Associate Eunice W. Yang represented a 7-month pregnant pedestrian who was hit by a bicyclist at the intersection of 4th and Folsom Streets in San Francisco. Our client, Jane Doe*, was walking southwest on Folsom and stopped at the curb of the intersection for the light to change. At the same time, John Doe* was speeding down Folsom on his road bicycle toward her at about 20 miles-per-hour in order to beat the light change, John was riding close to the curb of the intersection where Jane was standing. The light had just turned to “Walk” a few seconds before John slammed into the right side of Jane, who had taken two or three steps into the crosswalk. The impact knocked Jane off her feet and forcing her face forward on the pavement. Jane lost consciousness.
Witnesses helped pull Jane up, but she was disoriented and bleeding profusely from her nose and mouth. As a result of the accident, Jane suffered a minor concussion, fractured four frontal teeth, broke her nose, and had abrasions on her right leg. Jane received months of surgical dental care that required putting posts and implants to the affected teeth.
Initially, John denied liability on the grounds that another witness stated that John had entered the crosswalk on a green light and had the right of way. John argued that Jane was comparatively negligent as she had a duty to look at all sides before entering the crosswalk to make sure it was safe to cross. John’s biomechanical engineer opined that Jane stepped off the curb early before the light to “Walk” and darted into John’s path. He opined that Jane was at fault and that John had no way to avoid her. They threatened to counter-sue as John had sustained injuries for shoulder, neck, and back injuries.
Jane’s biomechanical engineer stated that John entered the intersection on a stale yellow light or red light based on the traffic light sequence and failed to exercise reasonable care by speeding at a rate that he could not stop in time before hitting the pedestrian. Jane argued that had John simply looked straight ahead he would have noticed the seven-month pregnant Jane. Ms. Yang sought damages on behalf of her client under John’s homeowner policy, for the policy limits of $100,000.
Parties engaged in mediation at JAMS with Michael Ornstil, Esq. After an all-day negotiation, parties accepted the mediator’s proposal of $85,2000.00. Jane’s initial demand was for the policy limits. Jane’s total medical specials were $26,912.80 and her past wage loss was $1,280. Ms. Yang reduced the medical liens after the settlement to increase Jane’s net recovery.
Recently, there is an epidemic of pedestrian personal injury cases in San Francisco and Minami Tamaki has represented over 100 pedestrian-versus-vehicle accidents. Our firm has conducted a pedestrian safety campaign with brochures and presentations to help educate the public about the risk of pedestrian accidents and raise awareness in the community.
* We anonymize the names of the parties for the purpose of this summary.