A former student, who suffered incapacitating injuries when she was run over by a van while trying to avoid a collision with the opening door of a parked automobile, is to receive more than $2.4 million compensation for her cycling accident injuries after a court hearing.
Ashley McKean was cycling along Broad Street in Philadelphia – close to the Temple University at which she was a student – when the door of a parked vehicle opened immediately in front of her. Ashley swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision, but she caught her right thigh against the automobile´s door – bringing her bicycle to a stop and causing the rear wheel to fishtail out into a busy lane of traffic.
A van in the outside lane hit the bicycle from behind – propelling Ashley forwards in front of the van – and then ran over her left leg as the driver was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting her. Ashley suffered multiple fractures in the cycling accident and she had to undergo surgery for a subsequent urinary tract infection and bowel dysfunction.
Ashley sought legal advice and claimed compensation for her cycling accident injuries against Marci Shepard – the driver of the automobile who opened the door in her path – and Robert Crawford, the driver of the van who had been unable to stop in time and who had caused the majority of her serious injuries.
Both defendants denied their liability for Ashley´s injuries – Shepard contesting that Ashley was not looking where she was going and, in any event, should have been cycling on the sidewalk; while Crawford argued that he could possibly be considered responsible for Ashley´s injuries as it had been Shepard who had caused the accident.
Ashley´s claim for cycling accident injuries compensation went to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas where it was heard before Judge Jacqueline F Allen and a 12-member jury. At the end of a week of evidence, the jury decided to distribute liability between Ashley (21%), Robert Crawford (36%) and Marci Shepard (43%) and awarded Ashley $1.3 million compensation for her pain and suffering, $880,000 for her future medical expenses and $225,000 to account for her permanent scars.