Intersection Accident and Fractured Leg – Client Hit by a Driver Turning Right on Red- Attorney John P. Burns Fights Insurance Company and Wins For His Client
I was not sure I even wanted to take this case but I am glad I did. The client was a nice person, I knew a jury would like him, and his leg had been horribly fractured in an accident. What I was concerned about was the liability. My client had been walking across a Do Not Walk signal at an intersection when he was hit by a lady making a right turn on a red light. In California it is legal to make a right turn on a red light after stopping.
The client told me that he could not see the Do Not Walk signal because of sun glare. He said the driver first stopped for a red light at the limit line for her lane of travel at the intersection. He said that he was waiting on the curb when the lady then pulled forward over the limit line a few feet and stopped again, this time halfway into the walking lanes for people crossing the street.
My client said that he thought she was stopping to let him cross. He said that as he stepped off the curb the lady suddenly made a right turn on the red light and stepped on the gas. He said he saw her looking to her left at oncoming traffic just before she ran into him.
Her car knocked my client into the air and out into the intersection. The paramedics came and my client was taken to the hospital with a badly fractured leg. It required extensive surgery to repair, as well as months of rehabilitation. My client is still in a wheelchair and is only now starting to walk on a walker. The medical bills totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The investigating officer found my client to be the cause of the accident. An associated factor was listed as the driver’s lack of attention.
The insurance company for the driver would not tell me the amount of the driver’s automobile insurance policy limits. In California the insurance company does not have to reveal their insured’s policy limits unless their insured gives them permission to do so. If a lawsuit is filed, then the insurance company must reveal their insured’s policy limits.
We asked the insurance company of the driver to tell us the amount of the driver’s policy limits. The adjuster told me that she had asked her insured and that the driver had refused to allow her to reveal her policy limits. I suspect that the adjuster may have bee suggesting to the lady that she not reveal the policy limits or may have never even asked her.
On the phone the adjuster made comments to me like “You can’t really be arguing that your client was not one hundred percent at fault can you?” It was clear that I wasn’t getting anywhere with the driver’s insurance company.
The problem with the case was obviously one of liability. A jury could find my client one hundred percent at fault, the driver one hundred percent at fault, both my client and the driver each fifty percent at fault or some other division of the percentages of fault. If the jury found my client at fault, I would lose all of the money I would had advanced by time trial for lawsuit filing fees, deposition fees and expert witnesses on liability and medical injuries. I figured I would have to advance around twelve thousand dollars, on my client’s behalf, to take the case all the way to trial. My client told me that, if we lost at trial, he could not pay me back the money I might have lost.
The more I thought about the way the driver’s insurance company was acting the more I realized that they would never settle the case unless I hit them over the head with a lawsuit. I talked about it with my wife and she told me she thought the driver was in the wrong. I agreed so I filed the lawsuit the next day.
The day after we had the defendant served with our lawsuit, a supervisor from the insurance company called me and asked if my client would accept the driver’, insurance policy limits to settle. I told him that if he would provide me with a copy of his insured’s insurance policy, showing her maximum limits plus proof that she had no other insurance, I would discuss it with my client. The insurance company did, I showed them to my client and my client accepted the insurance company policy limits in settlement of the case.
So here’s my message and my Unique Selling Proposition. This case shows how I go after an insurance company, even if it not a perfect case. I think it shows what kind of lawyer I am and that a person who has me as their attorney has someone who is not afraid to do battle for them.
If you would like to know more about me, I invite you to visit my websitejohnburnslawoc.com and look at the testimonials of my clients and my lawsuit information videos. The videos are also a nice way for you to get to know me before you talk to me..
If you feel comfortable after doing that, I encourage you to e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 949-496-7000. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you personally.
John P. Burns
The Law Offices of John P. Burns