$3,450,000 Settlement for Car Accident Victim with Leg, Hip, and Ankle Fractures

In a New York case, a 46-year-old man was crossing the street within a crosswalk when he was hit and dragged by an Access-A-Ride bus. He suffered multiple fractures, including a trimalleolar ankle fracture, leg fractures, and hip fractures. Represented by Block O'Toole & Murphy, he received a $3.45 million settlement.

Court and County
Supreme, Queens

Plaintiff Description
Our client was a 46-year-old Queens resident at the time of the accident.

Description of Case
Our client was walking along Atlantic Avenue in Queens to visit a friend's business on 101st Avenue, when he came to a red light at an intersection. He began to cross at Atlantic Avenue once the walk signal appeared, but while he crossed the street he was struck on the left side by an Access-A-Ride bus, knocked down, and dragged roughly 25 feet before the bus finally came to a stop.

The Defendant bus driver, who had been employed for about 3 months at the time of the accident, was waiting at the red light to make a right turn and saw our client standing at the corner of the intersection. When the light turned green and our client got his Walk signal, the Defendant made the turn without realizing that our client was crossing the street.

The Defendant claimed that he was 20-25 feet past the crosswalk when he felt something go under the right rear tire of the bus, at which point he stopped. He was cited for violating NYC Admin Code 19-190, which is the Right of Way law.

A non-party witness who was driving behind the Defendant testified that our client stopped at the corner of the intersection and waited to cross until the light turned green. This witness saw our client look both ways before crossing the street and felt that our client saw the bus but assumed that it would stop for him. When the witness realized a collision was imminent, he began blowing his horn. Sadly, however, the Defendant did not slow down or otherwise heed his warning.

Injuries
Our client suffered multiple severe fractures in his legs and hips, as well as in his right foot and ankle, for which he was kept at Jamaica Hospital for nearly a month. His diagnosis included:

  • Left Leg: Closed left subtrochanteric fracture of left femur
  • Right Leg: Close fracture of distal end of right tibia; closed displaced fracture of shaft of right tibia; closed trimalleolar fracture of right ankle
  • Hips and Pelvis: Right-sided closed pelvic ring fracture; right-sided superior and inferior pubic rami fracture; left-sided sacral ala fracture
  • Right Foot: Severe crush injury; closed comminuted navicular fracture; dislocation of talonavicular joint; Lisfranc fracture-dislocation of 2nd metatarsal-medial cuneiform; comminuted middle and medial cuneiform fractures; comminuted cuboid fracture; comminuted 5th metatarsal head intra-articular fracture

To treat these injuries, our client required multiple open reduction-internal fixation surgeries on both legs, his right ankle and his right foot. The fractures he sustained to his pelvis did not require surgery.

In the aftermath of his surgeries and amid ongoing physical therapy, our client was found by doctors to have severely limited range of motion in his lumbar spine, both hips, both knees and in his right ankle. He also reported feeling decreased sensation throughout his right leg and foot.

As a result of this accident, our client alleged economic damages due to future healthcare costs. Whether or not he will be able to return to work in a sedentary fashion will depend on how he continues to recover from his injuries. He did not make a claim for lost earnings.

Settlement/Verdict Amount
This case settled before trial at mediation for $3,450,000.

Handling Attorneys
This matter was handled by Partner Daniel. P O'Toole and Frederick Aranki.