Car Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents
Ordinary citizens who have attempted to seek compensatory justice for car accident and motorcycle accident injuries or death have sadly made serious mistakes, due to not understanding the intricacies of the variety of insurance coverages potentially involved. Liability, underinsured coverage, uninsured coverage, umbrella coverages, PIP coverages, dram shop coverage, medical pay coverages, along with insurance carrier reimbursement rights, liens and subrogation interests can present serious traps for the ordinary citizen. Accepting money under one form of coverage, without the correct key documentation, can disallow collection of other forms of coverage. With very rare exceptions, settlements or judgments from jury verdicts are paid by insurance coverages.
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Car and Motorcycle Accident Settlements and Verdicts
Settlement: $860,000. Our client’s son was the five year old passenger in the family pickup driven by his dad, when a negligent driver suddenly pulled out from a stop sign, crashing into the pickup. Despite the best efforts of the doctors, our client’s son lost the use of one of his eyes, eventually necessitating a prosthetic eye. We prepared the case closely with his parents, treating doctors and an expert “day in the life” videographer to show the depth of negative effects on him, his future and his family, and achieved a settlement of $860,000, above the $20,000 of PIP medical expenses collected.
Settlement: $500,000. Our client was a medically retired farmer who suffered herniated discs in his neck, requiring surgery, and other internal injuries, from a single vehicle rollover. He was a passenger going home from a supper club, when the driver with too many drinks and going too fast, lost control of the car. Our team’s investigation and preparation achieved a settlement from the liability insurance carrier of $500,000, above the $100,000 of PIP medical expenses.
Verdict: $324,336, in Moritz v. State Farm Insurance. Brian and his team achieved this jury verdict totaling $324,336 for a young mother, a beauty salon employee, against the negligent driver who had collided with her car. Our client’s injuries caused her to endure a neck surgery and pain relief injections. As is nearly always the case, the verdict was collected only against the insurance carriers involved.
Verdict: $260,916. In Koenen v. Gerdes, we won a jury verdict totaling $260,916 for a young college student, whose car was hit by a negligent driver who suddenly turned right in front of him at a rural intersection. Our team investigated and prepared thoroughly to bring family and independent witnesses to the courtroom, along with two of our client’s treating doctors, and large, detailed medical illustration and procedure charts to help the jury understand the nature of his neck injury, the chiropractic and physical therapy, and the radiofrequency neurotomy ablations (nerve burnings) that he endured to deal with his permanent neck injury. The trial also featured a defense produced secret videotape of our young client playing town team baseball, as a relief pitcher for a few innings. They tried to sell the jury on the idea that he couldn’t really be hurt if he continued to play ball. We provided testimony from family members and a teammate about how his playing time and abilities were definitely negatively effected by the car crash injuries, and the jury did not like the sneak videotaping.
Settlements: $180,781. Our client was a high school student running an errand for a local small business that he worked part time for, when a drunk driver suddenly crossed the centerline and smashed into his car. He suffered an ankle fracture requiring surgery with a plate and screws. Our case preparation included a detailed medical illustration of his surgery, as part of the preparation leading to worker compensation, liability and underinsured motorist settlements totaling $180,781.17.
Settlements: $318,500. Our client was a pleasant, longtime resident of a small town in Minnesota, who was hit by a negligent driver as she was walking in the crosswalk of her main street. Our team’s investigation and preparation led to obtaining $40,000 of PIP medical expense and income loss benefits, and liability and underinsured motorist settlements totaling $318,500.
Verdict: $146,071, in Hanson v. Branstad. Our client was a young nursing home worker who struggled through daily neck and back pain to stay on her job after a probable drunk driver, who fled from the scene, crashed into the rear of her car at a stoplight in Alexandria, MN. Our team consulted with her treating doctors and prepared detailed medical illustration charts to show the multiple radiofrequency ablations (a/k/a neurotomies; “nerve burnings”) in her neck that the doctors had started giving her annually to substantially lessen her permanent neck pain. The jury was not impressed with the insurance lawyers’ attack based on her Facebook entries.
Settlement: $200,000. Our client had been a locally trusted, successful used car salesman for years when he was suddenly struck from behind as a pedestrian by a negligent “jockey” of a car auction company in the parking area of the auction site. He was not only plagued with a permanent neck injury, but our team helped our client and his family understand the mild traumatic brain injury that was plaguing him. We worked with his treating neck doctor and a highly expert neurologist, who explained the nature of a mild traumatic brain injury, and that a mild traumatic brain injury is a serious injury. We achieved a settlement of $200,000, along with his full receipt of PIP medical expense benefits, which had initially been contested.
Settlements: $165,000. Our team achieved liability, underinsured and PIP medical expense benefits for our client, a busy young mother who worked as a corrections officer and college student. Her car was rear ended in a crash on the main street of a small town. Our investigation and preparation helped belie the claim of the negligent driver that the collision impact was extremely minimal. As always, we carefully spoke to her treating doctors, and learned that the crash caused a permanently injured neck, which surgery would not fix.
