40 Year Old Architect Struck by Vehicle While Bicycling ($493,000)
On a clear September day, this 40 year old architect was riding his bicycle home from work when a vehicle approached from a side street, stopped for a stop sign, and suddenly turned directly in front of the victim’s oncoming bicycle. The bicyclist was thrown first onto the hood of the vehicle and then down to the ground. He sustained an open left tibia and fibula fracture, a right patellar fracture, and a large jagged laceration to his left forearm. He was in surgery for hours, receiving multiple fixations with hardware to stabilize, set and close his numerous fractures and wounds. He was hospitalized for 4 days, wheelchair bound at home for 6 weeks, and on limited weight-bearing for another 4 weeks. He was required to wear a knee immobilizer for 10 months. He lost substantial muscle mass due to the extended period of immobility. He went through extensive physical therapy and suffered a post-traumatic Baker’s Cyst which ruptured. The patellar fracture failed to heal, so a subsequent surgery was required 5 months in, to place new but bulkier hardware. Subsequent hardware removal led to infection, leading to yet another surgery and removal of all remaining patellar hardware. His open wounds and surgeries left him with numerous visible scars. He required extensive work accommodations, including limited hours, workspace modifications, and requiring transportation to and from work for most of the first year. Even after two years he had not resumed commuting via bicycle, though he had returned to cycling in limited fashion.
His medical expenses totaled $140,000. He suffered lost wages of $21,000, and incurred $1,000 on home modification and other necessary expenses to support his recovery. Liability was undisputed. Denise Fullerton was able to obtain $365,000 in liability funds ($465,000 after deferral), plus $28,000 in No-Fault benefits. All medical bills were satisfied from these funds, including resolution of ERISA liens. A portion of the settlement funds were used to establish a structured annuity, with $100,000 in tax-free growth, allowing this victim to receive net compensation of $292,500 plus payment of all expenses.