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A bicyclist from San Diego will soon be receiving a little bit of justice in the form of a check for nearly $5 million. After being severely injured due to a crash caused by poorly maintained city sidewalks, the cyclist will likely require a lifetime of medical care and incur other costly expenses, which the large settlement will go a long way toward providing.
The injury cyclist was bicycling to a friend's home when he rode over a cracked sidewalk that the lawsuit described as a "launching ramp." The ramp sent him flying 28 feet into the air. Upon landing and skidding, the cyclist severely injured his back, spine, and even suffered a stroke.
Bicyclist Beware of San Diego Sidewalks
Although this is among the largest reported settlement agreed to by San Diego for an injured cyclist, it is not the only one. Just a few months ago, a quarter-million dollar settlement was approved for another injured cyclist who crashed due to a pothole. Before that, other five-figure settlements were approved as well.
The cases were likely the result of the fact that San Diego did not uphold their duty to repair dangerous conditions on sidewalks within a reasonable period of time. Generally, cities are required to repair dangerous conditions on public property, and if they fail to do so within a reasonable period of time, can be held liable for any injuries caused by the danger. But be advised that government claims can often be subject to shortened timelines and special rules.
Big Injuries Big Money
Although many people often balk at large settlement awards for injury victims, the truth is that large awards generally correspond with big injuries that have permanent, life altering effects. In addition to future or lifelong medical care, a person's home may need to be retrofitted to accommodate a disability, or a person may be left unable to work in their chosen profession or any profession at all.
Often, accident victims, such as these San Diego cyclists, don't realize that a city, or other entity, can be held liable for their injuries. If you're injured on public or private property, particularly if it is a serious injury, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you have a case.