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A California Driver Injured in a Ditch Crash Sues a City, a Developer and a Contractor… and Lands a $2.25M Settlement

When you are injured due to an auto accident in which road conditions were a factor, your situation can seem complicated and stressful. You were just driving down the road and then you crash, suffering substantial injuries through little or no fault of your own. Would you know what to do and whom to sue?

Identifying the right people and/or entities to sue is an extremely essential part of your case. Choosing the right defendants is just as important as choosing the right causes of action when it comes to giving yourself the best chance of success and a full and fair recovery. This is just one of the many areas where it pays to have the skill and knowledge of an experienced San Mateo injury attorney on your side.

As an example of this kind of accident, there’s the case of M.D., a driver in San Bernardino County. According to Redlands Daily Facts, M.D. was a traveling along an east-west road that had a set of orange cones stretched across part of the road. M.D. drove to the left of the cones and, when he passed the last cone, he shifted right, only to feel his vehicle “drop off” into a two-foot deep ditch. The drop caused the vehicle to overturn and allegedly caused the driver to suffer very serious damage to his neck and back.


According to the city, a developer was building multiple large warehouse projects in the area and had retained a contractor that was responsible for “traffic-control design plans” for the area where the accident took place.

The city asserted that it wasn’t liable because it had no involvement in the construction or the setting up of traffic-control devices. The contractor asserted that it couldn’t be liable as the city had voiced no objections to its traffic-control design plans, it had set up the cones before the ditch existed and its contract with the developer did not require it to maintain the cones unless the contractor made a subsequent call requesting that service.

So, what did M.D. do? M.D. and his legal team decided to proceed against all three – the city, the developer and the contractor. In the end, this was a strong and wise choice. The injured driver was able to obtain a settlement that compensated him for the significant injuries he suffered. The settlement called for the city and the developer to pay a combined $2.1 million. The settlement also required the contractor to provide an additional $150,000 to M.D.

The benefit of settling… if the offer is right

Settlements like this can be very helpful for injured people, if the settlement amount is substantial enough. In M.D.’s case, his trial was not set even to begin until October. The settlement was approved in August. By settling, M.D. created the potential of having his much-needed multi-million-dollar compensation in hand before his trial otherwise even would have started.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, whether the at-fault parties are obvious or not-so-obvious, you need skillful legal representation working for you. The hardworking San Mateo injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos are here to help. Our attorneys have many years of providing effective representation for injured people in California. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

Car Accident

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    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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