$100,000.00 Verdict for Cyclist When No Contact Occurred
Even without making contact, a motorist can still be negligent for causing
a crash. Contact IS NOT required for a defendant to be held responsible
or to be found to be the proximate cause of a crash.
Our firm recently obtained a $100,000.00 verdict for a cyclist cut off by a vehicle in lower Manhattan.
On Aug. 13, 2014, our client was bicycling on Clinton Street, in Manhattan.
She was utilizing the available bike lane. A sport utility vehicle was
traveling in an adjacent lane, to the left of our client. As both approached
the intersection at Stanton Street, our client needed to aggressively
apply her brakes to avoid the defendants vehicle that just began to execute
a turn in front of her. As a result, she was propelled over the bicycle’s
handlebar, and she landed on the roadway. She sustained severe fractures
of two fingers in the crash.
Our claim was bought against the SUV’s driver and owner. Our allegations
were that the that the crash was a result of the defendant having executed
a negligent, dangerous maneuver. We further alleged that the Defendant
owner was vicariously liable for the drivers actions. The matter was tried
utilizing a summary jury trial in the Supreme Court, Kings County.
The evidence presented was that when the Defendant attempted to execute
a sudden right turn across the cyclist path, toward Stanton Street and
that the driver had not signaled his turn.
The Defendant claimed that he was proceeding straight through the intersection,
and his counsel suggested that the accident was merely a result of the
cyclist having been traveling at an excessive speed. In response, we presented
a photograph, produced during the moments that followed the accident,
depicting the SUV stopped with its front end protruding into the lane
that was designated for bicyclists. A witness also claimed that Kahan
was attempting a right turn.
Before the case was given to the jury, we negotiated a high/low stipulation:
Damages could not exceed $100,000, the full extent of the Defendant's
Insurance policy, but they had to equal or exceed $10,000.
The high amount represented the limit of the defendants’ insurance’s coverage.
Result The jury found that the defendants were 100% liable for the crash.
As a result, the jury determined that the Cyclist's damages totaled
$100,000, ironically the full extent of the insurance coverage.
This case is one of many that we favorably resolved where no contact ever
occurred between the motorist and the cyclist.