Below is one of my many Florida motorcycle accident settlements.
Settlement is before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
Case type: Personal Injury, Motorcycle Rider Hit by Tractor Trailer (18 wheeler tractor-trailer)
Watch this video about this settlement:
Settlement Date: 10/25/11
Claimant’s Atty: Justin Ziegler
Insurer for 18 Wheeler /Liability Claims Adjuster/Defendant’s Atty:
Chartis Insurance/Adjuster Tim Hightower/ Attorney Don Mates had little involvement with the case. Chartis is now AIG.
Claimant’s Expert: Rick Swope (Accident Reconstruction)
The motorcyclist was 33-year-old male, unemployed at time of accident. Prior to date of accident, the motorcyclist had worked various types of manual labor, sales jobs, and truck driving.
Insurer for trucking company was Chartis Insurance (Insurance Company for State of PA).
A motorcyclist was riding when a tractor-trailer made a left hand turn in front of him. The tractor-trailer driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way.
As a result of the truck driver’s violation of the right of way, he was thrown of his motorcycle. The police report stated that Claimant, the motorcyclist, was going 5 mph over the speed limit.
The driver of the tractor-trailer received a ticket for causing the crash. A diagram of the accident is below.
Claimant’s Injuries (Damages):
The motorcyclist’s injuries included a tibial plateau fracture with open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) and ORIF on non-dominant hand ring finger fracture. Hardware was subsequently removed from the distal portion of his ring finger under local anesthesia. He owed medical bills of $52,000.00.
After the orthopedic surgeon performed surgery on my client’s knee at the hospital, my client treated with him for a short period of time. I called the doctor’s office.
The office manager told me that my client’s injuries were not permanent. My client chose to switch his orthopedic surgeon to Jorge Cabrera, MD.
Doctor Cabrera is one of the many orthopedic doctors in Florida – that is listed on this map – who will treat people who are injured in accidents.
I spoke with Dr. Cabrera. I then sent him a questionnaire that had my questions and his answers.
Dr. Cabrera said that he will need a knee replacement within the next 20 years.
Note: Some attorneys believe that a knee replacement is needed in 5-10 years. The orthopedic surgeon did not agree with this in this case.
The orthopedic surgeon said that the distal fracture of my client’s finger was not uniting (a non-union); however this did not really present a problem for the claimant.
Wage Loss/Future Earning Capacity
I consulted with an independent orthopedic surgeon that I personally know, free of charge, who stated that “he would anticipate him to have a good result with minimal limitation in activities and only a small, if any, permanent impairment. There may be further improvement in months to come.”
As you can see doctors can have a totally different opinion about the severity of someone’s injuries (e.g. permanent impairment) and the need for future medical treatment.
Policy Limits for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage of the insurance company that covered the truck:
1 million dollars ($1,000,000)
Past Medical expenses were $52,000.00, thus it can be assumed that the claims adjuster was paying $393,000.00 for pain and suffering and/or future medical combined. Since a truck hit the motorcyclist, he did not have to prove that he had a permanent injury in order to be entitled to money for pain and suffering.
Future Medical expenses: The adjuster stated that he was not offering any money for future medical bills unless the motorcyclist was examined by a doctor chosen by their insurance company.
I argued that there was a lost wage claim and loss of future earning capacity claim but the adjuster rejected these.
It was my position that the truck driver was liable for violating the motorcyclist’s right of way.
The insurance adjuster argued that motorcyclist was comparatively negligent because the police report stated that he was going 35 mph when the speed limit was 30 mph.
The case settled pre-suit and about 3 months after he was at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
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I want to represent you if you were hurt in an accident in Florida.
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