$400,000 Verdict in Indianapolis Upheld on Appeal to Moped Driver When Car Turns Sharply in Front of Him Causing Collision
A young man was driving his moped in downtown Indianapolis during rush hour.
Driving in the bike lane, he followed through an intersection when a car passed him and took a quick right-hand turn. The moped driver struck the car squarely in the passenger door causing a lacerated spleen.
The defense lawyers argued that the Indianapolis local ordinances prohibited motorized vehicles from being in a bike lane, thus the driver of the automobile had no expectation that the moped was there.
Attorney Jeff Shaw was able to get the car driver to admit in the trial he never saw the moped and that it wouldn't matter whether the moped had a working engine or was a mere bicycle. Either way, the accident would have occurred with the driving conduct of the parties.
Attorney Shaw was able to locate an expert witness on proper bicycling safety (well-known in the nation) who testified that the driver of the automobile would not have known whether the moped/scooter driver was operating the vehicle by the pedals (which were provided to run manually) or the electric motor so that he should have been more careful.
The driver admitted he never looked in the bike lanes to his right to see if a bicyclist or moped driver or anybody was there or not.
The jury found for the plaintiff moped operator and awarded $400,000 (reduced by 40% fault).
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