CASE NAME: Sean McDermott v. Larrah Burgess, and Tona Ashford, et.al.
Case No. 37-2017-00012655-CU-PA-CTL, Judge Joan M. Lewis
Plaintiff in this case was injured by a distracted driver who violated a well-known California safety rule of the road (Vehicle Code Secion 22350, “a driver MUST maintain a SAFE speed for traffic conditions) by driving at an unsafe speed, The defendant rear-ended Plaintiff's car pushing it into the car in front, thereby causing a 100% preventable multi-vehicle collision.
This collision caused the Plaintiff to undergo a cervical fusion; and later on, a second cervical surgery due to the first surgery not properly fusing correctly.
Medical care summary: Plaintiff followed up with his primary care physician, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist and chiropractor. The name and location of the surgery Plaintiff underwent was a C6-7 anterior cervical discectomy followed by spinal canal decompression, allograft fusion and plate instrumentation. Unfortunately, his postoperative period was complicated by pneumonia where he had coughing spells and had recurrence of his pain. This ultimately required revision of his C6-7 fusion.
Pain and Suffering: In order to recover for past medical expenses, the Plaintiff needs only to prove that the amount of each claimed expense was reasonable, that the services or supplies for which such expenses are claimed were actually given and were reasonably necessary in the diagnosis or treatment of the injury, and that the condition which necessitated the expenses was a proximate result of the injury caused by the tortfeaser. Calhoun v. Hildebrandt (1964) 230 Cal.App.2d 70.
How I negotiated the legal case: During the litigation, the at-fault carrier, Farmers Insurance, wisely decided it was best to release their policy limits of $100,000.00 instead of defending the claim more. Forturnately, the Plaintiff was responsible enough to have a policy for under-insured motorist (UIM). I filed a claim for UIM under his auto policy, and obtained the remaining policy limits of $400,000.00, with medical pay benefits up to an additional $15,000.00 ($5,000.00 primary benefit with $10,000.00 in excess benefits). I then promptly negotiated a waiver of the $15,000.00 in medical pay benefits and negotiated a substantial reduction on his health insurance that covered all of his medical care. So, in essence, this was a double policy limit recovery.
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