$25,000.00 Initial Offer from Defendant becomes $1,300,000.00 Settlement
In this case, the Defendant’s initial offer to settle before we filed a lawsuit was $25,000. On March 8th 2023, less than a month before the trial date, the defendants accepted our final proposal for settlement in the amount of $1,200,000 (we had already settled with another defendant for the policy limits of $100,000).
Ron Galloway (name changed at request of client) was involved in two different scooter crashes at the age of 59. One in August 2019, and a second one in December 2019.
Here’s the scooter on the ground after the crash in the first accident:
In the first crash, he was riding an electric scooter in Miami and sustained a blow to his head when a car turned in front of him. Ron wasn’t wearing a helmet, and the collision caused a small brain bleed but no fracture.
The second incident occurred four months later, just one block away from where the first accident occurred. This time, Ron was wearing a helmet while riding his electric scooter when another vehicle turned in front of him. He sustained another injury to his head, but the CAT scan was negative for any new findings.
Ron was the kind of guy who wasn’t a complainer. We found that out the hard way because after the first incident, he barely went to any doctors. And in the couple times that he did go to his doctors, he only once reported that he was experiencing a headache. No other complaints were documented for the four months until the December accident.
Our main problem was that with the second accident, 1) there was only $100,000.00 of insurance coverage, and 2) we could not locate the individual who caused the collision. We suspected that that at fault person had moved to somewhere in France, but it was impossible to get an address for him. Since there was only $100,000.00 in coverage from this driver’s insurer, we thought that it would be best to accept the policy limits from the second driver’s insurance company and proceed in litigation against the driver from the first accident. So, we accepted the $100,000 insurance policy limits from the second driver’s insurer.
Once we started closely reviewing Ron’s medical records, we saw that the documentation of symptoms from the first incident up until the time of the second crash was virtually nil. We knew that would be the primary theory of defense for the lawyers defending the driver from the first accident: that there was no permanent injury as a result of the first collision, and yes, Ron had a concussion, and yes, he had a small brain bleed, but he healed fine and went back to work. We were very concerned whether there were any permanent injuries from the first accident, and more significantly, whether the permanent injury was as a result of the second accident that we had already settled.
We were also concerned that in the first accident where there was good insurance coverage, Ron hit the right rear passenger side of the vehicle, so we knew that they would try to blame him in part for the accident. We were also concerned that they would blame him for not wearing a helmet, each of which could have substantially reduced any recovery.
After the second accident, Ron was fired from his job as an accountant at a real estate investment firm because he was no longer doing his job properly. He had difficulty concentrating, and he had memory problems. Because of these issues, he was terminated from his position that he had held for six years.
We aggressively litigated Mr. Galloway’s case against the driver from the first accident for more than two years. We hired multiple experts to testify to the extent of Ron’s brain injury, and to testify as to his substantial lost economic damages due to his inability to continue working as an accountant. The defendant also hired multiple experts, including a neuropsychologist who examined Ron. After we reviewed the neuropsychologist’s report of the examination, we felt that there were a number of highly questionable findings in the report. This neuropsychologist’s testimony would have been a key aspect of the defense case. Since we had serious doubts about the expert’s findings, we filed a 50-page motion asking the court to strike the expert from testifying at trial.
The trial court didn’t need to decide the issue because about 45 days before trial, the defense filed a proposal for settlement and offered $300,000.00. We filed our own proposal for settlement for $1.2 million. Up until that time, the first formal offer from the insurance company once we went from pre-suit to litigation had been $75,000.00. The defendant accepted our proposal for settlement the day before that it would have expired, about 3 weeks before trial.
We are delighted to have been able to get Ron a total settlement of $1.3 million for his two scooter accidents.