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Southern California Bicyclist Injured by a Pothole Settles with the City of L.A. for $6.5M

As a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or another user of public roads or sidewalks, you are entitled to expect that the roads and sidewalks will be maintained in a safe condition and, if a hazard exists, that you will be appropriately warned about it. When that doesn’t happen, and you get hurt as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Sometimes, this compensation may be achieved through a judgment and, other times, a settlement. A skilled Southern California bicycle accident attorney can provide you with needed representation in your case, including helping you analyze decisions like settling versus going forward with litigation.

A few months ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on one California bicyclist whose serious injures led to a large settlement. Peter was operating his bike along Valley Vista Road in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles when his accident took place. While pedaling down the road, Peter encountered a large pothole. Unable to avoid the pothole, the bicyclist tried to drive through the hazard. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Peter lost control, with the crash throwing him to the ground. Peter then sued the City of Los Angeles.

In a case like Peter’s, there are certain essential things that you’ll need to accomplish in order to achieve a favorable result. First, you will need to show that the entity you sued was liable for the harm you suffered. In Peter’s case, he presented proof that the pothole was hazardous due to the deficient maintenance of the road and the low lighting in the area of the hole, which made the pothole “a concealed trap” for people like bicyclists, the Times reported.

He also had evidence that the area drew heavy traffic from both pedestrians and bicyclists but that, despite this heavy foot traffic and bike traffic, the city put up no signs warning about the dangers. These pieces of proof were designed to establish that the city had a duty to warn users of the hazard and that the city failed to live up to that legal obligation.

Once you have established that the defendant you sued was liable, you will need to show how extensive your damages were in order to get the full compensation you deserve. Peter had evidence that the results of his fall were extreme. He suffered multiple broken bones and a severe traumatic brain injury. These kinds of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can often translate into a high amount of damages, since they may include extensive (and expensive) past medical care, as well as prolonged or even lifetime care in the future to continue to deal with the harm caused by the accident.

Armed with this proof, Peter and his legal team were able to persuade the city to settle the case, with the city agreeing to pay Peter and his wife $6.5 million.

When you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, your injuries may be different and possibly more severe than other types of accidents. The experienced San Mateo bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have been helping injured bicyclists in the pursuit of their cases for many years. 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:

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, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Oct. 18, 2017

California Bicyclist Injured in Charity Race Crash Allowed to Continue Pursuing Claim for Damages, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Sept. 7, 2016


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