Verdict: $231,955, in Gades v. State Farm Insurance. Our client’s car was negligently struck by another driver, causing a permanent shoulder injury requiring surgery. The liability insurance carrier of the negligent driver rejected her request for a settlement, claiming her problems were from another bad car accident she had endured over a decade before as a teenager. We listened carefully to her treating orthopedic surgeon, and assisted his testimony in the courtroom with a large, detailed medical illustration of the surgery, resulting in a $231,955 verdict in Gades v. State Farm Insurance.
Settlement: $190,000. Our client had been a successful over-the-road trucker for many years, without any accidents, when he was shocked one day to have a young car driver pull out of a driveway directly into his path on the highway. Our client tried desperately to avoid the impact with his small pickup, but couldn’t make it. The impact left him, according to his treating doctor, with permanent soft tissue damage in his spinal area. The liability insurance carrier for the young driver at first tried to evade coverage by claiming that our client was driving over the speed limit on the highway. Our investigation work, including videotaping the scene with a pickup like our client was driving at various speeds, was key to achieving a settlement of $190,000 above the $40,000 of PIP coverages.
Settlement: $300,000. On an icy Minnesota two-lane highway, our client was helping a motorist get his rig out of the ditch when another car smashed into their vehicles, hitting his body, and causing a permanent shoulder injury. In the ensuing years, our client struggled through the pain to keep working at his vehicle repair and towing service in his small western Minnesota town. We worked closely with his treating doctor to get detailed explanations of why his shoulder would be an ongoing, permanent problem, and achieved a settlement of $300,000.
Verdict: $121,382, in Kveene v. Ward, et al. Our client, a young mother and small business bookkeeper, was on her way to church one wintery Sunday morning, when a negligent, speeding driver collided with the rear of her car. Settlement became impossible because the driver insisted that the impact was very minor, and the insurance adjusters, lawyer and hired doctor (one of the “usual suspects” doctors always hired by the insurance companies) insisted that her neck and back problems pre-existed the crash. The jury disagreed, and agreed with her family, co-workers and treating doctors, who carefully explained that surgery would not fix her neck and low back, and that she sustained permanent soft tissue injuries. As usual, with the help of the treating doctors, we obtained detailed, anatomical medical illustrations of her injured areas, to assist the doctors’ explanations to the jury.
Verdict: $156,293, in Piotter v. American Family Insurance. A well liked high school girl was traumatically pinned between two vehicles when a friend who was “horsing around” with his daddy’s pickup caused the injury. The liability insurance company refused to settle for anything reasonable on the theory that her pelvic fractures had healed, so she should have no ongoing problems. Our team carefully provided the medical records and the expert testimony of her treating doctor to explain why the trauma caused an ongoing, permanent condition of her low back pain.
Verdict: $117,181, in Thompson v. Binder. Our client was a young dairy farmer, husband of a teacher, and father of two little kids. The family was almost finished with a weekend trip to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, when a negligent motorist collided with the rear of their car. Our client was an athletic young man, proud of his toughness, who refused to go for treatment until nearly a year after the crash. The liability insurance carrier and its retained lawyer for the negligent driver tried to exploit our client’s “toughing it out” long delayed treatment, and offered less than his treatment bills to settle. Liability carrier State Farm paid all of the verdict and our expenses of the trial.
Verdict: $162,777, in Jensen v. State Farm Insurance. Our elderly farmer client was driving in a small rural town when the rear of his vehicle was crashed into by another elderly driver. The liability insurance carrier of the defendant driver cited that the injury did not necessitate surgery, and refused to offer anything more than a minuscule settlement, claiming that our client’s neck and back pain was all due to pre-existing degenerative arthritis (wear and tear of the spine), and one of their “usual suspects” doctors so testified, as they invariably do and are highly paid for. The jury agreed with our client, his family and friends, and his treating doctors, who testified with good, detailed medical illustration charts.
Settlement: $250,000 from the uninsured motorist benefits insurance carrier, over the worker compensation benefits received. Our client was driving his company pickup en route between plumbing jobs when a negligent, uninsured driver blew through a red light and hit the back end of his pickup. It caused a permanent neck problem for our client, and he underwent surgery to remove the herniated disc, and later had a spinal column pain relief stimulator implanted.
Verdict: $155,810, in Gabrielson v. Moe. Our client, a young mother of three children and hotel clerk, was a passenger in a pickup scouting for deer during hunting season. Another pickup with deer hunters negligently failed to pay attention and violently collided with the rear of the Gabrielson pickup. The liability insurance carrier of the striking pickup insisted that because there was no surgery on her neck, and because, as usual, one of their “usual suspects” doctors testified that she should have healed completely from the impact within three months, they offered a settlement that was less than the medical expenses. We arranged for the testimony of her treating doctors, with detailed medical illustration charts, and arranged for testimony from co-workers and family members, to explain the effects of the injury on her life. The trial featured a secretly taken videotape of our client by insurance company paid investigators, which showed our client helping people check in at her hotel workplace, as if her helping customers belied her injury condition. The jurors didn’t believe that the videotape portrayed her in a negative light, contrary to the defense lawyers claims, and did not appreciate the deception.
Settlement: $95,000. Our client was a young college student in Mankato when a negligent driver tried to beat a red light and collided with her car. Our firm successfully fought for her receiving her full $40,000 of PIP medical expense and income loss benefits, and then forced a $95,000 settlement against the liability insurance carrier within a month of the looming trial date.