Left Turning Motorist Causes Bicycle Crash
After a lengthy struggle with multiple insurance companies, we obtained compensation for our client's medical expenses, wage loss, and property damage for a total recovery of $146,089. Scott was the victim of a "left cross." A left-cross occurs when a motor vehicle approaching from the opposite direction suddenly and without warning turns left in front of an oncoming cyclist. Scott was riding in the early morning for exercise before work, traveling west on 37th Avenue on the South Hill. Suddenly a minivan coming the opposite direction turned left in front of him onto Pittsburgh St. To avoid hitting the minivan, Scott hit his brakes and laid the bike down. This maneuver prevented more serious injuries, but still resulted in road rash, a broken wrist, damaged bike components, torn clothing, and a dented iPhone.
When Scott came to us, he had two days prior undergone surgery to repair the broken bones in his wrist. The surgeon used metal screws, a plate, and wire to put his wrist bones back together. Scott is a radiologist in Spokane and was very concerned about missing work and the effect the injury would have on his career. As a busy husband and father, Scott did not have the time or inclination to handle the insurance issues his case involved. When a cyclist is crashed by a car, the insurance companies for both the bicycle rider and motor vehicle driver are involved.
The minivan driver had $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage with USAA. Scott's medical bills were well in excess of this amount. Fortunately for Scott, he had $35,000 of PIP on his own auto policy with Progressive. Progressive was required to pay for Scott's medical bills once USAA's $10,000 was exhausted. In Washington, a cyclist's auto policy covers a situation when the cyclist is riding and is crashed by a car. With total PIP coverage of $45,000, Scott's medical bills were paid 100% by the two insurance companies.
Once Scott had finished physical therapy from his wrist surgery, we were ready to submit his claim. Before sending his claim to the minivan driver's insurance, we had to gather documents for his medical expenses, medical treatment, and for his wage loss. As a doctor, Scott's wage loss was significant. We also claimed Scott's bike and gear damage. In addition, he had significant loss of enjoyment of life, due to vacations he wasn't able to enjoy with his family and not being able to ride his bike for an extended period. By working closely with Scott, we were able to detail all these issues in our claim letter to the insurance company.
Once all the documentation and claim materials were ready, the negotiation with the insurance company went smoothly. Submitting a complete claim helps the insurance adjuster working on the case, speeds the process, and makes negotiation easier. In Scott's case, we were able to recover $146,089 which was a sum that fairly compensated him for his injuries and other losses from the crash.
Practice area(s): Personal Injury