Commercial Vehicle Turned Left in Front of Motorcyclist – $4.4 Million Settlement
Facts: The motorcyclist was on his way to work in Southern California. He was in a semi-rural area and approaching an intersection where the commercial vehicle was waiting to turn left. The truck gave every appearance of recognizing that the motorcyclist was approaching with the right-of-way.
Without warning, the driver of the commercial vehicle (who was apparently oblivious to the approaching motorcycle) turned left in front of the rider. The motorcyclist braked hard and turned as far as he could in an effort to avoid collision with the rear of the truck. At the last second he laid the bike down to avoid hitting the trailer/frame with his head and upper body.
Injuries: The motorcyclist avoided head injuries. Unfortunately, he sustained significant leg and abdominal injuries which required a colostomy.
Results: We were able to get defendants to admit that they were solely responsible for the accident. We carefully prepared the evidence of damages and was able after prolonged negotiations to settle the case for the motorcyclist for $4.4 million dollars.
Rear End Collision while Waiting at a Red Light – $2.7 Million Settlement
Facts: Motorcyclist, 28 year old father and husband, was killed by a driver when he was rear ended while approaching a red stop light at an intersection while on his way to work. He left behind his 21 year old wife and 1-1/2 year old son. In dispute was whether or not the motorcyclist had abruptly stopped an excessive distance prior to the intersection for no apparent reason.
Injuries:Blunt head trauma as well as multiple traumas. Motorcyclist remained hospitalized, in intensive care for approximately one week before succumbing to his injuries.
Results: As a result of mediation, we proved to opposing counsel that liability was clearly on their clients. The defendant who was responsible for the collision had borrowed the vehicle he was driving from a co-worker at his employer’s direction in order to pick up a stranded co-worker. Therefore, there were threee different insurance policies involved in this settlement. The insurance company for the driver and the car owner paid out policy limits. The rest of the settlement was obtained from the driver’s insurance company as the accident occurred while he was in the course and scope of his employment.
Leg Injuries due to U-Turning Driver – $2.25 Million Settlement
Facts: Idiot cage driver attempts U-turn in front of and into 34-year old motorcyclist’s left leg, crushing it.
Injuries: Left leg, multiple extensive intra-articular comminuted fractures to his tibia, femur, with multiple fracture fragments. He had multiple surgeries with plates, rods, wires and screws to save his leg. He had persistent non-union at two fracture sites and infections, which eventually resolved themselves. He is now able to walk on the leg for short distances and longer distances with the help of a cane.
Damages: Total Med $340,000 reduced to $127,000 as payment in full. (This amount also included a $150,000 advance by the insurance company for one of the surgeries the motorcyclist needed but wasn’t covered by the state aid). Loss of earnings of $65,835 (over a two and a half year period as a general laborer/truck driver).
Settlement: After lawsuit was filed but before it was served and before any discovery, case was settled for a present value of $2.25 million. Motorcyclist decided to take $400,000 in case with reaminder in a monthly annuity with guaranteed future payments of $1.7 million and expected lifetime payments of $3 million.
Failure to Look Right After Entering Intersection – $2.1 Million Settlement
Facts: County employee went straight across intersection in front of motorcycle, resulting in major collision.
Contentions: Motorcyclist contended that county employee was negligent for failure to yield right-of-way, and failure to keep proper lookout, since she failed to look again to her right after she entered the intersection.
Defendant claimed that she had the right-of-way, that the motorcyclist was speeding (60+ mph in posted 40 mph zone) and that the motorcyclist was wearing unsafe “beanie” helmet, and may have been under the influence of marijuana.
Injuries: Fracture to mid-back, resulting in complete paralysis from armpits downward. Loss of leg, below the knee, substantial head injuries resulting in considerable loss of memory and brain function.
Results: Jury trial: June 2005, Chico, California. After jury was impaneled, parties waived jury, and tried case before court. Trial lasted 4 weeks, involving 16 expert witnesses, and many other lay witnesses. Defense asked for complete defense verdict.
Court found motorcyclist 75% responsible for speeding, and defendant 25% responsible for failure to keep proper lookout. Gross award: $8.8 million, lowered to $2.2 million. After post-trial motions, case settled for total of $2.1 million.
Insurance Company Pays Up the Whole Policy – $1.3 Million Settlement
Facts: The negligent defendant attempted to make a left-hand turn immediately in front of the motorcycle on which our client was a passenger traveling in the opposite direction.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, left tibia-fibula fracture, posterior head laceration, intrapraenchymal hemorrhage, right temporal with sub acute hemorrhage bilaterally and severe right knee lacerations.
Results: Defendant driver carried an umbrella policy for $1,000,000 over and above the underlying insurance policy of $300,000. After the insurance company declined to pay the policy limits, litigation was commenced against the defendant and the insurance carrier. The case was settled just prior to trial for the entire policy proceeds of $1.3 Million.
Client Receives Broken Ankle as a Result of a Left-Turner – $900,000 Settlement
Facts: The defendant driver drove his car making a left-turn into the path of the motorcyclist.
Injuries: Client sustained a broken ankle in the collision.
Results: We convinced the insurance carrier that the accident was the fault of the car driver and the injuries sustained had a permanent effect on the health and earning capacity of our client. Client was very satisfied with the $900,000 settlement by the insurance company, and has set up a college fund for his child and is buying a home. He has also purchased three motorcycles.
Our Expert Proves Client Wasn’t Speeding – $750,000 Settlement
Facts: Our client, a father of five, decorated firefighter EMT and award-winning bodybuilder, was seriously injured when a driver made a bad left-turn in front of his motorcycle. In dispute was whether our client was speeding. Defendant’s expert, a former state trooper, calculated his speed to be 51 mph in a 35 mph zone. Our expert, however, a nationally renowned engineer, stated that our client was going no more than 28 mph.
Injuries: Neck and back injuries that required surgery. Nerve damage was also sustained. Medical expenses had exceeded $200,000 and lost earnings totaled $54,000. Due to the seriousness of our client’s injuries, he was terminated from his position as a firefighter and had to resign as an EMT. He was later rehired as a fire inspector.
Results: As a result of mediation, we convinced opposing counsel that liability was clearly on their client and the injuries and damages sustained were a direct result of the collision. Our clients were elated with the settlement of $750,000. This amount equaled the highest amount ever awarded during litigation in this small South Georgia county. After much negotiation with the accident related medical providers and health insurance subrogation, we saved our client an addition $111,000 all of which was given to the client.
Husband & Wife Sideswiped by Driver – $500,000 Settlement
Facts: Rider and his passenger wife were coming from their house near Rochester, NY, just going for a ride with another riding couple to get ice cream, when a car travelling in the other direction drifted into the rider’s lane sideswiping the motorcycle. The driver of the car had a flat tire but kept driving. The rider’s friend chased down the car and forced it to stop. The police and ambulance came to the scene. No tickets were issued. The police submitted the rider to a DWI test while he was in hospital but never tested the driver of the car.
The driver alleges the riders were riding side by side and the motorcycle came over the double yellow line.
The riders said they were riding staggered and the car came over the double yellow. New York AIM Attorney Mitchell Proner hired an engineer accident reconstructionist who showed from the debris and road scrapes that the car came over the double yellow. Depositions were held and the cop admitted that the driver of the car had watery eyes and that was a sign of intoxication.
Injuries: Rider had complex left leg injuries, wife had head injuries. Both rider and passenger were able to return to work within six months.
Results: The driver’s insurance company, just prior to trial, settled for the entire policy limits of $500,000.