The following blog article was updated in January 2022.
Marathoner Suffering Fractured Leg After Collision With Car Leads to $490,000 Settlement
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett’s client Armando was an Elite Master’s runner who trained 5 to 20 miles a day, 6 days a week, and averaging 75 miles a week. He ran the Boston Marathon in 3:03.
Armando began a three-week vacation from his job as a millwright. He planned to camp in the San Juan Islands, running each morning, kayaking in the midday, and then running again in the afternoon, in preparation for the upcoming racing season. He drove to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, and began a five-mile run to Anacortes and back to kill time while waiting for the ferry.
17-year old Todd Zentner apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove the right front wheel off the vehicle lane, over the biking/jogging lane, and into the gravel shoulder. He crashed directly into Armando.
Armando received serious orthopedic and head injuries including tibia/fibula fractures, ligament injuries, ankle and foot injuries, traumatic strain to the back muscles, and post-concussive head injuries including situational depression, memory dysfunction, olfactory disturbance, headaches and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Armando’s courage and attitude, born of long-distance running, served him well in his uphill recovery, and also so impressed the insurance representatives that they had little question about the reality of the impact of the orthopedic and concussive injuries.
Although Armando was initially unable to return to competitive running, during the period of his recuperation he served as President of the Greater Bellingham Running Club, and also volunteered to coach novice runners who participated in charity events, as a way to stay involved in running, to practice his organizational skills and to avoid depression caused by withdrawal from his core activity.
Ultimately, character and grit allowed Armando to resume his marathon career, although he will probably never again compete at the top of the Masters level.
The claim was settled for the policy limits of $490,000.
$150,000 – Boy On Bicycle Hit by Car, Suffers Fractured Leg
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney David Brown tackled this case for a 5-year-old boy who suffered a terrible leg fracture after being hit while riding his bicycle by a car driven by a distracted driver. The boy’s injuries resulted in surgery, he spent four days in the hospital and several months in a wheelchair. His medical bills were more than $80,000.
The crash occurred when our client was riding his bike on a quiet residential street. As the driver approached the boy, the driver was distracted by his own child in the backseat, failed to see the bicyclist, and ran right into him.
David Brown undertook extensive negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, securing the $50,000 policy limits of the driver’s liability coverage, and also securing the entire $100,000 in coverage from the client’s own Under-insured Motorist coverage, bringing the entire recovery to $150,000.
$250,000 for Client Who Suffered “Hangman’s Fracture” in T-Bone Collision
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Matt Conner helped his client who suffered a “hangman’s fracture”, a sudden, forceful hyperextension centered just under the chin, after a collision with another driver who ran a red light, causing an awful T-bone collision. After the crash, Matt’s client was rushed to Harborview Hospital where he underwent a complicated surgery, resulting in an 8-day hospital stay and more than $200,000 in medical bills.
Fortunately, the at-fault driver carried a significant insurance policy with a $250,000 limit, which attorney Matt Conner was able to obtain for his client, to pay for his existing medical bills and for any future care he might need.
$150,000 for Man Suffering Neck and Spinal Injuries After Rear-End Collision
Matt Conner’s client suffered serious neck and spine injuries after being rear-ended while stopped for traffic. After months of continuous medical treatment, our client’s physicians decided that a rare double-fusion surgery was the best option to relieve his constant pain.
After surgery, Matt’s client gained some relief, but will likely live the rest of his life with some level of pain and discomfort. His injuries prevent him from enjoying his favorite recreational activities like motorcycling, camping, and swimming.
The unfortunate aspect of this case is that there was not much insurance money available since the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy were only $50,000.
Fortunately, our client’s insurance policy included Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. Matt Conner successfully negotiated with his client’s own insurance adjuster to obtain the UIM limits as well, bring his client’s total recovery to $150,000.
$98,000 for Client Injured in Rear-End Car Accident
Paula’s client received a serious back injury caused when an inattentive driver rear-ended him. The injury was severe enough to require surgery and extensive medical care, which drove the medical bills up to $33,000.
Paula undertook negotiations with the insurance adjuster to secure a $98,000 settlement for her client.
$100,000 for Client Who Suffered a Back Injury from Car Accident in the Snow
Paula’s client was driving on a snowy day when another driver lost control and slammed into his car. The crash caused a herniated disc that required surgery and racked up almost $40,000 in medical bills. The injuries also meant that the client wasn’t able to run his company, which caused a significant loss of income.
