This was a challenging case that settled a month before trial after two years of litigation. Our client was a 58-year-old man who suffered a lower back injury when he was rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic on US 101. This back injury forced our client into early retirement from his career as a union concrete cutter.
The defendant who caused the collision was working for a large pest control company that hired two big-name San Francisco law firms to fight our client. The defense had many strong arguments that the collision did not cause our client’s back problems. There was only a small dent on our client’s bumper. Our client did not report any back pain until the day after the accident. And he had hurt his back falling off a ladder two years before the accident. The insurance company did not offer a single penny to our client for over three and a half years, and then made a lowball offer of $55,000.
We forced the insurance company to pay by aggressively fighting the San Francisco law firms in court and assembling a team of top notch experts. We hired an accident reconstruction expert to prove that the forces from the collision were strong enough to injure our client, despite the minimal damage to his car. We hired a neurosurgeon who confirmed that our client’s earlier back injury had healed, and that crash was the cause of our client’s ongoing back pain. We hired a vocational rehabilitation expert who explained that our client did not have any realistic job options and was effectively forced into early retirement. And we hired an economist who calculated the value of the wages and union benefits that our client lost because he could not work.
This case is an example of why an injured person should consult with an attorney, even if the accident was only a “fender bender.”