Verdicts and Settlements:
$550,000 Settlement For Cyclist Who Was Cut Off By A Tour Bus In Manhattan
In an extremely difficult case, Mr. Sitinas was able to negotiate a substantial $550,000 settlement on behalf of a bicyclist who was injured when a tour bus passed him on his left side, only to then make a right turn directly into his path. The 48 year old plaintiff tried unsuccessfully to stop his bicycle before colliding with the rear wheel area of the bus and being thrown to the pavement.
Remarkably, the bus driver did not even know that an accident had occurred. Thank goodness, good samaritans in the area chased the driver down the street and yelled to him to stop the bus.
After commencing suit against the bus driver and the tour company that employed the driver, Mr. Sitinas took the deposition of the defendant bus driver. It was clear that the driver was attempting to blame the accident on the cyclist, claiming that our client failed to keep a proper lookout and that, based upon the fact that the plaintiff hit the rear section of the bus, the bus was almost fully into its turn and it was therefor the plaintiff’s fault for not keeping his bicycle under proper control.
However, Mr. Sitinas was able to poke some holes into the driver’s story. First, Mr. Sitinas was able to show that the narrow side street into which the bus driver turned could not have been accomplished without the driver making a wide right turn, quite possibly from the center lane of Amsterdam Avenue. He was also able to show that the bus driver failed to take the cyclist’s position into account and, in fact, was most likely trying to beat the cyclist into the turn.
As a result of this accident, the cyclist suffered bulging discs and a herniated disc at the L5-S1 level and L4-5 level. After attempting to rid himself of pain through both physical therapy and Epidural Steroid injections the plaintiff ultimately underwent a Laminectomy and Discectomy surgery on his lower back. While this improved the low-back pain which travelled down his leg, it did not fully cure the pain.
After sitting down with the defense attorney and the insurance adjuster for the bus, Mr. Sitinas was able to hammer out a significant settlement and avoid trial.