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$2,100,000 Settlement in Bicycle Accident Lawsuit for Cyclist Hit by Truck

A bicyclist was riding westbound on a street in Long Island City, Queens when he was struck by a garbage truck making a right-hand turn. The cyclist was knocked to the ground. As a result of the crash, he sustained serious injuries, including multiple fractures and a herniated disc at L4-L5. Represented by Block O’Toole & Murphy, he recovered a $2.1 million settlement.

Settlement Date
May 12, 2017

Court and County
Supreme Queens

Age and Occupation of the Plaintiff
Plaintiff was 23 years old on the date of the accident. Plaintiff was a student when the accident occurred.

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Facts and Allegations
This matter stems from an accident which occurred at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and Bradley Street in Queens, New York. Plaintiff was riding a bicycle that collided with a New York City Department of Sanitation garbage truck.

Plaintiff was operating his bicycle westbound on Greenpoint Avenue. Similarly, the garbage truck was driving in a westbound direction but intended to make a right-hand turn on Bradley Street. The accident was captured by a surveillance video that was employed by a local business. The garbage truck passed the Plaintiff on Greenpoint Avenue, approaching Bradley Street. The garbage truck had its turn signal on. The surveillance video showed the Plaintiff failing to slow down despite the truck evincing its intentions to make a right-hand turn. The garbage truck reached the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and Bradley Street and began to make its right-hand turn without slowing down. The Plaintiff was struck on his left side by the garbage truck, knocking him to the ground.

Plaintiff claims Defendant failed to yield the right-of-way and keep a proper lookout before making a right-hand turn. Defendants pointed out that the Plaintiff never took any precautionary steps after the garbage truck passed him, failing to slow down. The Defendants also argued that the Plaintiff failed to appreciate that the garbage truck had its turn signal illuminated as it began to make the right-hand turn. The Defendant garbage truck driver did not stop after the impact and was never identified.

Plaintiff was removed from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to Elmhurst hospital where he was admitted for 12 days. Plaintiff was diagnosed with fractures to the left pelvis, third lumbar process, mandible, orbital rim, right leg, and right forearm. The facial fractures required surgical intervention during the initial admission and a subsequent surgery 3 years after the accident to remove the surgical hardware. The other injuries which were diagnosed in the hospital did not require additional treatment and healed without any sequelae. Plaintiff’s lumbar spine became symptomatic in the months after the accident. The Plaintiff was eventually referred for diagnostic studies, including an MRI, which revealed a herniation at the L4-L5 segment which after conservative treatment failed resulted in a fusion surgery 4 years after the accident.

Plaintiff argued that the accident caused the fractures and the traumatic herniation to the lower back resulting in the need for the surgery. The defense, and their expert physicians, argued that all the fractures have resolved without any residual effects and further argued Plaintiff’s lower back complaints and treatment, including surgery, were all for preexisting conditions and not caused by this accident.

Plaintiff made claims for past and future medical expenses, as well as past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Settlement Amount
The parties negotiated a $2,100,000 pretrial settlement.

The case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy & Michael J. Hurwitz.

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