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Bicycle Accidents

Representative Bicycle Accident Cases Pending or Completed by AgnewBrusavich, 2010 and 2012

  • A young woman from Orange County was on an event ride in the San Diego area and was sideswiped by a bus, causing severe bruising, road rash, and hospitalization for a suspected closed head injury. The bus passed in such close proximity to the cyclist that it sucked her into the side draft of the bus, resulting in the accident. The rider’s bicycle was totaled.

  • A San Diego racer was struck by a vehicle while training, and sustained damage to his hand. His bike was totaled.

  • A Palos Verdes cyclist was hit by a motorist who carelessly failed to properly negotiate a stop sign at Malaga Cove. The rider’s bike was totaled. The cyclist suffered significant orthopedic injuries, a collapsed lung, concussion, fractured ribs, and substantial lost income.

  • A cyclist in PV was hit by a careless motorist coming across the bike lane to make a right-hand turn. The rider, who was properly in the bike lane on Hawthorne, collided with the car. The motorist fled the scene. The rider suffered road rash, severe bruising, a hip injury, and lost time from work.

  • A cyclist on the Palos Verde Donut Ride was hit by a Palos Verdes Estates police officer. The bike was significantly damaged, and the governmental claim was successfully resolved with replacement of the frame and personal injury damages.

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  • A South Bay racer was hit early in the morning by a motorist who made a left turn while the rider was traveling in a straight line on the way to the Manhattan Beach Pier Ride. The cyclist suffered a comminuted compound elbow fracture, requiring hospitalization and surgery. His bike was totaled.

  • A Palos Verdes cyclist was hit by a motorist while descending Silver Spur. The motorist entered Silver Spur from a side street. The rider suffered orthopedic injuries, damage to his shoulder and hand, and his bike was totaled.

  • A San Gabriel Valley cyclist was hit at night by an automobile driver making a partial turn on a residential street, directly in front of the cyclist. She intended to back into her driveway. The bike was totaled. The rider sustained multiple spinal fractures that required surgical repair with plates, pins, and screws. The cyclist lost substantial time from work.

  • An Orange County cyclist suffered catastrophic eye, facial, and head injuries when a defective wheel collapsed in the middle of a morning ride.

  • While descending Via del Monte in Palos Verdes Estates, a Hermosa Beach racer was hit by a driver who turned directly in front of him from the right curb, intending a turn. The cyclist suffered a fractured clavicle, broken ribs, and a totaled bike.

  • A Los Angeles cyclist was hit by a careless sheriff’s deputy. The rider sustained orthopedic injuries and his bicycle was badly damaged.

  • A Redondo Beach cyclist was hit by a reckless motorist on the way to the Tuesday Telo training crit. The rider suffered severe leg fractures resulting in major surgery, hospitalization, and time lost from work. His bike was bike totaled.

  • A South Bay cyclist was struck by an on-duty military officer driving a rental car. The rider suffered a knee injury resulting in surgery and time lost from work. Her bike was totaled.

  • A Palos Verdes cyclist was struck from behind by a negligent taxi driver. The rider suffered road rash and orthopedic injuries. His bike was totaled.

  • A Los Angeles cyclist was hit by a careless motorist. The rider suffered road rash and bruising.

  • A Manhattan Beach cyclist was hit by a careless motorist. The rider suffered severe hand and nerve injury.

  • A San Pedro cyclist was sideswiped by a motorist. The rider suffered road rash, orthopedic injuries, and damage to his bike.

  • A Manhattan Beach cyclist was rear-ended by a following, left-turning driver. The cyclist suffered a broken arm and wrist. There was significant property damage.
  • Cyclist hit by distracted taxi driver. Two cyclists returning from a morning ride, riding two abreast in their right of way in the beach area. The outside cyclist was struck from behind by a taxi driver causing serious injuries. Investigation and testimony to date established the taxi driver believed the cyclists were "in my lane" highlighting a common misconception on the part of drivers who hit cyclists and mistakenly believe that the lane is theirs and not the cyclists'.

  • Local cyclist commuting from home to work was knocked down by a passing vehicle riding too close to the bike lane. Fortunately the cyclist suffered only road rash and property damage. Cyclist recovered $10,000, which provided compensation for the minor injuries as well as complete replacement cost for a new specialized SL3 frame.

