Riding with his buddies on a tertiary road in Reston, Virginia, a young cyclist was suddenly writhing in pain on the pavement, struck by an inexperienced driver who was confused by the sight of the peloton. His leg was shattered and his top of the line bicycle was crushed. His mates stopped immediately, shocked by this peloton injury. He was lucky he was not more seriously injured; he was wearing his helmet and there was no brain injury, head trauma, concussion or loss of consciousness associated with traumatic brain injury (”tbi”). Peloton accidents such as this, even though not the fault of any cyclist, are unhappy reminders of why we must always wear helmets when riding our road bikes, mountain bikes, tri bikes and track bikes.
The driver gave no warning. There was no honking of her horn. There was no flashing of lights. There was no calling out or other audible or visual warning. After his discharge from the hospital, the Reston bicycle rider, tired of getting the insurance company runaround and realizing that his injuries were permanent, called experienced legal counsel for his personal injury case.
Super Lawyer Doug Landau, working as “local counsel” for former “D.C. Trial Lawyer of the year Aaron Levine, helped this cyclist who was struck while training with his teammates in Reston. Both attorneys are listed in “The Best Lawyers in America,” and have worked together on major cases. Mr. Levine is as knowledgeable in medicine as he is in law, and his brilliance at trial and in negotiation in unparalleled. Senior counsel Levine was Herndon Trial Lawyer Landau’s first boss in the legal field after graduate school in Applied Anatomy & Physiology back in 1981 ! In this job before law school, young Landau was brought on as an assistant to the Levine office’s medical personnel !
While riding in a peloton off of the main roadways, the group was surprised by the unsafe actions of the inexperienced young driver who plowed into Landau and Levine’s client, shattering his leg. The case was filed in the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. The insurance company hired one of Virginia’s most aggressive and antagonistic defense lawyers. This lawyer ridiculed the injured cyclist for paying thousands of dollars for his bike. “What kind of person pays five thousand dollars for a bicycle ?” this bombastic blowhard demanded to know. Our client looked him the eye, unafraid, and answered simply:
I have never had the “best” of anything. I am out of college, with a good job, and little overhead. I am single, with no dependents, and have a short commute to work and simple needs. But my recreation, my favorite activity, is cycling with my friends and racing. I found that I could have the “best”bicycle, which I could ride every day after work. So I bought this bike, which was the best and which was worth more than my car, until your client smashed into us.
Doug Landau traveled to New York City in order to take the deposition of the young Defendant driver, who was attending college in “The Big Apple.” After the pre-trial “Discovery” process was completed in this automobile negligence action, the case came before United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division’s Judge Brinkema. This experienced federal judge let her displeasure with the defense lawyer’s antics be known. Levine and Landau had shown little patience for insurance defense counsel’s shenanigans during their client’s testimony. Herndon Super Lawyer Doug Landau and world famous D.C. co-counsel recovered the full $300,000 car insurance policy limits for this innocent young cyclist struck while training with his teammates in Reston.