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Lawsuit settled after family sues truck company for bike accident

In 2012, a bicyclist in Portland was involved in a collision with a delivery truck. The crash killed the bicyclist, and the police said that the crash was a "50-50 thing." Essentially, they assigned no blame in the incident and the delivery truck driver was not cited. Even if you take the "50-50" declaration as truth, that would mean that the bicyclist wasn't at fault either, or at least could not be considered solely to blame for the crash. Clearly, there is some nuance here. It may have been easier to label the bike accident "50-50," but it certainly didn't provide much in the way of answers.

The family of the deceased bicyclist sued the company that the truck driver worked for and its parent company. They alleged that the truck driver -- who had a passenger in the cab with him -- failed to look out for bicyclists.

The lawsuit was recently settled to the tune of $700,000. The lawsuit was originally for $1.8 million, but this settlement will likely still be considered a positive by the family as it shows trucking companies that they need to take bike and pedestrian safety seriously.

This story is also an important reminder for victims filing personal injury lawsuits that such claims often end in a settlement. That's not necessarily "bad" for victims -- it is simply reality. Also, it is important to know that receiving the full compensation you request in your lawsuit is rare. A settlement almost always results in a lesser amount, and there can often be state laws that cap the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can receive from a civil lawsuit.

Source: KATU, "Family of cyclist hit and killed in downtown Portland reach settlement," Lincoln Graves, Feb. 26, 2014

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