This is the story of a client whose delivery truck was hit on the side, rolled over and who tore the muscles of his rotator cuff. After I filed a lawsuit, the person who caused the injuries started hiding his financial assets.
My name is John P. Burns and I’m a vehicle accident and personal injury attorney in South Orange County California. My office is located where Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and San Juan Capistrano all come together.
This case was referred to me by the delivery man’s treating doctor. The doctor called and said that his patient had really been badly hurt and needs help. So I took the client’s case.
The story involves a case where my client was in his delivery truck going across the road on a green light while another driver was coming down the road the other way, at about 60 or 70 miles an hour looking out the right side of his window and not watching. The other driver hit my client’s truck on the side, knocked the delivery truck over, causing my client to injure his shoulder and tearing all four muscles in the rotator cuff of his shoulder.
My client had multiple surgeries that really weren’t able to repair the problem, he was not able to go back to work, and the problem we faced on the case was that the person who caused the injury only had a $500,000 policy. The case was clearly worth more than $500,000.
What I did was this. I put together all the normal things I do in a case like this. I obtained all the medical records and bills. I hired orthopedic experts, I hired disability experts, I hired an economist to forecast his future lost earnings.
More importantly, I had my wife who’s a realtor, go into the multiple listing service of the real estate companies and find out these people had other assets. It turned out that they owned condominiums in Orange County, California. So we started watching those real estate assets.
Pretty soon, the person who caused the accident started selling his real estate properties. We tracked the real estate and at a certain point in the case the insurance company asked us to go to medition. At the mediation we all had a meeting with a retired judge. Attending were the following persons:
- Plaintiff’s attorney (me),
- Injured person (my client-the plaintiff)
- Defendant (person who caused the accident(
- Defendant’s attorney,
- Representative of the Insurance company for the person who caused the accident,
- Retired judge acting as mediator.
The insurance company said well, we only have the $500,000, that’s all we have, and that’s all you’re going to get out of this case.
At that point I reached into my briefcase and pulled out the proof that the at fault driver had been selling these condominiums. I told them if they didn’t come up with more money at the mediation, then after the mediation was over we were going to go to trial, obtain a jury verdict against them, and then we were going to file another lawsuit under what’s called the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
The Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act is a law that is applicable in California and which says that if you are moving money, selling assets, just to avoid possibly having to pay a judgment owed to someone who’s suing you, you could be sued for fraud after the principal action is concluded. If found guilty of fraud, under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, you could end up having to pay extra punitive damages money.
At that point the defendant realized that he was going to have to do something. He came up with his own money, to be added to the insurance company $500,000.00 policy limits. He came up with a large amount of money, and the case then settled in the high six figure numbers. It was much more than the $500,000.00 policy that they were initially offering.
If you would like to speak to me about your case, please call me now. My phone number is (949) 496-7000, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks for watching my video. Have a great day.