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Old 06-27-14, 06:55 PM   #1
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Rare bicyclist 'win' -- 2.4 mil in dooring

Cyclist Wins $2.4 Million in Dooring Incident | Bicycling
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Old 06-27-14, 07:02 PM   #2
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man I only got my bike fixed, hospital bills paid and about 7 grand for pain and suffering... I needed this lawyer. Luckily I didn't get hit by a second vehicle, but I did end up in the middle of the street... just real lucky.
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Old 06-27-14, 09:31 PM   #3
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While they did give her an impressive amount of money keep in mind that amount might be lowered via appeals. The jury also said she was partially to blame!
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Old 06-28-14, 12:40 AM   #4
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While they did give her an impressive amount of money keep in mind that amount might be lowered via appeals.
Also, unless the drivers were wealthy or driving company cars ... they probably don't have that kind of money to pay the cyclist. If you're going to get seriously injured in a traffic collision, it's definitely in your best interests to have it done by somebody with deep pockets.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:23 AM   #5
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While they did give her an impressive amount of money keep in mind that amount might be lowered via appeals. The jury also said she was partially to blame!
Also, unless the drivers were wealthy or driving company cars ... they probably don't have that kind of money to pay the cyclist. If you're going to get seriously injured in a traffic collision, it's definitely in your best interests to have it done by somebody with deep pockets.
Both, Very valid points. I would add, since she is a cyclist. That in and of itself, could play into the outcome of the appeal process.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:38 AM   #6
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One would think that since it was an auto accident that the drivers insurance companies would have to pay up. There policies may not go as high as 2.4 million but they may have more money than the drivers.
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Old 06-28-14, 04:24 PM   #7
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One would think that since it was an auto accident that the drivers insurance companies would have to pay up. There policies may not go as high as 2.4 million but they may have more money than the drivers.
Well, they would ... that's what the insurance is for.

That said, the minimum for the state mandated auto insurance is $15,000 in Pennsylvania so assuming that these drivers were both insured but had the minimum (which seems to be true for more than half of the drivers out there) then that's only $30k total, $15k for each driver -- just over 1% of the amount awarded in the lawsuit.

The limit on your policy is all that your insurance company will pay -- they will not pay more. Anything more comes from you or any other parties that were sued ... or just doesn't get paid at all.

And yes, these minimums are pathetic. PA's minimum required property damage coverage of $5k is the lowest in the country and won't even pay for a nice bike, let alone a new economy car. And $15k in injury coverage is often used up in the first *hour* in the ER.

Last edited by dougmc; 06-28-14 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 06-28-14, 04:40 PM   #8
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The ER costs I would agree with but Tempest was $50 and my Schwinn was a gift.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:07 PM   #9
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Well, they would ... that's what the insurance is for.

That said, the minimum for the state mandated auto insurance is $15,000 in Pennsylvania so assuming that these drivers were both insured but had the minimum (which seems to be true for more than half of the drivers out there) then that's only $30k total, $15k for each driver -- just over 1% of the amount awarded in the lawsuit.

The limit on your policy is all that your insurance company will pay -- they will not pay more. Anything more comes from you or any other parties that were sued ... or just doesn't get paid at all.

And yes, these minimums are pathetic. PA's minimum required property damage coverage of $5k is the lowest in the country and won't even pay for a nice bike, let alone a new economy car. And $15k in injury coverage is often used up in the first *hour* in the ER.
Anyone with any resources is playing a dangerous game with their assets if they opt for minimal coverage.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:31 PM   #10
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Well, they would ... that's what the insurance is for.

That said, the minimum for the state mandated auto insurance is $15,000 in Pennsylvania so assuming that these drivers were both insured but had the minimum (which seems to be true for more than half of the drivers out there) then that's only $30k total, $15k for each driver -- just over 1% of the amount awarded in the lawsuit.

The limit on your policy is all that your insurance company will pay -- they will not pay more. Anything more comes from you or any other parties that were sued ... or just doesn't get paid at all.

And yes, these minimums are pathetic. PA's minimum required property damage coverage of $5k is the lowest in the country and won't even pay for a nice bike, let alone a new economy car. And $15k in injury coverage is often used up in the first *hour* in the ER.
Holy cow I wouldn't drive my car out of the drive way with 15k worth of insurance, you would stand to loose everything you own or would ever own. But i guess if you had no assets it would't make any difference anyway.
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Old 06-28-14, 07:01 PM   #11
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If she can't work again, 2.4M is essentially a 50K a year salary until she's 68 (assuming shes 20 right now)!
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Old 06-28-14, 08:31 PM   #12
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If she can't work again, 2.4M is essentially a 50K a year salary until she's 68 (assuming shes 20 right now)!
I'm not saying it's not fair, actually If you think of it like that it's kinda low, I just stated she might not get it.
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Old 06-29-14, 07:39 AM   #13
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This is no windfall for the cyclist. She will have physical problems for the rest of her life. < 2 million (including a substantial lawyer %) does not equal being pain free, able to walk normally and no PST.
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Old 06-29-14, 08:32 AM   #14
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This is no windfall for the cyclist. She will have physical problems for the rest of her life. < 2 million (including a substantial lawyer %) does not equal being pain free, able to walk normally and no PST.
+1 Yes, I don't think I'd call it a win, more like as fair a settlement as possible.
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Old 06-30-14, 12:17 PM   #15
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Anyone with any resources is playing a dangerous game with their assets if they opt for minimal coverage.
True, but I think that a very significant number of the people on the road fall into the category of having few resources (i.e. being judgement proof) and having the bare minimum amount of insurance coverage because having more costs more but doesn't benefit them at all.

