi-million dollar settlement for his injuries. The bicyclist’s injuries resulted when he hit an area of the sidewalk that was raised roughly seven inches, due to the growth over time of a tree root. The root’s effect of raising part of the surface had created an incline such that the sidewalk had become, in the bicyclist’s description, a “launching ramp.” In his lawsuit, the bicyclist contended that the dangerous condition did launch him some 28 feet. After that, he allegedly skidded for another 10 feet, the Union Tribune reported.

The bicyclist’s injuries were very serious, forcing him to spend almost a month in the hospital, followed by another two months in a skilled nursing institution. His injury diagnoses included torn spinal cord ligaments and a possible stroke.

The bicyclist’s lawsuit contended that the owner (the city) was negligent because it failed to maintain the sidewalk in an appropriately safe way. The city neither repaired the dangerous sidewalk, nor did it even post a sign to warn users like pedestrians and bicyclists about the uneven ramp-effect area of the sidewalk.

When you bring a personal injury lawsuit, you can expect the defense to attempt to enter into evidence any proof it thinks might be damaging to your case. One of the many areas in which experienced counsel can help is when this happens. The defense may try to bring in irrelevant things to attempt to paint you as someone who caused his own problems or someone who is not credible. In this bicyclist’s case, the city attempted to present evidence of the man’s mental health history in order to harm his case, but the bicyclist and his legal team fought back, convincing the trial judge to exclude that evidence.

Amassing your own collection of powerful pieces of proof is essential. The bicyclist in this case had evidence that the city knew the area was dangerous and had marked the area for repair but then let the area go another five months without completing the repair job, according to another later report by the Union Tribune.

Another vital part of your personal injury case is proving just how extensive your damages are. This bicyclist’s injuries were so serious that they raised the distinct possibility that he might never be able to work again. On top of that extended period of future lost wages, he faced many years of needed future medical care, and he also had the considerable volume of past medical expenses he’d already racked up.

Once you have strong evidence collected in these areas, you may be in a position to obtain a favorable settlement. Settlements can be helpful ways to get you the compensation you need while avoiding the stress, delays, and unpredictability of a trial. For this bicyclist, his proof was powerful enough that the city agreed to a settlement paying him $4.85 million.

The experienced San Mateo bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye & Fitting have been working to help injured Californians and their families for many years. Our attorneys have the skill and knowledge you need to help you take on your case and work toward the judgment or settlement that gives you the recovery you need. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

State’s Failure to Make Changes to Redondo Beach Intersection Leads to Multi-Million Dollar Jury Award for Former UCLA Football Player, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 18, 2017

California Family Recovers $23M from City for Dangerous Intersection that Led to Fatal Crash, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Oct. 5, 2016

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