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Injured California Bicyclist Recovers $10M in Damages After a Collision With a Pedestrian

There is an unfortunate stereotype that says that, whenever there is a court case that involves a seemingly minor accident and a very large award of damages from a jury, the verdict was a result of “slick” plaintiffs’ lawyers, disingenuous plaintiffs’ doctors, and a gullible jury. As is the case in most walks of life, though, assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes are often wrong.

In reality, there are a lot of situations in which even accidents devoid of high speeds or large vehicles still inflict permanent and life-changing injuries. If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, and that injury leaves you with hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills, your bill collectors are not going to ask how fast the other vehicle was going. Whether the vehicle that hit you was going 5 or 105, if the other person was at fault, you are entitled to receive a sum of compensation that fully reflects the totality of the harm that you’ve suffered. To make certain that you’re getting that level of compensation, be sure to retain a skilled San Mateo injury attorney.

In law school, students learn about someone called an “eggshell victim” or “eggshell plaintiff.” This refers to a situation in which the injured person has suffered more severe or extensive injuries than an “average” person might have suffered under the same circumstances. A Sacramento County case recently reported by the Sacramento Bee is a good example. A married couple in their mid 60s were out for a tandem bicycle ride on a bike path in Folsom when they approached two pedestrians from the rear. The husband signaled to the pedestrians with his bicycle bell. After initially stepping to the right, the female pedestrian moved quickly back to the left. The bicycle hit the female pedestrian and crashed on the trail.

In this case, it was the female bicyclist, rather than the female pedestrian, who bore the brunt of the accident. Although the bicycle was going only 10 mph or less at the time of the crash, the wife’s injuries were massive. While many people might have suffered only limited-duration damage like cuts and bruises or a hairline fracture of a bone, this woman was in a coma for three days and spent months in the hospital ICU. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a fracture in her back, and a lacerated liver.

These injuries forever altered the trajectory of the wife’s life. They meant that she had racked up massive medical bills and would face many more treatments. She had endured much pain and suffering and would continue to do so in the future. The injuries also forever altered the future work options and earning ability for this teacher.

A negligent person must “take his victim as he finds him”

The law says that a negligent person must “take his victim as he finds him.” That means that the amount of harm that an “average” person would suffer is irrelevant to the amount of compensation that you should receive. You are entitled to the full amount of compensation that reflects all the damages that you can prove that you suffered and will incur as a result of your accident. Based on the evidence in this Sacramento County case, the jury concluded that the appropriate amount of compensation included $3 million in economic damages and $7.1 million in non-economic damages.

Whether you were hit by a truck or a pedestrian, and whether yours was a 10-mph accident or an 80-mph accident, you need — and deserve — full compensation for the actual harm that you suffered, and will suffer, due to the accident. The skilled San Mateo bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have many years of experience helping our clients get exactly that. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys and get the clear advice that you need, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

Bicycle Accidents

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    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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