If you get hit by such a person and even if you get a $2.4m judgement ... you only collect $15k. And that's only if they actually have insurance.

That said, the lawyers probably wouldn't have sued such a person, so hopefully there's hope of collecting some of this $2.4m settlement ... but it's unlikely that they'd be able to collect all of it even if it's not reduced by an appeal or negotiations. Only if the person is really rich or you can rope in a business somehow.
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Old 06-30-14, 12:26 PM   #16
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If she can't work again, 2.4M is essentially a 50K a year salary until she's 68 (assuming shes 20 right now)!
The interest alone would be $50k/year if invested halfway responsibly...
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Old 06-30-14, 01:00 PM   #17
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If the atty fee was a typical 30%, and subtacting out the cycists 21%, then an award of 2.5 mm would yield 68K/year for 45 years at a 5% discount rate. Since she is not fully disabled this would be in addition to her earnings. She was awarded some 880k for future medical costs, 1.33. mm pain and suffering and 225K for disfigurement.

But its still a lose/lose situation. Reading the article and related articles, the "doorer" appeared to be an individual, and the van which ran her over was a commercial vehicle. Seems to me like she will end up with a pretty poor payout after a very long time of legal wrangling, maybe as little as 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual jury award. And I have no clue as to how the jury decided that she was 21% at fault, unless it was for riding in the door zone.

NOTE: There is not factual basis for my guess of how much she will end up with, just my guess.
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Old 06-30-14, 03:05 PM   #18
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Anyone with any resources is playing a dangerous game with their assets if they opt for minimal coverage.
This is the absolute truth. It is also one of the reasons I sold off the motorcycle. I hear from all kinds of people who brag about saving money on cheap low limit insurance. If you have ANY kind of assets at all you are putting yourself at great risk.

For the MC I was paying about $750 a year for full insurance. And YES I know I could get cheaper but I just have too many assets to risk to get low limit insurance but one tiny lapse in judgment, or just a stroke of crap luck and I could literally lose everything. And attorneys have ways of finding out if you have a lot of assets or not.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:47 PM   #19
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+1 Yes, I don't think I'd call it a win, more like as fair a settlement as possible.
The way I picture a dooring the percentages they gave hardly seem like a victory for reason..

43% to the doorer
36% to the van which hit her afterwards
21% to the cyclist.

Seems to me that the doorer is getting far less blame than is reasonable (mainly at the expense of the Van driver).

All that assuming no bike lane. If there was a bike lane in the door zone then the 21% should be 0 and any that is her fault should be the city's fault. If bike lane outside the door zone and she was riding to the right of the lane then the cyclist was lucky in the judgment.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:49 PM   #20
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If the atty fee was a typical 30%, and subtacting out the cycists 21%, then an award of 2.5 mm would yield 68K/year for 45 years at a 5% discount rate. Since she is not fully disabled this would be in addition to her earnings. She was awarded some 880k for future medical costs, 1.33. mm pain and suffering and 225K for disfigurement.

But its still a lose/lose situation. Reading the article and related articles, the "doorer" appeared to be an individual, and the van which ran her over was a commercial vehicle. Seems to me like she will end up with a pretty poor payout after a very long time of legal wrangling, maybe as little as 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual jury award. And I have no clue as to how the jury decided that she was 21% at fault, unless it was for riding in the door zone.

NOTE: There is not factual basis for my guess of how much she will end up with, just my guess.
You are unfamiliar with liability law. The 43% will fall on the company that owns the van and it would even if the van driver had been 1% at fault.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:53 AM   #21
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I total understand the van company is on the hook for 43 % thats the jury apportionment of liability. The apportioned guilt of the driver is determined to be 43% not 1%. I never said otherwise. The amount I speculated on the 1/3 to 1/2 of the awarded amount was what I thought may happen on appeal.
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Old 07-01-14, 03:56 AM   #22
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I don't see how this matters-unless you are a lawyer in the case.

I have a talented friend who runs a local CIL agency who suffered brain damage 40 years ago in a bike-car accident and I wouldn't believe that would be an issue to him either.

It's academic without a recess period.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:55 AM   #23
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Rollfast, In future, I will be sure to ask for an evaluation of relevance before posting.
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Old 07-11-14, 07:50 PM   #24
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As an aside - did anyone else notice that the picture at the top of the story shows a cyclist clearly riding on the left against traffic? I imagine the photo was flipped to get a better visual "flow" but in the Bicycling blog? Really?
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Old 07-11-14, 09:25 PM   #25
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You can get a million dollar rider on your home owners ins for not a great deal of money.

Im glad in this case the cyclist who will have problems her whole life got some justice.
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