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Cyclist gets $500K from city after serious injuries in 2013

A bicyclist on the West Coast has received a half-million dollar settlement after he was struck by a pickup truck in a city bike lane. Cyclists throughout the nation, including those in Rhode Island, run the risk of suffering serious injuries because of negligent drivers, but investigations also often reveal structural issues that contribute to a bike crash. In this instance, the city paid a significant amount of money to the victim because the at-fault driver fled the scene and was never identified.

News reports show that the man was struck by a pickup truck in June 2013 while riding his bike in Portland, Oregon. His serious injuries included broken bones, internal organ damage, and paralysis. He has undergone multiple medical procedures and accumulated financial liabilities in excess of $1.7 million because of the crash, according to official tallies. This victim is not the first person to suffer serious injuries on that stretch of road - the lawsuit his family filed against the city alleged that at least eight other accidents, including one fatality, occurred in the 10 years prior to the victim's bicycle crash.

The case had been slated to go before a jury, but officials from the city agreed that settling would be the best conclusion for both parties. Documents from the lawsuit show that the city was accused of negligence by designing the bicycle lane to be too narrow and failing to install appropriate lighting and signage. Additional hazards on the road included electrical boxes and a concrete wall that obstructed cyclists' paths.

Victims may not realize that they have multiple options for lawsuits in the event of this type of bike crash. The at-fault driver holds some measure of responsibility, but city designers can also be responsible for structural problems in roads that lead to biker injuries. These victims deserve compensation for their long-term medical care and other costs.

Source: The Oregonian, "Portland pays $525,000 to bicyclist hit by a truck in city bike lane," Jessica Floum, March 02, 2017

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