Thousands of people suffer injuries or lose loved ones in a car accident. While auto accident lawsuits are the most common type of personal injury case, they are often not as simple as they might first appear, particularly when serious injuries or deaths are involved. Our team has decades of experience obtaining results for our clients who were injured or the families of those who died in an auto accident. Below you will find a description of some of the most notable results obtained by our firm in cases involving car accidents:
Mota v. City of Los Angeles
Our clients Isabel Alvarez and Ivy Birbragher were in a car with three of their friends when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver who had crossed over the center line. Ms. Alvarez was rendered a partial paraplegic and Ms. Birbragher a full paraplegic. At trial, we proved that the City of L.A. was primarily responsible for the crash because of poor street maintenance. The center line was obscured by gravel and dirt and was no longer reflective at night. There were no pavement markers or highway dots that would have alerted the drunk driver that he was entering the opposite lane of traffic. The jury rendered a verdict in the amount of $28.9 MILLION and placed 65% of the fault on the City.
Lee v. Fujita
Our client Sylvia Lee, a six-year-old girl, suffered a major brain injury when the van that she was riding in was struck by the defendant, who was driving for his employer. The case settled for $12 MILLION the day before trial. The parties had hired a total of 31 experts who were prepared to testify at trial. The settlement took a tremendous amount of effort to achieve because it involved pooling together funds from a number of insurance companies, all of whom initially denied that their policies provided coverage for this accident.
Our client Stewart Lee Krienke was struck by a large truck while riding his bicycle. He suffered a catastrophic brain injury that stripped him of his ability to speak or care for himself. We settled the case for $5 MILLION (the trucking company’s insurance policy limits) within just nine months of the accident. This type of case usually takes years to resolve, but we were able to force the insurance company to pay its policy limits early, so that Mr. Krienke received the highest level of medical care, which greatly improved the quality and length of his life.
Zitz-Evancich v. City of Los Angeles
Our clients Michael and Joyce Zitz-Evancich were rear-ended by a City of L.A. maintenance truck while they were stopped at a stop light. Joyce was killed instantly, and Michael suffered a brain injury. The City of L.A. driver argued that the accident was caused by glare from the sun caused him to suffer temporary blindness and that’s why he failed to stop in time. The case settled for $5 MILLION.
Lee v. Sheehan, Carmichael
Sam Lee, a successful real estate agent, was killed when the car that he was driving was struck by a horse that had escaped from an dilapidated enclosure. We represented Mr. Lee’s wife and two sons in a wrongful death lawsuit. After collecting $1 million (the insurance policy limits) from the horse owners, we were able to prove that the horse had likely escaped from the enclosure because he was scared by a tiger that had recently escaped from a nearby animal sanctuary. We eventually collected another $1 million (also the insurance policy limits) from a property owner who had rented space to the animal sanctuary without getting the proper permit or ensuring that precautions were in place to prevent the many wild cats in the sanctuary from leaving the property. Thus, the case settled for a total of $2 MILLION.
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