Bike LaneBicycling accidents happen everyday and can result in serious physical, emotional, and psychological pain. Some of these accidents are caused by the rider, some by an unforeseen hazard in the road, and often times, cars. Deciding who is at fault during any accident can sometimes be confusing and difficult to do. Depending on the accident and what transpired during the incident, there can be other factors that can affect the outcome of deciding who is at fault.

When you get into an accident on your bicycle, it is sometimes not a common known idea on how to get compensated or help for your medical expenses. If you are ever in the situation where you have been in an accident on your bicycle, depending on who is at fault will determine on who’s insurance the claim will go through. If the person who is at fault does not have insurance, you are actually able to go through your own car or health insurance to get the help that you need. There have been a few accidents over the years that have gained national and local attention for the amount that was settled to the victim or the victim’s family after a bicycle accident.

$8 Million to Life-Long Cyclist Seriously Injured in Bicycle Accident

Mickey Gendler, seriously injured in a bicycle accident in 2007 now spends his days in a wheelchair with very limited motor function. Gendler’s story is like many others in that after an accident, their life was forever changed. Gendler, an attorney from Seattle, was riding his bike with a friend across the bridge toward the Washington Park Arboretum when Gendler’s tire got stuck in an inch-side gap between the sections of metal grating. He was thrown over his handlebars, crushing his upper vertebrae.

Gendler suffered from an incomplete spinal-cord injury, meaning that he would still have some motor functions. Gendler who was a life-long cyclist sued. The state temporarily fixed the gap in the bridge. In 2010, the case was finally settled at an $8 million payout, the highest payout by the state government since 2003. The settlement was determined by estimates of Gendler’s health-care costs, and his reduced earning power as an attorney.

 $2.4 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Bicycle Accident

54-year-old Deborah Johnson, was riding her bike with a friend on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California on a Sunday afternoon in July 2007 when she fell and struck her head after hitting something in the road. She was taken to Stanford University Medical Center, and pronounced dead two days later.

The object was a flat black octagonal rubber base of a “candlestick” delineator that had become separated from its plastic orange pole that was placed there after the road was repaved.  This ultimately caused the bike lane to seperate from vehicle traffic. According to the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, used by road managers nationwide, “posts or raised pavement markers should not be used to separate bicycle lanes from adjacent travel lanes.” The same notation is made in the state’s adaptation of the manual. Johnson’s husband, John Gerrity researched this and then sued. Gerrity hopes that his wife’s story will deter this from happening again.

These stories, and many more, give hope to cyclists all over that they will be able to get the help that they need following an bicycle accident. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and need assistance with your case, call Christensen & Hymas for a free confidential consultation at (801)506-0800.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia