A man who suffered multiple injuries when his motorcycle collided with a van agreed to accept a $1.3 million settlement of his Ocean County suit, Chamiak v. Painter, on Nov. 27, 2017.

Jared Chamiak was riding his motorcycle on Indian Head Road in Toms River when an oncoming vehicle driven by Robert Painter made a left turn in front of him. Chamiak’s right big toe was traumatically amputated during the crash, and he sustained fractures to his ribs and shoulders. He required multiple surgeries that left him with scarring and surgical hardware, the suit claimed.

Painter argued that Chamiak, who was riding alongside another motorcyclist, was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic at the time of the crash, and the police report included statements of four witnesses who also said he was speeding and weaving through traffic, said plaintiff lawyer Norman Hobbie. But an accident reconstruction expert for the plaintiff said in a deposition that the plaintiff’s manner of operation did not cause the crash, and that the defendant turned left despite a clear view of the motorcycle, he said. Chamiak, now 36, a union electrician, is unable to return to work, according to Hobbie, of Eatontown’s Hobbie, Corrigan & Bertucio.

The lawyer for Painter, Janet Law of Francis Mackin‘s office in Marlton, did not return a call.

— Charles Toutant

$470K for Motorcycle Accident in Cape May

Vanaman v. Bryan: A Lower Township man has received $470,000 as compensation for injuries he sustained, including the partial loss of one leg, when his motorcycle was struck by a pickup truck.

The accident was caused primarily because the driver of the pickup truck, Wilson Crespo, could not see the plaintiff, Mark Vanaman, because an illegal fence blocked his vision, said Vanaman’s lawyer, Teddy Strickland Jr.

The accident occurred on July 31, 2015, as Vanaman, now 46, was riding his motorcycle on Bayshore Avenue at the intersection with McKinley Avenue in Lower Township, said Strickland, of the Atlantic City office of Targan & Pender.

Crespo was on McKinley Avenue approaching the intersection. He could not see Vanaman, and the pickup truck and motorcycle collided, Strickland said.

Defendant Barbara Bryan owned a house at the intersection, and she had built a 47-inch-high white picket fence around the property in violation of township regulations, Strickland said. The township requires fences near intersections to be no more than 42 inches high and provide an unobstructed view of at least 75 percent, Strickland said.

As a result of the accident, Strickland sustained a traumatic loss of his lower right leg, and later had to have an above-the-knee amputation of that leg, Strickland said. The accident also aggravated Vanaman’s preexisting back condition, Strickland said.

Bryan’s liability carrier, State Farm Insurance Co., agreed on Oct. 2 to pay $450,000 to settle claims filed by Vanaman in Cape May County. State Farm already had paid $5,000 in medical claims. Crespo’s carrier, Progressive Insurance Co., paid his policy limits of $15,000, according to Strickland.

The settlements were reached after a conference before Judge J. Christopher Gibson, Vanaman said. Trial had been scheduled for Nov. 13.

State Farm retained Michael Dolich of Bennett Bricklin & Saltzburg in Cherry Hill, while Progressive retained Lori Klinger of Kent/McBride, also in Cherry Hill.

Both confirmed the amounts of the settlements.

— Michael Booth