In 2014, Clifford Brown launched 28-feet in a bike crash in San Diego that left him with several missing teeth, torn ligaments, and brain damage according to Arkady Frekhtman, one of the bike crash lawyers at the F&A injury law firm. He blamed the crash on a poorly kept section of sidewalk in a San Diego neighborhood. A tree had uprooted part of the sidewalk creating a “launch pad” that lead to the serious injuries Brown sustained.
According to an article by the San Diego Union-Tribune in March of 2017, the settlement was “the result of flawed city policies that don’t prioritize promptly fixing dangerously damaged sidewalks.” The repair delayed nearly a half a year. According to the story, “the problem wasn’t quickly fixed despite an inspector deeming it ‘a serious condition which needs immediate repair.'”
The $4.8M settlement was in part due to Brown’s severe injuries, including a month stay in the hospital and two months in a nursing facility. It is possible Brown will not return to work again due to the significant injuries to his head and spine.
The policy in San Diego at the time required adjacent property owners to repair damaged sidewalks. Brown’s lawsuit “says despite that policy, the city should have taken ‘corrective measures’ to eliminate the sidewalk ramp that a tree root had created on the east side of College Avenue just south of Eldergardens Street.”
The lack of repaired sidewalks in San Diego stems from budget cuts due to the Great Recession in 2007. San Diego councilman David Alvarez “would shift the policy to say that the city is responsible unless it is determined that the damage was caused by the adjacent property owner or a third party.” This will hopefully lead to more sidewalks being repaired now that it is not required by the nearby property owners.
Due to San Diego cycling laws, it is legal for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk if they are take care and yield to pedestrians. “Despite finding Brown primarily at fault, Officer Hodges determined the damaged sidewalk was a contributing factor in the crash.”
Brown received one of the highest settlements paid to a cyclist simply due to a damaged sidewalk that should have been repaired months in advance.
Frekhtman & Associates specializes in serious and catastrophic injuries. These sort of events often lead to incredibly high medical bills that are unattainable by most people. How we can help you in the case of a cycling accident? First, if your accident was due to the negligence of someone else, you will likely have a case. We can help you receive damages for considerable pain and suffering past and future, which includes damage to personal property, emotional trauma, medical bills and lost wages due to inability to work.
If you are in a cycling accident, call 911 first, then stop and assess the injuries of those involved. If any injuries are severe, call for an ambulance. If the accident involved a motor vehicle, do not move the vehicle unless it is a danger. Exchange driver’s license, registration, and insurance information with all parties involved. Do not argue about who is at fault, explain what you think happened to the police officer. Seek out potential eyewitnesses and obtain a statement with their description of the accident. Once you have left the scene, make sure to contact your insurance agency immediately to begin a claim.
Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you know was involved in a catastrophic accident due to the negligence of someone else. Frekhtman & Associates are bicycle accident attorneys and we are here to help. We fight hard to protect the legal right of our clients. Our legal fee is simply a percentage of the money won at the end of the case.