Victim of Serious Bicycle Accident Receives $2.3 Million Settlement

Victim of Serious Bicycle Accident Receives $2.3 Million Settlement

Benjamin H. Whitley

Benjamin H. Whitley

August 15, 2019 04:19 PM

Victim of Serious Bicycle Accident Receives $2.3 Million Settlement

Type of Action: Negligence
Injuries alleged: Traumatic brain injury
Name of case: Withheld by plaintiff
Court: Forsyth Superior Court
Verdict or settlement: Pre-trial settlement
Amount: $2.3 million
Date of verdict or settlement: 10/14/2011
Highest Offer: None
Most helpful experts: Benjamin B. Liipfert III, special needs trust administration lawyer (Winston-Salem)
Insurance Carrier: USAA
Attorneys for plaintiff: Benjamin H. Whitley and Robert E. Whitley (Raleigh)
Attorney for defendant: None appeared: An insurance adjuster negotiated with plaintiff’s attorneys
Were liability and/or damages contested? Yes

Description: Benjamin H. Whitley and Robert E. Whitley represented a 35-year-old man who suffered traumatic brain injuries in June 2011, when a bicycle he was riding collided with the side of a car. He was hospitalized for three months following the crash and continues to recover at a rehabilitation and nursing center.

The man had been speeding downhill on his bicycle when the car’s driver failed to brake for a stop sign and crossed in front of him. He also was not wearing a bicycle helmet during the crash.

The driver’s insurance company, USAA, initially hinted at a contributory negligence defense, but backed down after the Whitleys said they would sue the driver and her husband if their client’s claim was denied or reduced in any way.

The insurer agreed to settle the case for the coverage limits of the driver’s underlying liability and umbrella policies. An attorney did not appear for USAA or the driver, but an insurance claims adjuster negotiated the settlement with the plaintiff.

Forsyth County Superior Court Judge William Z. Wood approved the settlement in October 2011, about four months after the collision. The Whitleys had sought an expedited settlement approval so the money would be available through a special needs trust for the plaintiff’s medical care.

The special needs trust allowed the plaintiff to preserve his Medicaid benefits while using the settlement money for additional treatment that would not be covered by Medicaid. A person who has more than $2,000 in assets is disqualified from Medicaid, but not if the assets are in a special needs trust.

The settlement money in the trust allowed the plaintiff to have a special bed that moves his body to prevent bedsores and to be seen by additional health care professionals and experts, Benjamin Whitley said.

Trending Articles

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2023

by Best Lawyers

Announcing Spain's recognized lawyers for 2023.

Flag of Spain

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees

by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

The Best Lawyers in Chile™ 2023

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms in Chile.

White star in blue box beside white box with red box on bottom

Thirteen Years of Excellence

by Best Lawyers

For the 13th consecutive year, “Best Law Firms” has awarded the most elite and talented law firms across the country through a thorough and trusted data review process.

Red, white and blue pipes and writing on black background

The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2023

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers proudly announces lawyers recognized in South Africa for 2023.

South African flag

The 2023 Best Lawyers in Portugal™

by Best Lawyers

Announcing the elite group of lawyers recognized in Portugal for 2023.

Green and red Portuguese flag

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Peru™ 2023

by Best Lawyers

Honoring our awarded lawyers for 2023 in Peru.

Red and white stripes with green leaf symbol

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023

by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some

by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?


Rewriting 𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 One Verdict at a Time

by Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers was formed only a year ago by several prestigious lawyers seeking justice for their clients, and together they are making history.

Six female lawyers sitting in office

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom

by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees

by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Strength in Numbers: When Partnering Up May Be Best in Whistleblower Litigation

by Justin Smulison

Whistleblower claims make headlines when they result in multimillion-dollar settlements. But the journey to the courtroom is characterized by complexity and requires time and resources. Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams partner and The Best Lawyers in America awardee Michael R. Williams discusses when and why partnerships between counsel will strengthen whistleblower litigation.

A Blue Person in the Middle of White People

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings

by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards