Published on:

Injured Bicyclist Settles with County for $3.5 Million

Just prior to trial, an injured bicyclist and his wife settled their lawsuit for brain injuries he suffered when he was thrown from his bicycle. A former endurance athlete who now suffers from permanent brain injury, was thrown from his bike when he struck a survey marker in the road. The bicyclist was in a coma for seven months after the accident, then treated at a physical rehabilitation center and now lives in a group home. Fortunately, the settlement will provide for around-the-clock care which is now required as the result of this tragic bicycle wreck. Like many other similar cases, a large part of the plaintiff’s damages are made up of future medical and nursing care that will be incurred in the future and which was necessitated by the injury.

An interesting aspect of this case is that there was a sustantial recovery, even though it was a single vehicle accident. The legal theory under which the settlement was possible was that the bicyclist was traveling on a bike path and the County was liable for the fall because it promoted the road as a bike path but failed to maintain it in a safe condition. An important fact in the case was that the County allowed a hole around the paving marker to grow deeper with each road paving. This type of inactivity is considered to be, in legal terms, a nuisance. The nuisance surely played a substantial role in getting the case settled, as without the nuisance cause of action, there might not have been liability on the County’s part.

In Georgia, many municipalities are immune from certain types of negligence. One way around this bar to recovery due to negligence in maintaining roads is to show that the muncipality knew, or should have known, of a dangerous condition on the roadway (in this case the bike path) yet failed to do anything to correct the situation. This theory of liablity against a city, county, or state has been successfully used against the City of Atlanta, and other cities in pot hole cases, broken water meter cases, missing or broken storm grates, roadways which were not properly maintained and therefore would not drain, cases involving large trees that were dying and deemed to be a hazard, and many others.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death, dental malpractice, airport accidents, car accidents and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.