The City of San Diego has agreed to pay almost $5 million to a man injured in a bicycle accident that resulted in severe injuries when his bike was thrown nearly 30 feet after striking a sidewalk that was damaged by a tree.
The bike accident occurred three years ago, and resulted in the cyclist suffering torn spinal cord ligaments, numerous lost teeth and a possible stroke after he landed on his head.
Plaintiff filed his personal injury lawsuit in 2015. The settlement agreement is for a much higher sum than what the city normally pays for bicycle injury lawsuits or injuries resulting from damaged sidewalks. Three recent settlements in the past ranged for between $75,000 and $235,000. However, the settlement agreement is still lower than the $7.6 million that was awarded to another cyclist at trial five years ago, after a man was paralyzed when a queen palm tree fell on him during a 2010 storm. Plaintiff in that matter argued the city was negligent because it responded to the Great Recession by, in part, slashing funds for the tree maintenance and inspection program. Continue reading ›
Florida has for years now held the dubious distinction of having the highest rate and bicycle accidents and related deaths. Lee County has historically been one of the worst locations, ranking 10th in the state, with regular riders and tourists alike constantly at risk.
In 2014, there were a slew of incidents involving anti-cyclist rhetoric. There was the man who ran over a row of bicyclists on Fort Myers Beach before declaring to a doctor who rushed to their aid, “I should have hit them harder.” There was the Naples woman who allegedly spat on a bicyclist after plowing into him. And there was the Cape Coral cyclist who dodged a motorist’s bullets after shouting at him to slow down.
All of this prompted a novel approach by The Fort Myers News-Press: Advocacy in journalism. Though objectivity is a core tenant of journalism, the paper of record took an unabashed role of advocating for fewer bicycle accidents and deaths. Now, it looks like it may have actually worked, at least to some degree. Continue reading ›
If you are a cyclist who avails of the increasing number of bicycle trails in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, you may want to keep in mind that if you are injured due to some dangerous condition thereon, you may have a more difficult time recovering damages.
That’s for two reasons:
- Florida’s recreational use statute, F.S. 375.251 allows for a limitation on liability of persons who make available to the public certain areas for recreational purposes without charge.
- Florida’s governmental immunity law, the waivers to which are outlined in F.S. 768.28.
So private land owners who open their land for recreational biking, either on paved paths or rougher terrain, could enjoy protections under the recreational use statute, while government entities would be protected under governmental immunity laws. Continue reading ›
It’s been nearly 10 years since plaintiff in Camicia v. City of Mercer Island was seriously injured in a Washington state bicycle accident that left her paralyzed. The case has been volleyed to various courts over the years on a number of issues, most recently to the Washington Supreme Court on the question of the applicability of the Recreational Use Statute. The high court remanded the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.
Now, less than two weeks before trial was scheduled, the city agreed to settle the case for $6.95 million. Another defendant, a construction company, settled weeks before that for a confidential sum.
Bicycle accidents are a serious problem nationally, but especially so here in Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports in 2013, there were nearly 750 bicyclists killed and another 48,000 injured. Florida had the second-highest number of bicyclist fatalities that year with 133. However, the state with the most – California – had 141 – which is 6 percent higher, despite the fact that California’s population is 95 percent higher than Florida’s. Continue reading ›
A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reveals bicycling injuries in the U.S. have risen astronomically in the last 15 years.
Sifting through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data, researchers wanted to find out more about trends in adult cycling injuries and related hospital admissions.
What they discovered was that in 2012-2013, there were 15,427 hospital admissions for bicycle injuries. That was a significant uptick than what was reported in 1998-1999, when there were 8,791 hospital admissions. Another revelation was that the age of cyclists has shifted dramatically. While the majority of victims used to be primarily children, we now see that figure has dropped dramatically. This is good. But the number of over-45 cyclists who suffer serious injury and death sharply rose. Continue reading ›