Case details

Turning vehicle failed to yield to bicyclist, suit claimed





Result type

Not present

closed head injury, head, headaches
On Sept. 15, 2011, at approximately 7:30 a.m., plaintiff Jose Lara, 15, a student, was riding his bicycle on westbound Vanowen Street in Van Nuys when he crossed a driveway apron and was struck by a sport utility vehicle operated by Zenovia Vallejos, who was making a turn into the driveway from westbound Vanowen Street. Jose claimed to his head, neck and back. Melanie Macias, acting as Jose’s guardian ad litem, sued Vallejos. She alleged that Vallejos was negligent in the operation of her vehicle. The matter proceeded to a bench trial. Jose claimed that Vallejos was driving inattentively and failed to yield to pedestrian traffic when she turned into her driveway on Vanowen Street. Vallejos claimed that Jose was negligent for attempting to skirt around her approaching SUV and riding into the driveway. She further claimed that Jose rode his bicycle into the side of her vehicle., Jose was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He claimed he suffered a closed head injury, for which he underwent a CT scan, as well as soft-tissue strains and sprains to his neck and back. Jose subsequently treated his neck and back with roughly two months of chiropractic care. Jose claimed he still deals with residual pain and discomfort in his neck and back, as well as headaches. He alleged that as a result, he is limited in sports activities. Thus, Jose claimed $5,313.97 in economic damages for his past medical costs and property damage, which included damage to his bicycle and iPod. He further sought $36,500 in damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel argued that Jose did not sustain any serious to his neck or back, and contended that the plaintiff’s medical costs were reduced by Medicaid. Counsel further argued that Jose’s CT scan was unnecessary.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Van Nuys, CA

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