A bicyclist, who alleged permanent traumatic brain injury (often referred to as TBI) and memory loss will be paid three million ($3,000,000.00) dollars by the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday, September 29, 2016.
The bicycle versus car collision occurred on Victory Boulevard, just east of the San Diego (405) freeway, in the San Fernando Valley, when Shelaim Furst, a rabbi, allegedly was hit from behind while driving his bicycle in a posted bicycle lane by a car driven by Antoine Shehata, who was attempting to change lanes to enter the freeway.
As a result of the impact, Rabbi Furst struck the car’s front windshield and was thrown approximately 27 feet onto the street. Rabbi Furst reportedly suffered multiple injuries, including permanent brain injury and memory loss, from this collision.
A basis of his lawsuit was reported to be that L.A. City allowed Victory Blvd. to become “dilapidated” which created a false sense of security since the city posted bike route signs. For more information on bicycle injury accidents, please see our Bicycle Accident injury page.
While not reported, one might assume from the article that Rabbi Furst’s attorneys also made a personal injury claim against the driver and owner of the Shehata car, which may have been insured for an amount not sufficient to pay for all of Furst’s claimed damages (as few people have insurance for one million dollars or more), or possibly been uninsured.
If the Shehata car was insured, but not for a sufficient amount to pay for all of Furst’s damages, or even uninsured, then under California law if Rabbi Furst had his own auto insurance coverage with uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, and if such coverage exceeded any coverage by the Shehata car, then it would have provided a source of additional insurance coverage for Furst. If the case proceeded to trial and a favorable judgment, then the city would receive a credit against total damages for any monies Furst received from other sources, such as the Shehata car and any available UM or UIM coverages. For more information on uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverages, and how it is applied to injury accident claims in Los Angeles and California, see article Uninsured Motorist Claims.
The L.A. City Council supposedly approved this $3 million settlement on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the day before this article was published, without any discussion, leading readers to wonder what behind the scenes communications must have occurred before such a large settlement would be approved.