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Judge and Gavel
Proven Advocacy since 1983

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  • Richard L. Duquette

Bicyclists Get Justice!

Two Recent Cases Exemplify the Necessity of Adequate Insurance and Briefly Demonstrate How Two Bicyclists got Justice.

In light of the recent publicity involving road rage, hit and run of bicyclists, and the inherent risks of bicycling, two recent bicycle vs. auto accident settlements underscore the necessity of having adequate insurance coverage.

In one case, the bicyclist was hit by a car and sustained severe injuries requiring surgery and several days in the hospital. The bicyclist's medical bills exceeded $250,000. However, the driver had limited insurance policy limits and did not have an umbrella policy to help cover the damages. In spite of the inadequate insurance, I was able to obtain a settlement for three times the insurance policy limits and also secured a waiver of a $250,000 medical lien on the case (with the assistance of co counsel) so that the bicyclist could receive payment for his injuries. In order to pay the settlement, the driver had to take out a loan for the settlement amount exceeding the policy limits. This could have been avoided had the driver had higher auto insurance policy limits and/or an umbrella policy. Moreover, if the bicyclist had an umbrella policy, it would have likely kicked in where the driver's coverage left off.

The next case emphasizes the need for health insurance. A bicyclist hit by a pick up truck sustained a rotator cuff shoulder injury that prevented him from obtaining employment until his injuries were surgically repaired. The bicyclist had no health insurance, so all of the surgical costs had to be paid in advance, which the bicyclist could not afford. I was able to secure litigation financing for the surgery, which was repaid from the settlement with the driver's insurance company. Shortly after the surgery and the case settlement, the bicyclist happily reported that he had gotten a new job, was working and his shoulder was back to normal.

As with any investment, it is important to review your insurance policies periodically so to ensure you are adequately covered. For more information relating to the benefits of adequate under insurance/umbrella coverage, waiver of medical liens and subrogation, as well as other consumer articles, please view my website at


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