  • Cyclist commuting to work near the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive and Hawthorne was knocked down by an inattentive motorist who was turning right across the bike lane. A local police officer with known hostility towards bicyclists blamed the cyclist, however, investigation overcame the bias in the police report and allowed the victim to recover $17,000.

  • Club racer knocked down from behind by an erratic and inattentive driver on Palos Verdes Drive. The cyclist recovered $75,000 for back injuries, road rash, and bruises as well as property damage.

  • Elite cyclist riding in West Los Angeles passing the entrance to a small parking lot was struck when an inattentive motorist entered the traffic lane without checking for cross traffic. The cyclist sustained serious injuries and recovered substantial money damages which are confidential.

  • Cyclist riding with a group on a morning ride in Marina del Rey was struck by an inattentive motorist with "heavy foot syndrome," i.e., she jumped a stop sign as the cyclist was proceeding through the intersection. $5,000 in property damage recovered. $15,000 policy limits of offending driver recovered, as well as $8,000 from the cyclist's own uninsured motorist coverage for a total $28,000 recovery.

  • A pro racer from Mexico was killed in 2010 by two teenagers operating their cars in a reckless manner causing one to cross over lanes and strike the cyclist head-on. AgnewBrusavich is representing the deceased cyclist's parents, who live in Mexico. Both vehicle drivers are facing criminal charges.

  • Professional cycling coach was injured in San Diego on a day ride when confronted by an angry pickup truck driver in a road rage incident. The driver made a sudden stop while in a heated verbal exchange with another cyclist, causing the coach to strike the rear of the pickup truck and sustain injuries. $15,000 policy limits against the offending driver were recovered and an additional $60,000 recovered from the cyclist's uninsured motorist coverage.

  • Four cyclists were taken out by a driver of a Ferrari who drifted into the bike lane on Palos Verdes Drive West, knocking down the lead rider and three riders behind her. Three cyclists were injured. The fourth cyclist suffered property damage only. All four cyclists received full compensation for all of their property damage, and the three injured cyclists recovered maximum recoverable policy limits of $100,000 each from the offending driver.

  • Two experienced riders in the South Bay were knocked down when a pickup truck drifted into the bike lane striking the cyclist positioned on the outside of the bike lane. Both were knocked down suffering injuries as well as bicycle clothing and equipment damage. $800, respectively, recovered in property damage. $250,000 obtained during litigation and following a mediation.

  • Club rider descending Palos Verdes Drive East past the college was knocked down by a driver who cut him off turning right down Miraleste. The driver drove the victim to a local bike shop, replaced some of the damaged equipment and got the victim to sign a waiver and release for damages. The cyclist subsequently realized that he was suffering from injuries which affected his ability to work. AgnewBrusavich litigated the matter to set aside the driver's signed waiver and release, and negotiated an injury settlement for an additional $39,000.

  • Orange County cyclist riding in his right-of-way was "door prized" by an on duty police officer.  Scrapes, bruises, road rash and a wrist injury were suffered. Matter pending litigation after the city and police department denied the claim. This is just one of several "door prize" cases pending in the firm.

  • 2011 case pending: AgnewBrusavich is representing a victim from the ultimate nightmare which involved a group of South Bay cyclists on their regular Sunday morning ride when a car load of partying and allegedly intoxicated young women crashed head on into the group shortly after 7:00 a.m. The matter is in active litigation in Torrance Superior Court.

  • 2011 investigation pending: AgnewBrusavich has taken on the representation of a local cyclist catastrophically injured by newly installed speed bumps on Via Del Monte. Immediately after the City of Palos Verdes installed what are deceptively called "speed cushions" to slow down automobile traffic on the road, one rider in a small group of cyclists on the descent went down as a result of this dangerous condition on the highway suffering a brain injury. The victim faces a long-term rehabilitation and severe morbidity.

  • AgnewBrusavich Recovers $2,000,000+ for Paralyzed Cyclist in Palos Verdes Estates

    Having an experienced, aggressive litigator who understands juries and who understands the mechanics of a bike-car collision can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.

