Bicycle Accident Settlement
On the morning of August 26, 2016, National Guardsman and veteran Steve Stevenson woke up early for some exercise and fresh air. Stevenson (not his real name) was riding his new Calfee road bicycle down Dorsett Shoals in Douglasville, Georgia when he was suddenly hit from behind by a vehicle. The force and impact of the collision threw Stevenson off his bicycle and over the top of the car to land in a ditch by the side of the road.
Before he could stand up or call for help, the driver of the vehicle fled the scene, leaving the injured bicyclist on the ground. Luckily, Stevenson was able to note the vehicle’s make and color before it drove away. Deputy Poulk of the Sheriff’s Office in Douglas County, Georgia was able to apprehend the driver of the vehicle a few days later, after identifying missing pieces that had fallen off the suspect’s 2006 Silver Ford Focus during the hit-and-run.
The impact of the collision caused Stevenson to suffer personal injuries. Immediately following the crash, Stevenson was taken to Atlanta Medical Center where he wore a C-Spine collar and his shoulder was placed in a sling. He was later treated at both Emory Sports Medicine and Southern Therapy for a broken humerus (see Figure 1). While there was conversation about shoulder surgery, both Stevenson and his doctors decided it was not worth the risk.
Road to Settlement
As soon as Stevenson hired us, we begain preparing the case for trial. First, we were able to find and collect statements from witnesses who were at the scene of the hit-and-run. We then gathered all available insurance that could benefit Stevenson. Many people don’t realize that car insurance policies can be available for personal injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. We found insurance that Stevenson didn’t even know he had. As a resident of his mother’s household, Stevenson was covered through his mother’s uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policy through State Farm. We also found a car insurance policy through USAA that covered Stevenson’s bicycle accident. In addition, we found that the driver who caused the bicycle accident had insurance through Federated National. In the end, we were able to collect an extraordinary sum of $234,000 from State Farm, USAA, and Federated National which is typically unheard of for a non-surgical case—particularly because Federated National alone paid over four times its insurance limits! In mid-October, the case was successfully resolved without a trial and Stevenson left very pleased with the outcome.
While active in the Army, Stevenson was a combat flight medic. Before the bicycle accident, Stevenson’s interest in medicine and passion for helping others led him to find a job in the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit at a local medical center. Currently, Stevenson is enrolled as a student at the University of West Georgia and plans to eventually use his skills and experience to become a doctor.