A mountain bike riding commuter was struck by a car in the early morning hours despite having numerous front and rear lights. As the bike commuter entered the cross walk on a green light, the defendant driver failed to look to the right while turning right on a red light. Virginia law requires that motorists stop and yield the right of way when approaching such a situation. The unsafe driver struck the cyclist at a speed of approximately 20 miles per hour. The biker was hurled onto the hood of the defendant’s car. The mountain biker then rolled over the car and landed hard on the asphalt road.
The bicyclist suffered a significant injury to his neck and spine. The cyclist also sustained a concussion, multiple bruises and contusions , and very painful injuries to his ribs involving six fractures. There is not much the doctors can do for rib fractures, but they are extremely uncomfortable. Herndon bike injury lawyer Doug Landau has had clients with rib and chest injuries relate that there is significant pain when coughing, sneezing or hiccupping. Doctors cannot cast the rib cage or splint a biker’s fractured ribs.
The cyclist in this Manassas area case was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the C7 vertebra, which later became displaced, meaning the bone was in a potentially very dangerous position. When bones fracture or become “displaced” in the neck, they can impinge on the spinal cord and cause excruciating pain, loss of function in the arms and even paralysis. This required an operation known as a “laminectomy and discectomy.” This spinal surgery required the placement of permanent orthopedic hardware in the biker’s neck. Complications from the surgery included scapular winging and cervical listing, both of which are probably permanent. The bike commuter incurred $192,223 in past medical expenses and $9,984 in lost past income. The case was filed in the Prince William Circuit Court in Manassas, Virginia and settled with Allstate (the defendant’s automobile liability insurance company) and GEICO Insurance Company (the biker’s Underinsurance carrier) for $950,000.