    Our client, a 53 year-old cyclist who lives in the South Bay, was riding with his regular cycling group as they descended a hairpin turn down Via Del Monte into Malaga Cove. A taxi was driving uphill, and at the moment the cyclists were in the turn the taxi hit the cyclist head-on. Two eyewitnesses testified that the cyclist crossed over the yellow line and another said the taxi was in the proper lane of travel. The investigating officer confirmed that the point of impact was in the taxi’s lane. The cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, sustained retrograde amnesia and had no recollection of the accident. He claimed, however that the taxi cab driver was on or over the double yellow line in the group’s right of way. The rider was passing the other cyclists on the left at the time and was speeding.

    This type of case, with eyewitnesses placing the cyclist in the wrong, is a very difficult case in which to prevail. The rider was rendered paraplegic as a result of the blow to his head and neck. The taxi driver’s insurance company offered nothing before trial, but made an offer of $250,000 while the jury was out. AgnewBrusavich litigated the case intensively.

    The jury found for the cyclist and awarded $1,989,984 plus pre-judgment interest of $145,568, as well as $150,000 for past and future lost earnings.

  • AgnewBrusavich Recovers $2,200,000 for Young Cyclist Killed by Trucker

    The victim, a 12 year-old boy, had forgotten to take his cleats to school for baseball practice after
    school. He took the 2:00 p.m. bus home from school to get his baseball shoes. His mother was not home so he took his friend’s bicycle in order to make it back to school for the 3:30 practice.

    At 2:35 p.m., he was riding northbound on Puente Avenue in the City of Industry. Puente A venue is a busy main street with two lanes of traffic in each direction and left turn lanes at the medians. Jose Ortega, an independent trucking contractor, was traveling southbound on Puente A venue intending to make a left turn into an industrial complex. As the traffic on northbound Puente stopped for a red light, the motorists created a traffic break to allow Ortega, who had his left turn signal on.

    As Ortega was completing his turn, the cyclist was nearing the curb and ran into the right front side of the tractor and trailer. The impact knocked the rider from his bicycle. He was then crushed to death by the rear tires of the tractor.

    AgnewBrusavich argued that Ortega was negligent for crossing over double parallel lines to make his left turn. He failed to yield to the rider’s right-of-way despite the fact that traffic in #1 and #2 lanes had yielded. The trucker was negligent for failing to keep a look out throughout the left turn. AgnewBrusavich also argued that Coast Transportation Systems was a PUC licensed common carrier, and vicariously liable for the negligence of its independent contractor, Ortega, who was hauling freight for Coast at the time.

    The trucker did what motorists often do in bike-car collisions, arguing that the fault was essentially that of the cyclist. According to witnesses, the rider was pedaling “very fast” with his head down and not looking. If he would have looked for the last ten seconds or 200 feet, he would have seen the huge tractor-trailer moving slowly at 8 mph across the northbound lanes and could easily have stopped or tried to avoid the collision. This ploy is one that juries are often sympathetic to, as it paints the rider as an obstacle to the smooth progress of traffic, ignoring the fact that cyclists are entitled to the same use of the roads as motorized vehicles.

    The trucker and his insurance company further tried to pin the blame on the young rider by introducing evidence that his parents had instructed him never to ride far from home, and by introducing the testimony of the victim’s baseball coach, who said that cleats were not required for practice.

    Confident of their case, the defendants offered $150,000, then increased it to $350,000, finally raising their offer to $500,000 when they saw the aggressive trial strategy of AgnewBrusavich on the first day of trial. The victim’s family rejected the offer, and AgnewBrusavich tried the case to a successful verdict, obtaining $2,200,000 for the victim’s family.

  • AgnewBrusavich Recovers $300,000 for South Bay Cyclist Hit by Motorist in front of Mobil Refinery

    The victim was riding westbound on 190th Street on a two-way bicycle lane/sidewalk on the south side of the street when he entered the intersection of 190th Street and a private driveway to the Mobil refinery. The motorist either stopped or rolled to a stop intending to exit the refinery and turn right on 190th Street.

    As cyclists are all too aware, motorists rarely take the extra second required to double check for bicycles on a sidewalk or bicycle lane, and this driver was no exception. He pulled out into the bike lane and smashed into the cyclist, who had the full right of way. The rider was thrown to the ground and suffered a severe fracture of his proximal tibia on the right side, requiring open reduction and Llizarov placement.

