In May 2008 my client was struck by a Hummer H2 while legally traveling on his bicycle in a designated bike lane in the Soulard area of St Louis MO. He proceeded through an intersection that had no stop sign for his direction of travel, however, the cross traffic had a stop sign and the other driver went through the stop sign and violated my client cyclist's right of way and causing a collision which resulted in serious personal injury. (See police report diagram of St Louis Bike Accident)
This type of vehicle and bicycle collision is referred to as the right cross. As a Missouri and Illinois personal injury lawyer, I represent multiple bike accident and injury clients, two I am currently handling were a result of the above mentioned "right cross". Both were legally and properly either traveling in a bike lane, legally on the shoulder of the road as allowed by Missouri bike law, or properly crossing a pedestrian crosswalk on their bike.
In this case, we recovered $100,000.00 policy limit for our bike accident personal injury client. This amount represents the full policy limit the owner of the vehicle had through GEICO Insurance. However, in this case, the driver did not own the vehicle, therefore, we are also pursuing the driver's insurance policy limit of $50,000.00 as excess insurance coverage.
A few legal hoops need to be hopped through prior to settling the primary personal injury liability insurance coverage, as in this case, the primary insurer (GEICO) has a duty to get all potential liable parties released. Therefore, we entered into a Missouri personal injury release agreement completely releasing the owner of the vehcile from liability and releasing the driver for nay amount of a judgement over and above the additional $50,000.00 policy limit through her personal auto insurance policy.
This Missouri personal injury settlement arrangment keeps the door cracked for recovery in excess of the bodily injury liability insurance policy limits, this is done if the excess carrier refuses to settle within policy limits, if a judgment is then obtained against the driver in excess of the policy limits, then the driver assigns to my client any right for bad faith refusal to settle against the injury insurer, which can potentially make the personal injury insurer liable beyond its bodily injury policy limits. That is the heart of the agreement entered into to settle the primary personal injury auto insurance coverage and still have the potential to still pursue the Missouri bike accident personal injury case against the at fault party. We have done this in several other cases with much success, it is called a covenant not to enforce judgment - See Illinois Drunk Driving Accident - Covenant not to Enforce. This is an example of the injury release we used in this case but it is from another case we handled that involved an Illinois drunk driving personal injury lawsuit that stemmed from a high speed rear end collision that caused a severe head and brain injury to my client as well as multiple other injuries. That case settled for just under $750,000.00 with another $250,000.00 of insurance we are still pursuing.