A California jury awarded $21.5million to a motorcyclist who was hit by a car and hurled across three lanes of highway traffic in an incident that was caught on video.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury reached its verdict and awarded the money to motorcyclist Matthew Rada, 28, of Culver City, California, following an afternoon of deliberations Tuesday.
Rada had filed a lawsuit against the car’s driver, Justin Dimapasac, and his employer, Hardin Irvine Automotive Inc., in March 2018, a month after the dramatic incident occurred on the 405 Freeway in Westminster, California, according to KNX1070.
Matthew Rada is seen here, with sparks flying behind him, as he was hurled across three lanes of highway traffic after being hit by a car that failed to signal while changing lanes
Rada (in black) is seen here on the highway immediately after the incident, which was caught on camera by a fellow motorcyclist’s helmet camera as it occurred in February 2018
Rada’s lawsuit claimed that Dimapasac, who was test driving a Kia Optima he’d repaired, failed to signal while shifting out of a high-occupancy vehicle lane, hitting Rada while he was on his motorcycle.
Video captured by the helmet camera of another motorcyclist at about 5.45pm on February 8, 2018, showed Rada, then 26, being thrown from his motorcycle, across three lanes of traffic, before he hit another passing flatbed trailer.
Rada’s lawyers said in a statement that Rada suffered ‘life-changing injuries’ during the incident, including fracturing his right femur, sustaining multiple fractures in his dominant right hand and receiving an L1 spine compression fracture.
He then spent two weeks in the hospital, undergoing surgeries, followed by another two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation.
As a result of his ‘functional limitations and chronic pain, compounded with the commensurate mental and emotional distress caused by the collision,’ Rada was then left unable to carry out his work as a graphic designer.
Video showing the moment Rada’s motorcycle was struck by the driver of the car as he changed lanes without signaling
Car driver Justin Dimapasac (circled) is shown here, after stopping to assist Rada (at left in black) following the incident. Dimapasac and his employer were named in the lawsuit
After a three day trial, the jury determined that Dimapasac and employer Hardin Irvine Automotive (pictured) needed to pay $21.5million in damages to Rada over the incident
Rada’s lawsuit also stated that Dimapasac was ‘unfit and incompetent’ to carry out the work he had been hired to do, while Hardin Irvine Automotive’s ‘hiring, training and retention’ of him was a contributing factor in the incident, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Dimpasac, it was said, should not have been in the HOV lane to begin with.
Dimapasac and Hardin Irvine Automotive’s attorneys had previously admitted liability prior to the trial, leaving the jury the responsibility of assessing damages.
Following the three day trial, the jury decided to award Rada $3.5million in economic damages and $18million in noneconomic damages.
Before the trial, Rada’s lawyers said, Dimpasac and Hardin Irvine Automotive had offered Rada $4million in damages.
Rada’s lawyer, Andrew Owen, said that the lawsuit was brought because the defendants and Rada were unable to agree on the type of compensation Rada was due for his injuries.
Owen told the Los Angeles Times that Rada was ‘very thankful for what the jury did, but it’s by no means over for him.’
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