    This is a particularly painful and type of leg reconstruction surgery that involves severing a bone without severing the periosteum around it, separating two halves of the bone slightly and fix them in place, and then allowing the bone to grow to fill the gap.

    Hospital and surgery and related bills were $75,000. The driver, like 85% of all motorists in California, had minimal insurance limits of $15,000, which were hardly enough to make a dent in the cyclist’s medical bills. AgnewBrusavich then turned to a little-used clause in the cyclist’s own car insurance policy, which required the cyclist’s insurance company to cover the amount of damages caused as a result of the driver’s under-insurance. The insurance company paid the policy limits of $300,000 minus the $15,000 already paid by the driver.

  • AgnewBrusavich Recovers $1,500,000 for South Bay Cyclist on Eve of Trial

    Our client, was cycling southbound on Hawthorne Blvd. when a motorist in a car rented by his employer became confused at an intersection. As often happens when motorists get confused, they lose focus and stop paying attention to smaller objects and vehicles such as cyclists.

    This motorist was no exception, and he proceeded to make a left turn on a red arrow directly into our client’s path. The cyclist smashed into the right front side of the car. He was wearing a helmet and had a bright headlamp attached to his handlebars. As a result of the motorist’s carelessness, the rider suffered column fractures of the hip, left femoral head and acetabulum, non-displaced fracture of right hip at the pubic rami.

    AgnewBrusavich demanded $1,000,000 but the insurance company refused, unaware of the firm’s intention to obtain the maximum recovery for this case of clear liability against a defenseless cyclist. After all attempts to obtain a good faith settlement failed, AgnewBrusavich continued with trial preparations. Immediately before the trial was to begin, the insurer agreed to settle the case for $1,500,000.

Recent AgnewBrusavich Cases (Non-Cycling Related)

  • $4,375,000 settlement obtained in a wrongful death construction accident and product liability case on behalf of wife and two children of a construction worker. The worker was killed by construction equipment.
  • Salesperson checking inventory in a warehouse was struck and knocked down by a forklift coming out of an interior driveway through opaque refrigeration curtains. She suffered degloving injuries and a fractured hip. The matter resolved on the eve of trial for $1,625,000.
  • Professor on a Sunday morning walk was killed by a negligent teenage driver speeding on Hawthorne Boulevard near its intersection of Crest. The driver lost control of his vehicle and hit the curb, went up onto the sidewalk striking the pedestrian on his early morning Sunday walk.  He died on the way to the hospital from internal bleeding leaving a wife and three children.  Maximum recovery obtained on behalf of the family. The amounts are confidential.
  • Confused elderly pedestrian confused stepped off curb against pedestrian crosswalk signal and was bumped by a young driver at about 5 mph who was starting a right turn on a red light. The elderly gentleman was knocked down, struck his head, never regained consciousness and died one day later. There were no economic damages and the defense claimed the accident was the fault of the pedestrian for stepping off the curb into a crosswalk against traffic lights. Notwithstanding, a $900,000 recovery was obtained. 
  • Young mother and her husband recovered $900,000 for loss of fetus at 12 weeks. The young mother working in an office setting above a dry cleaner was sickened and caused to faint from carbon monoxide leaking through vents from the business below. She went to the hospital and her blood level showed that she had some carbon monoxide poisoning. Unfortunately, the husband and wife were uncertain as to what affect that would have on their 12-week fetus.  They elected to terminate the pregnancy. Recovery was for the emotional distress caused by this very painful decision they had to make regarding the pregnancy.
  • Motorcycle rider on a solo mountain road ride was run off the road by an oncoming motorcyclist who crossed the center line. The victim suffered leg injuries, as well as back injuries. Recovery of full policy limits from offending driver as well as an additional $500,000 from the victim's own uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Mother and father recovered for wrongful death of one day old infant. Difficult labor resulted in an attempted vacuum extraction which caused bleeding and swelling on the head and brain of the infant who died less than 24 hours after birth. Damages were capped by statute at a maximum of $250,000. Recovery of $350,000 obtained however based upon additional damages for the emotional distress of the mother.
  • Single mom recovered $250,000, the maximum allowable statutory damages for the wrongful death of her young son who suffered an infection following a tonsillectomy. The claim is based upon inadequate monitoring and inappropriate prescription of antibiotics upon discharge from hospital with an infection following the tonsillectomy.
  • Motorcycle rider recovers $100,000 policy limits against offending driver as a result of a left-turn accident. The motorcycle rider suffered a non-surgical knee injury.
  • Teenager, through mother/guardian ad litem, recovered $700,000 in a lawsuit against a school and school district adult male school employee. The employee developed an unlawful sexual relationship with a 15 year-old student on campus after school activities with the inappropriate sexual behavior taking place off campus.
  • Elderly woman underwent pain management injections in her spine and suffered brain damage from anesthesiology malpractice. Settlement: $1,140,000.
  • Disabled woman visiting friend in hospital slipped on wet floor caused by improper maintenance with the wrong wax. Fracture of ankle and patella. Settlement: $490,000.
  • 50-year-old motorcyclist injured when motorist made a left turn. Motorcyclist sustained ankle fracture requiring open reduction. Settlement: $850,000
  • Elderly couple sustained aggravation of pre-existing arthritic condition of neck when rear-ended. Settlement: $350,000
  • 15-year-old student sustained a subdural hematoma during varsity football game. Claimed coaching staff negligently played him with a concussion resulting in "second impact syndrome" injury. Settlement: $600,000
  • 48-year-old male underwent surgery for a meningioma tumor and had an artificial dura installed over his brain. Subsequently, infection developed allegedly due to sterility issues concerning the manufacture of the artificial brain flap. Settlement: $600,000
  • Postal worker delivering mail jumped off a porch to avoid an attacking dog. Sustained patella fracture of the right leg. Settlement: $350,000

