Several law firms reject case, but Dell & Schaefer recovers $275,000 for 82 year old man
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in South Florida? Typically a driver engages in distracted driving when he or she is speaking on the telephone or sending/receiving text messages. Such conduct appears to be the reason this accident happened. The victim, an 82 year old man, was walking across the street when a car unexpectedly struck him while he was in the crosswalk. The driver claims he had the green light. Independent witnesses confirmed that our client in fact had crossed the street illegally when opposing traffic had a green light. The police report cited the victim as the sole cause of the accident. The victim suffered severe head trauma and was taken to a nearby hospital where he remained for five days. The victim’s family tried to find a lawyer who would represent them on this case but several large law firms declined the case on the grounds that the victim was the cause of the accident which was confirmed by several witnesses. Finally the victim’s family contacted the Miramar Accident Attorneys Dell and Schaefer. After our firm reviewed all the evidence of the case, our attorneys determined that the case was not as cut and dry as it seemed.
Dell and Schaefer Begins Investigating The Claim After Several Law Firm Decline the Case
From the outset, something did not appear right to our attorneys. How could our client manage to walk across 3 lanes of traffic without the driver even noticing that our client was in the crosswalk? Even if our client was in fact crossing the street against a green light, our firm did not believe that the driver should be free of liability. Our firm hired a private investigator to reconstruct the accident. Our accident reconstruction expert determined that due to our clients old age and range of mobility, it would have taken approximately one minute to cross the street and reach the third lane of traffic.
Because it would have taken him one minute to cross three lanes of traffic, in addition to where our client ended up after he was struck by the car, our accident reconstruction expert was able to determine that the driver of the vehicle was driving approximately 50-65 miles per hour on the road. And furthermore, our client would have been in clear view of the driver for at least 1 mile before impact. So therein begged the question: How can a man cross three lanes of traffic, in broad day light, with the driver having one mile of visibility, and yet the driver was unable to avoid the collision? Our firm had one new and innovative theory of liability, and one that had seldom been used before. Our firm believed that the driver of the car was distracted because he was either talking or texting on his smart phone. This type of claim was new to the personal injury arena since cell phones and text messages are still relatively new technology.
Dell and Schaefer Negotiate The Claim
Immediately after our investigation was complete, we filed a bodily injury claim against the insurance company. Our firm sought monetary damages for bodily injury, aggravation of a preexisting injury, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability, mental anguish, and past and future medical expenses. Within thirty days of filing our demand the insurance company made a very low offer and stated that the offer was being made as a “nuisance offer” and only being made for the purpose of making the case “go away.” The insurance company felt that their client did not do anything wrong since all the witnesses stated under oath that our client crossed the street illegally.
Dell & Schaefer Files Lawsuit After Receiving Low-Ball Offer
Our firm refused to waiver in our representation of our client. Immediately after receiving the low offer, our firm filed a lawsuit and we sent a subpoena for the driver’s telephone records. Specifically we demanded that the telephone records were necessary in order to ascertain whether the driver was talking on the telephone or sending text messages at the time of the impact. The insurance company delayed for two months in sending us the telephone records.
Ironically, after two months of our pressure to tender over the telephone records, the insurance company had a change of heart and asked us if we were willing to settle the claim instead of pursuing the telephone records. Our firm aggressively negotiated with the insurance company and the case settled for $275,000.00. Our client was absolutely thrilled that we were able to settle the claim for a life changing amount of money. In addition, our client was absolutely delighted that we were willing to take the case and do a thorough investigation after several other large law firms declined the case.
We will never know if the driver was texting or talking on the telephone, however our firm knows for sure it was not coincidence that once they received our subpoena for the telephone records, the insurance company discovered that the telephone records contained a piece of evidence that they did not want to go public.
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