Calgary Bicycle Injury – When Hit by an Automobile

By October 21, 2019Articles

Article by Peter Trieu, a personal injury lawyer in Calgary, Alberta

accident lawyers Calgary Peter Trieu

In 2016, Mr. Plaintiff was riding his bicycle and was run-over by the Defendant’s van. Mr. Plaintiff suffered the following injuries as a result of the collision:
1. Fractured left fibula;
2. Fractures of metatarsals # 2, 3 and 4 in his right foot;
3. An 8-inch gash to the back of his left calf with fascial degloving requiring surgical repair by a physician the day after the collision;
4. Cellulitis;
5. A dislocated toe;
6. Bruises and contusions to his arm, leg and buttock;
7. A bruise to his left knee;
8. Difficulty sleeping because of pain and nightmares about being under the Defendant’s van and not being able to move; and,
9. Difficulty going back to the scene of the collision.
Listed below are select case summaries from a research memo the writer prepared to assess Mr. Plaintiff’s claim. The range of damage awards were inflation adjusted as of November 2018.

Notwithstanding the Alberta Court’s preference for Alberta decisions, we selected a couple of out-of-province decisions from our research memo to assist us in evaluating Mr. Plaintiff’s claim for the purposes of this article:

Case General Damage Award Inflation Adjusted Damage Award
O’Connor v. James
2009 BCSC 1119 $90,000.00 $103,915.00
Collision date: December 20, 2001; Plaintiff aged 37 at the date of the collision (paras 1- 2)
The Plaintiff pedestrian was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by the Defendant and suffered the following injuries:
1.) Fractured ribs on his left side; (para 6)
2.) Compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula, such that, at the collision scene, the leg bone had punctured the skin; (para 6)
The Plaintiff required:
1.) immediate surgery, including the insertion of a plate and rod in his leg; and (para 6)
2.) A skin graft (resulting in extensive scarring on his leg); (para 6);
The Court found that the Plaintiff:
1.) Was not in a position to return to his previous activities that he enjoyed, such as hiking, water skiing, camping, and riding dirt bikes, though he was able to return to the previous bicycle riding that he enjoyed (para 42);
2.) Was able to walk without assistance since the problems with his ribs had subsided, he continued to feel pain in his leg, particularly in cold weather;
Accordingly, the Court awarded the Plaintiff $90,000.00 in general damages, prior to the 90% reduction in liability. (para 42).

Case General Damage Award Inflation Adjusted Damage Award
Falati v. Smith
2010 BCSC 465
Court of Appeal 2011 BCCA 45 affirmed trial judge decision $85,000.00 $97,821.00
Collision date: February 13, 2007

The Plaintiff, a 30-year-old aspiring restaurant entrepreneur and part-time photographer, suffered the following injuries after he was struck by the defendant’s vehicle and pinned against a building as he walked along a sidewalk (para 11):

The Plaintiff suffered:
1.) Residual left ankle post-strain syndrome (para 13);
2.) a crush type fracture to his left tibia (para 11)
3.) fracture to his fibula (para 11);

The Plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent surgical stabilization of his fractures, with intermedullary nailing (para 11) whereby internal hardware was inserted to set plaintiff’s fractures. Plaintiff spent four days in hospital and then moved to his parents’ home to convalesce (para 11). He complained of continuing leg pain and associated physical limitations.

He also suffered some emotional distress, and displayed some symptoms that were suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder though not enough quantitatively or qualitatively to classify as a full PTSD syndrome (para 19).

The Plaintiff’s long term prognosis was believed to be favourable, with eventual full functional recovery, and no permanent disability was anticipated (para 12).

Any ongoing leg pain was not expected to be permanent (para 37).

The Plaintiff’s condition was expected to improve with improved fitness and weight loss. Although there was a possibility that his pain would be permanent, the evidence did not establish this to be a probability (para 37).

Although plaintiff’s physical injuries and limitations might continue, his income potential was less dependent on his physical condition than it was on his drive, energy, and imagination, and it was likely that he would be successful in the future.

Accordingly, the Trial Court awarded the Plaintiff $85,000.00 in general damages.

The lawyers at Kubitz & Company are honored to represent injured Plaintiffs. We do not act for insurance companies. Call us at 403-250-7100 for a consultation with one of our lawyers if you have been injured in an accident and are thinking of, or are unsure of whether you ought to pursue a claim or not.

Article edited by Peter Trieu, a personal injury lawyer in Calgary, Alberta.