For nearly three decades, I have been involved in handling bicycle accident cases. As you can imagine, most of them involve drivers of cars acting negligently, causing an accident and injuries. In most of the cases, the driver of the car blames the person operating the bicycle. More often than not, it becomes he said (the driver of the vehicle) she said (the bicyclist) type of case. Sometimes there are eyewitnesses and of course that’s helpful to figuring out what happened. On rare occasion, there is video of the accident, usually coming from police video cameras set up at various intersections in urban areas. Those don’t usually exist and are not always easy to get. And once in a long while, we get lucky and there is a Go-Pro video. That’s what we had in a recent case that settled. My gut tells me that if there was not this Go-Pro video, the case would have dragged on much longer and the defense would have withheld any reasonable offers, at least until much later in the “game.”
On behalf of a bicyclist, we filed a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Of course, the defendant, through his attorneys, denied all our substantive allegations Routine discovery began and we turned over the Go-Pro video that our bicyclist client gave to us. Not too long after, the defense requested a pre-trial – a process where the attorneys go in front of a Judge who tries to bring the parties together to effectuate a settlement. Of course, we sent the Judge the videotape.
The video showed our client cycling west on Randolph Street through Wells Street within a bicycle lane in downtown Chicago. The defendant vehicle operator was also traveling westbound on Randolph through Wells Street. The defendant proceeded to make a right hand turn directly in front of our client (presumably attempting to turn into the garage at 200 West Randolph Street) causing a collision between the Plaintiff’s bicycle and the Defendant’s vehicle.
As a result, our client suffered a rotator cuff tear, biceps tenosynovitis, and a labral tear all requiring surgery. Additionally, our client went through many weeks of physical therapy. He made a nice recovery.
The case settled at the pre-trial for what we believe was a fair and full amount under the circumstances – $200,000.00. Our client was so thrilled with the result, he wrote, “An Excellent Injury Attorney, went above and beyond my expectations for my case! I didn’t expect such a great outcome! If I or anyone I know ever needs a great injury law attorney, I know where I would recommend.”
We were fortunate to have such a kind client and of course, the Go-Pro video tape. Justice served!