San Diego is a city of bicycle riders, and for good reason. The mild climate and sunny skies make it just ideal. It’s never too hot or too cold. However, cycles are small in relation to other vehicles out on San Diego’s highways and so all too often they are unseen and accidents take place causing death and serious injuries to the cyclists involved. There are other factors too, such as potholes in cycle lanes that can cause a cyclist to be thrown on to the ground. Statistics issued by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that cycle trips throughout the country make up only 1% of all trips, but 2% of traffic fatalities involve cyclists.
$4+ million dollar settlement for San Diego cyclist
Just recently, a San Diego cyclist was awarded $4 million for an accident that took place on one of San Diego’s sidewalks in Del Cerro. He fell from his bicycle while riding on the sidewalk’s uneven surface. As a result he suffered serious head and spinal injuries. After a considerable period of time, San Diego’s city council admitted responsibility and agreed to fund the lawsuit settlement.
San Diego’s sidewalks are in poor condition.
San Diego has more than 5,000 miles of sidewalks but they need to be constantly repaired and maintained. They are subject to damage caused by water when a water main is severed and from time to time trees fall damaging the sidewalk’s surface. Also, when a vehicle such as a large truck ends up on the sidewalk due to an accident, considerable damage often occurs to the sidewalk’s superstructure.
Who’s responsible for sidewalk maintenance?
San Diego has a sharing arrangement for sidewalk maintenance as property owners take some responsibility to ensure that sidewalks bordering their properties are kept well maintained and safe for the public to use. However, in 2015, in a sidewalk assessment it was found that there were 85,000 areas on sidewalks that needed urgent maintenance. The area where the cyclist fell off his cycle was the responsibility of San Diego council. The settlement is so high because the victim suffered permanent head trauma and spinal injuries due solely to the accident. He may well require medical care for the rest of his life.
Liability in Cycle Accidents
When a cycle accident takes place it’s sometimes due to the negligence of another party. If this can be proved, the victim may be entitled to file a lawsuit for compensation from the negligent person. However, finding enough proof and sufficient witnesses to back-up the events that caused the accident can be quite difficult. There are many other factors that make bicycle accident cases complicated and why it might be a good idea to consult with an experienced San Diego bicycle accident lawyer for your specific case.
What is covered in a personal injury claim?
A victim of an accident may be prepared to put up with the odd scratch and bruise but if the injuries are serious hospital treatment may be required and time off work to recover. This is when it’s important to file a personal injury claim. The settlement should cover all the medical costs, loss of earnings, an amount for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. The cyclist who won the $4 million dollar settlement may never walk or work again and have any of his previous life restored to normal. The settlement releases his family from the financial burden of the injuries that was not the fault of the cyclist.