Paula negotiated with the insurance adjuster to secure a $100,000 settlement.
Client’s Serious Head and Back Injuries Result in a $500,000 Settlement for a T-Bone Car Crash
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney David Brown worked closely with his client Virginia to help her after she suffered serious injuries in a t-bone car crash in a collision in an intersection.
Prior to working with David, Virginia had settled the first part of the insurance claim on her own, obtaining the policy limits of $100,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. But when Virginia asked her own insurance company to honor the Under-insured Motorist (UIM) provision in her own policy, her insurer offered a mere $5,000, although Virginia’s medical bills totaled $350,000, because the UIM carrier claimed that Virginia’s back problems were not related to the crash.
Virginia knew then that she needed legal help, so she contacted attorney David Brown. After David worked intensively by proving to the UIM insurance carrier, using medical records and the testimony of Virginia’s doctors, that the back injuries were indeed directly related to the car accident, he negotiated a $500,000 policy-limits settlement. Virginia would have likely been unable to negotiate this settlement without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney like David.
$182,500 for Client’s Soft-Tissue Injuries from Two Accidents
Chris contacted Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner for help after being involved in two moderate impact auto collisions.
Chris did not immediately recognize the extent of his injuries and failed to seek immediate medical treatment. He was diagnosed with cervical and lumbar strains by his physician.
While these “whiplash” type injuries typically resolve quickly, Chris’s condition deteriorated and ultimately his injuries prevented him from returning to work as a welder. His inability to return to work resulted in a significant wage loss claim, atypical in a “whiplash” type case.
While the two insurance companies for the defendants initially disputed Chris’s disability, after lengthy negotiations and detailed documentation of Chris’ personal injuries and claim by attorney David Brown, the insurance companies relented and ultimately agreed to resolve Chris’s claim for a total of $182,500.
$1,750,000 for Client Who Suffered a Closed-Head Injury in Rollover Crash
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett’s client was a belted passenger in a high-speed, roll-over freeway accident. His multiple spine fractures and his closed head injury made it very difficult for him to continue in his career as a physician. Since his insurance company could not effectively contest the cause of the rollover or of his medical condition, they denied full coverage by arguing that at 56, the doctor was near retirement, didn’t really need to work, and had previously announced his intention to retire before the collision.
Following the collision, Dean’s client attempted to return to work part-time, but he experienced difficulties caused by his head injury, forcing his retirement.
To fully support his client in attaining a settlement that included full lost future income, Attorney Dean Brett completed extensive research and found data that had the accident not occurred, the client he would have worked at least an additional 10 years before retiring, and that his economic loss caused by this high-speed rollover accident as $1,274,087.
In addition to the loss of future earning capacity, Dean’s client lost the intangible rewards of practicing medicine. What does it mean for a man who has spent his entire life training for and working as a doctor to no longer be able to function as a doctor? What impact does that have on his self-esteem and self-worth? Here was a man who had delivered more than 800 babies, but who could no longer work in an operating room.
Based upon these tangible and intangible losses, Dean Brett secured a settlement offer of $1,750,000.
$180,000 for Client’s Fractured Arm Requiring Surgery Caused by High Driver
Travis was driving to work in his employer’s truck when a driver with marijuana in his system ran a stop sign and crashed into Travis. He suffered a fractured arm that required surgery to fix. The at-fault driver had no insurance, but attorney Bill Coats, from the Brett LawBellingham office, was able to make a claim with the employer’s insurance company. After filing a lawsuit, the insurance company agreed to pay $180,000 to compensate Travis for his injury. Felix v. Nelson (2009)
$346,000 for Client Who Suffered a Badly Broken Leg in a Pedestrian-Car Accident
Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney David Brown’s client Adam was a pedestrian walking on a sidewalk when he was hit by an SUV driven by a woman who was startled by a spider and drove off the road. Adam was thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious for 48 hours. He sustained serious injuries including a badly broken right leg requiring two surgeries, a closed head injury, and scalp lacerations.
Attorney David Brown negotiated extensively with the Hartford Insurance Company to achieve a $346,000 settlement for Adam. This settlement enabled his client to complete any future medical treatment he needed, and recover all of his lost wages while he was incapacitated.