The city of Philadelphia has large numbers of bicyclists who use their bicycles as a way to get to work, go shopping or get some exercise. Unfortunately, bicyclists are especially vulnerable in the event of a car accident. For this reason alone, drivers of motor vehicles should be vigilant, at all times, to the presence of anyone riding a bicycle.
Consider the recent case of a female bicyclist hurt in a 2011 accident near Broad and Spring Garden streets, just north of downtown Philadelphia. The student was badly injured when a motorist in a parked car opened the car door just as she was passing. After she struck the door, she was run over by a van driven by a motorist following too closely behind her.
The once athletic woman now has highly restricted mobility because of leg and hip injuries she suffered. Her personal injury lawsuit against the two drivers involved in the accident was recently decided in her favor by a Philadelphia jury, which awarded the plaintiff $2.4 million. Both drivers involved in the accident were found liable for their actions. The car driver and the van driver were found 43 percent and 36 percent liable, respectively. The jury found the bicyclist 21 percent liable. The van’s driver had argued that the bicyclist should have been riding on the sidewalk even though that would have been illegal.
A car accident can change someone’s life forever. If it is caused by the negligence of another person, then a victim can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The compensation not only may cover a victim’s accident-related expenses but also remind drivers of their responsibility to drive safely.
Source: road.cc, “ $2.4 million for doored cyclist run over by van,” Simon MacMichael, June 19, 2014