Auto Accident





Plaintiff’s Attorney: Robert H. Pedroli, JR.

Type of Claim: Plaintiff is a 30 year old man who was rear-ended at a high rate of speed by a GMC Yukon (insured by State Farm) on Interstate 44 near Kingshighway/Vandeventer exit in September, 2009. His vehicle, a Dodge Stratus was stalled in the center lanes of the Interstate after the collision and was then struck by a glancing blow from a second vehicle (insured by Farmers Insurance Company). He was rendered unconscious and was transferred to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He regained consciousness about a month later. The Yukon’s driver told the police that she didn’t see the vehicle prior to the collision. The second driver said she couldn’t see the vehicle in time to avoid it as it was stopped with no lights. The collision rendered the electrical systems out of service. . There were numerous witnesses to the second collision, and some passing witnesses who saw the vehicle dead in the road prior to the second collision..

The Plaintiff never gained any recollection of the collision. Toxicology was negative for alcohol but positive for other illegal drugs.

Damages/Injuries Alleged: Plaintiff sustained several fractured vertebras without spinal cord injury. He wore a halo anchored in his skull for three months. He sustained various complications and was on a respirator and developed deep venous thrombus. He also sustained a closed head injury with associated brain bleed, and various other soft tissue injuries. He was treated as an inpatient in Barnes-Jewish Hospital, SSM St. Mary’s Medical Center, and St. John’s Rehabiltation Hospital. He was discharged home on December 24, 2009. Plaintiff will have some permanent residuals from the brain injury. Plaintiff was on recent parole for drug trafficking and was unemployed without any significant history of employment. Medical bills were $446,875.00. There were no lost wages claimed, but plaintiff was preparing a lost future wage claim. Plaintiff is living independently now.

COMMENTS: Plaintiff’s counsel immediately inspected the scene and all three vehicles with video tech, photographer, and an engineer who is an accident reconstructionist. We obtained all computer stored information from the vehicles data recorders. Our investigation ascertained that the tail lights were in operation on plaintiff’s vehicle at the time of the collision and that the plaintiff’s vehicle was in motion at the time of the collision. We interviewed witnesses during our initial investigation which involved door knocking where the collision occurred, and obtaining 911 recordings. We were able to obtain video statements near the time of the accident from witnesses who we were able to locate and who were not identified on the police report. We obtained the 911 call tapes and located several other witnesses with relevant information. We retained a toxicologist/pharmacologist who was able to establish that there was no evidence from which it is possible to medically establish that the plaintiff was under the influence of any illegal substance at the time of the collision based upon the hospital drug screen. Plaintiff’s counsel also was involved in assisting to obtain available medical resources and placements for the plaintiff. We filed suit and deposed all relevant witnesses to the accident. The case then settled.

As plaintiff had no medical insurance, our firm obtained a quick settlement with Farmers Insurance Comapny for its policy limits of $50,000.00, and placed those funds in a medicare approved “special needs trust” to pay for necessary medical treatment early in the claim process. All trust work was done free of charge.

Plaintiff’s counsel shared all evidence with the defendant’s insurers and its attorney to allow them to make an early and accurate determination on liability and damages. Plaintiff’s counsel obtained an early independent medical examination with a neurologist who was known to conduct exams for the defendant’s insurer, State Farm. This was a very good early resolution for a client who will significantly benefit from the settlement proceeds during his rehabilitation.

SETTLEMENT AMOUNT: Case settled against both defendants for a total of $1,300,000.00. Most of the funds were placed in a structured settlement that will make periodic payments for the balance of plaintiff’s life. All but $50,000.00 came from State Farm Companies as the Yukon. This was the total combined policy limits for both insureds. Fast, aggressive and accurate action allowed the plaintiff access to these settlement funds for treatment and living expenses and payments are guaranteed to continue for the rest of his life.