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Manatee County Jury Awards Injured Bicyclist $2.3 Million

Posted on October 24, 2012

A Manatee County jury has awarded a 52-year-old Longboat Key bicyclist $2.3 million after he was struck while riding his recumbent bike and dragged underneath a car. The jury determined that his injuries, which included three fractured vertebrae and multiple facial injuries, prevented him from continuing his riding lifestyle.

The accident happened in March 2010, when an 82-year-old Rome, N.Y resident driving a rented Honda sedan made a left-hand turn into the bike lane from Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. According to witnesses, the cyclist yelled, “He’s going to hit me!” before he was struck by the Honda.

According to the bicyclist’s attorney, the elderly man’s insurance company offered a pre-trial settlement of $250,000 and the plaintiff’s counter-offer was $600,000. The case went to trial and the bicyclist was awarded $2.3 million — but that amount will be reduced to $1.9 million because the jury found the bicyclist 18 percent liable for not wearing a helmet.

An attorney not associated with the case told the Bradenton Herald that while some court reformers might take issue with the size of the verdict, it’s important to think about what the victim has gone through.

“What about his injuries and quality of his life and the pain and suffering he endured?” he said.

The bicyclist can no longer ride a bike and has ongoing lower back and vision problems, according to his attorney.

The insurance company is expected to appeal the decision.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent or inattentive motorist, you could be eligible for compensation for medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. The Manatee County bicycle accident attorneys at Farah & Farah have been fighting for justice for our clients for over 25 years. If you believe you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 533-3555.