It was just after midnight when our client, an intoxicated homeless man, tried to jaywalk across Blackstone Avenue in Fresno. There were posted warning signs forbidding pedestrians from crossing Blackstone at that location. Our client had almost made it to the opposite side of the street when a woman driving an SUV struck him. The police placed our client at fault for the collision and cited him for jaywalking.
The crash fractured our client’s spine, leg, ribs, and caused a traumatic brain injury that put him in a coma for three days. Our client spent two months in the hospital and a nursing home. His medical bills were nearly $300,000.
We took the case knowing that it would be a challenge. However, the law says that a person who contributes an accident is responsible for his or her share of fault. That means that if a person is 10% at fault for an accident, that person is responsible for 10% of the damages.
First, we dug into the facts in the traffic collision report. Our client had made it across six lanes and was only a few feet from the curb when the woman struck him. The woman did not apply her brakes and told the police that she never saw our client. This showed that the woman was not watching the road, otherwise she would have seen our client crossing ahead of her and stopped her SUV.
The woman also told the police she had been returning home after collecting cans and bottles. The report also noted that the police phlebotomist (blood draw expert) was unable to obtain a blood sample from the woman, which can be a sign of chronic intravenous drug abuse. We conducted a background investigation into the driver who hit our client and learned that she had numerous drug convictions, including multiple felonies, as well as several speeding tickets and other traffic violations.
We presented this evidence of the defendant driver’s fault her automobile insurance company, which promptly offered the $50,000 policy limits. We then negotiated with various lien holders to make sure that our injured client received actual money in his pocket to help compensate him for the pain and suffering he experienced.