Case Type: Michigan Bicycle Accident Settlement
Facts of the Case
Our 32-year-old client was lawfully riding his bicycle on a public sidewalk on his way to the gym. A large van, owned by a corporation, suddenly pulled out of a parking lot into the sidewalk in his path. The bicyclist did not have time to avoid the van and ran into its side. His head and face crashed into the side window and shattered the glass.
An eyewitness to the accident testified that the bicyclist did not have time to react to the van pulling in his way. The police officer determined that the driver of the van failed to yield to the bicyclist.
The van driver claimed that she looked down the sidewalk but never saw the bicyclist before the crash. However, she admitted that there were no obstructions to her vision and she could see a good distance down the sidewalk.
Both parties hired accident reconstruction experts to support their positions in the case. The Plaintiff's expert testified that the bicyclist did not have time to react to the sudden danger of the van pulling out in his path. Both experts agreed that the bike was travelling only about ten miles per hour. The Plaintiff's expert determined that the van driver was at fault for the crash.
The Plaintiff was a carpenter performing heavy work prior to the accident. Due to his injuries, he will not be able to return to his high-paying job. A vocational rehabilitation expert evaluated him and determined that he will suffer significant loss of earnings over his lifetime and will not be able to return to the type of work performed prior to the crash.
Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered
- Facial lacerations and scars
- Hearing loss
- Fractured vertebrae in the neck
- Temporal mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Loss of teeth and injuries to the mouth
Other Types of Damages
- Pain & suffering
- Loss of future income and wages
- Permanent disfigurement and scars
- Psychological damages
Legal Issues in the Case
- Who was at fault for the accident?
- Could any fault be attributed to the bicyclist?
- Were the Plaintiff's injuries permanent?
- How much compensation should be paid to the injured bicyclist?
What We Did to Win the Settlement
We took numerous depositions in the case, including those of the parties and an eyewitness. We hired an accident reconstruction expert to evaluate the scene and calculate the speed of the bicycle and van, the perception reaction time of the bicyclist, and to give an opinion on who was at fault for the accident. We also took the deposition of the defendant accident reconstruction expert to damage the opinions and credibility of that expert witness.
We obtained medical records from all of the hospitals and specialists and took the depositions of the main doctors. These doctors discussed the serious and permanent nature of our client's injuries.
We also hired a vocational rehabilitation expert to interview the bicyclist and provide an opinion on his ability to return to his previous occupation and to provide an estimate of the lifetime loss of earnings. We obtained all employment records and tax records to prove the loss of income.
After all of the litigation matters were concluded, we attended a facilitative mediation that took several hours to complete. It was attended by all parties and their attorneys. At the end, the facilitator made a settlement recommendation of $750,000.00 and the case susequently settled.
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