A Southern California Jury Awards an Injured Grandfather $11M in Left-turn Crash Case

A Southern California Jury Awards an Injured Grandfather $11M in Left-turn Crash Case

Settling your auto accident claim can be a beneficial way to get compensation for your injuries. Agreeing to a fair settlement can provide you with the confidence and calm that comes with certainty of outcome (as compared to the uncertainty in any jury trial.) Settling also can be a good way to expedite the process of getting paid, and allow you to escape expending the time and stress inherent in any trial. Of course, even if you're open to settling, it is important to obtain the right car accident attorney in Santa Barbara from the start. A good legal advocate can help you avoid settling too soon for too little money or erroneously turning down a genuinely fair and appropriate offer.

Southern California Jury Awards $11M in Left-turn Crash Case

two-vehicle crash case from San Bernardino County is a good example of how the settle-or-not analysis can be different for different people, even within the same case.

F.M. was a 65-year-old grandfather driving in San Bernardino when a county sheriff's deputy improperly failed to yield the right of way and executed a left turn in front of F.M. The two sedans collided at roughly 40 mph. The police report from the California Highway Patrol said that the "collision occurred when [the deputy] unsafely made a left turn directly into [F.M.'s] path of travel." 

The crash injured F.M., his wife, his adult daughter, and his 4-year-old grandchild. All of the family members sought compensation for their injuries. 

To Settle or Not to Settle... 

The parties worked out a mutually agreeable settlement for the wife, the daughter, and the grandchild's claims. While settling made sense for those three, it did not for F.M. The county was less forthcoming in settlement negotiations with F.M. because it believed it had a stronger case against the man; namely, that the man's extensive back injuries were the result of pre-existing conditions, not the collision with the deputy's cruiser.

Even if you desire to settle, there may come a point where taking your case to trial is a necessity. F.M. did not settle with the county, rejecting a $225,000 offer in May 2022. At his trial, he presented evidence of injuries to his cervical spine and lumbar spine. He also presented proof of multiple spinal injections, a cervical fusion procedure, and a doctor's recommendation that he undergo a lumbar discectomy. As his attorney described it, F.M. "suffered significant spinal injuries. He's able to walk, but he's going to have significant pain for the rest of his life.." The jury found this presentation persuasive and awarded the man more than $11 million, vastly greater than the May 2022 settlement offer.

Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Lawyer, John N. Fryer

When you've been hurt in an auto accident, you need a legal team with the diligence, knowledge, and experience to deliver results for you. Count on the Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP to be that team for you. We don't demand any money upfront and we fight for every dollar that you're owed. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today. We're here to provide you with the personalized attention and powerful advocacy that gets justice for you.

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