As a bicyclist, you have the right to ride California's highways and roads, which are some of the most scenic and enjoyable byways in the world. Motorists have a duty to respect your presence. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to treat bicyclists with the requisite care required by law. As cyclists, each of us has a friend or knows of a fellow cyclist who has been the victim of a catastrophic accident caused by a careless, negligent, or hostile motorist.

Our results speak for themselves: See our verdicts and settlements to review examples of the many cases in which our lawyers have obtained maximum compensation for victims of negligence.

AgnewBrusavich are bicycle accident trial lawyers in the South Bay of Los Angeles with the experience and resources to achieve the fairness and justice that accident victims deserve. Although Gerry Agnew is a competitive track cyclist and regular at the LA Velodrome, AgnewBrusavich brings much more to your case than the understanding and enthusiasm of a cyclist. We bring to your case more than 35 years of experience trying and winning serious injury lawsuits of extraordinary depth and complexity.

When you retain us to handle your bicycle accident, we use the same practices for your bicycle collision case that have brought us courtroom success in complex product liability and serious injury cases: Early retention of evidence, often a key to a thorough and complete early accident scene investigation, to preserve evidence and document the scene, is a crucial consideration in every bicycle accident case we handle. We use the best and most highly recognized experts in the field, and we approach bicycle accident reconstruction through the use of cutting edge technology.

AgnewBrusavich do whatever it takes to represent you and your family, and here in the South Bay we can say with confidence there is no other firm of equal experience, track record, or expertise in bicycle-motorist collision cases. Many lawyers who handle bicycle accidents simply sign up the client and then refer the case out to another firm. When you hire us, you hire us and no one else. We have the experience and expertise to begin advocating for you from the moment we notify the insurance claims adjuster that you are our client. At every step of the way the insurance company and its defense counsel know that we are working up your case in order to try it to a jury if the insurer refuses to make a reasonable settlement that will fairly compensate you for your injuries. When an insurer or their defense counsel deal with an experienced serious injury trial law firm like us, they often behave differently than they would with someone else.

Just as important as our decades of experience litigating and winning serious injury cases in the courtroom is our intimate knowledge of the insurance industry and our skill at negotiating with recalcitrant adjusters. When you retain us you are retaining a firm that will spare no effort to make sure you receive the compensation that you deserve.

AgnewBrusavich represents bicycle accident victims on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay no costs or attorney fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf. If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact Agnew & Brusavich in Torrance, CA for a consultation about your case and to learn more about what we can accomplish for you. Our consultations are always free. Please take a moment to review the results that we have obtained for other clients. Although we can never guarantee a particular outcome or result, we can assure you that we will represent you aggressively, ethically, and with all of the ability that comes from more than three decades of trying and winning serious injury cases in the courtroom.