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Bicyclist Seriously Harmed In Motor Vehicle Accident Compensated $3,500,000 With Assistance From Exp

25th August 2010
By J. Hernandez in Accident claims
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The correct expert witness can make the difference between a winning outcome and the loss of a car accident claim. In realistic terms, though, it is not always economically feasible to retain an expert witness. The economics of a case involving minor injuries where the recovery is probably going to be for a modest amount make it prohibitively expensive to retain an expert. When the claim involves serious injuries and a recovery would likely be significant things change. At this time whether or not the victim has an expert may not only make the difference on whether the victim is successful in the lawsuit but may also be the deciding issue in whether to move forward with the claim at all.

To illustrate, in one documented claim an older gentleman was driving his vehicle when he lost control and caused a motor vehicle accident in which he struck a bicyclist. The bicyclist was riding along a bike path next to the road. He was forty years old. After hitting the bicyclist the automobile kept going and hit a telephone pole. The driver was found to have sustained heavy trauma to the chest in the accident. He died at the scene of the accident before the arrival of first responders.

As a result of the accident the plaintiff sustained a head injury and went into a coma. He recovered from the coma only to be diagnosed with brain damage. After coming out of the coma it became clear that he would never be able to go back to his own home. He will likely never be able to return to his job either. It is anticipated that he will require permanent life care and that he will have to live in a long-term facility or institution. As of the time the case was reported the expense of his medical care had already amounted to more than half a million dollars

The defense took the position that they were not to blame for the accident. The autopsy of the driver disclosed that he had experienced a heart attack. The defense argued that the defendant had had a sudden heart attack which is what caused him to lose control of his vehicle and slam into the victim. The idea is that if the accident was the result not of the driver’s negligence, but by a medical emergency, then the driver was not at fault and the plaintiff would not be able to win his case. The end result would be that the insurance company would not need to pay any money to the plaintiff. Under the circumstances many law firms would have declined the lawsuit at this point. The plaintiff was lucky to have retained a law firm that was prepared to investigate deeper. In order to figure out what actually happened the law firm retained a medical expert.

The law firm forwarded slides of heart tissue taken from the autopsy to a medical expert for fuller study. The medical expert was able to conclusively demonstrate that the heart attack did not occur until after the defendant suffered trauma to his chest from striking hitting the telephone pole.

The law firm documented that, once it had this critical information, it was able to achieve a settlement for the case for $3,500,000. Of this amount, $1,000,000 was for the bicyclist’s wife who had a claim for loss of consortium. This case demonstrates that facts which at first seem adverse to a case could in reality be exactly what causes the case to settle when it is explained in the proper framework. The case shows that in certain circumstances retaining someone with just the right type of expertise might make all the difference in the outcome of the case. Lastly, the lawsuit shows the importance of not letting the defense position the case.

To learn more about how a bicycle accident attorney can help you and about other vehicle accident cases including pedestrian accident visit the websites
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