While training for upcoming Iron Man triathlon competition, a biker had left Reston, Virginia in order to get a long ride out in Loudoun County.
He was riding first in a group of three, on the downhill grade on Dry Mill Road. Conditions were dry and clear. His high-end carbon bike was in perfect working order.
Then suddenly, and without any warning, a car pulled out from a new housing development in order to beat the truck that was behind the biker. There was no sound, no lights, and no yelling from the car.
There was no time to do anything.
The cyclist, who was an experienced racer, triathlete, and Reston Bike Club rider, remembers hitting the car, flying through the air, and being conscious of the entire event. The biker, an elite athlete accustomed to the pain of an IronMan competition, experienced excruciating pain in both hips and legs. In his own words, it was “crazy pain”. He remembers — and was haunted by — the sound of his body hitting the car.
This August 2015 Dry Mill Road crash left the cyclist writhing in pain as his friends called for help.
The Loudoun County Sheriffs were called to the scene and the Defendant was charged with “Reckless Driving.” A court date was set for the traffic citation in the General District Court of Loudoun County, Virginia.
The Defendant contested the charges at the Leesburg Courthouse, and while the investigating officer and cyclists testified, the Loudoun County judge could not find the evidence necessary for “Reckless Driving.”
As the prosecutor did not seek the lesser charge of “Failure to Yield the Right of Way” or “Improper Driving,” the Defendant did not have to pay any fine or courts costs at all!
The team at the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU could not believe that this Defendant was found “not guilty.” The transcript from the Loudoun Traffic Court was read and re-read in disbelief.
Following the crash, the Plaintiff was transported by ambulance to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where he was diagnosed as having suffered a severed artery in his right leg, along with significant contusions and abrasions to his entire body, including his hands, back, and arms.
Although he was wearing his bike helmet at time of incident, his bike was crushed and even his carbon bike shoes were broken, something his lawyer Doug Landau had never seen before in all of the bike crash cases he has investigated.
The client’s PTSD symptoms post-crash, and being couch-bound (he could not ascend the steps in his own home initially), his mental outlook took a nose dive as well. His two teen aged kids and wife had to take over many of his household activities.
The Herndon bicyclist suffered in excess of $41,000 in damages, not including additional medical treatment costs or lost wages as a Global Senior Technical Architect.
However, the elderly Defendant driver carried the minimum liability coverage required for motorists in Virginia, $25,000. According to lawyer Landau, the biker’s case was worth much more than $25,000, so he sought compensation for the man’s injuries under the Herndon cyclist’s own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage.
Since the Herndon Ironman had a $50,000 UIM policy, Landau was able to get an additional $25,000 for his injured client and friend.
The ABRAMS LANDAU team hired an investigator to do an assets search to see if the unsafe Defendant driver could pay a judgment in excess of the low policy limits. Determining that he could not, the case settled for the combined policy limits of $50,000.
This case underscores the need to have the proper levels of insurance to protect your loved ones and yourself.
In addition to the personal injury settlement, the Herndon bike rider had a property damage claim of $14,540 for his bicycle, equipment, and clothing. This claim was settled after the liability insurance adjuster recovered from his shock when Landau’s office sent the evidence of the costs of the expensive equipment this Triathlete lost in the crash.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bike crash and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).