personnel, excavation contractor employees and other workers knew, or should have known, that the uncovered and unmarked hole in the heavily trafficked W&OD Trail would present a dangerous condition to those Northern Virginia bike commuters and athletes who use this path. The lawsuit papers alleged that the defendants had a duty to restore the bike and jogging path to a safe condition after performing excavation and digging work. The injured athlete’s lawyer also noted that when electrical work, digging and resurfacing operations are done for the day, the contractors still have a duty to warn pedestrians, cyclists and joggers of the unsafe condition which their excavations have created.
The hole in the bike path had filled with water from rain and sleet. This hardy bicycle commuter was returning to his home in Reston from Herndon at 4-5 PM in the evening when the crash occurred. He spent a freezing 30 minutes in the cold before someone noticed the downed cyclist. The bicycle commuter had a broken arm in several places. The cyclist’s lawyers sued the utility for $150,000. The company alleged that the injured bicycle commuter was hurt due to his own contributory negligence, unavoidable accident, open and obvious danger and that the case be dismissed. The medical and related expenses claimed were $10,830.91, the wage loss claim came to over $137,750, and the bicycle and helmet replacement costs were $880.20. Another Northern Virginia law firm did not take the case to trial but instead settled the personal injury and property damage claims for $35,000. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of a car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.