Car Went Airborne Over the Divider
WRSH Partner, Kenneth Halperin obtained a combined settlement in the amount of $2,500,000 for a 66 year old woman and her 32 year old daughter who were injured in a motor vehicle accident. The cases settled immediately prior to jury selection.
The accident in question occurred on the West Side Highway, near 125th Street in Manhattan. At the time of the accident, the plaintiffs were driving Northbound on the elevated portion of the West Side Highway. The defendant's vehicle which was heading Southbound, went out of control, drove up the embankment that separates the North and Southbound lanes, then went airborne over the metal divider and struck the front of the plaintiffs vehicle. The damage to the plaintiff's vehicle was so severe that the roof of the vehicle had to be cut off by the police so that the 66 year old plaintiff/driver could be removed from the vehicle. We were able to obtain summary judgment on the issue of the liability. The trial was scheduled to proceed on the issue of damages only.
As result of the accident, the 66 year old plaintiff sustained fractures of her right ankle, right femur, left femur and left ulna and radius. All of the fractures required surgical repair in a 10 hour operation. She was confined to the hospital for three weeks and a rehabilitation facility for approximately 2 months. In the years after her accident, she underwent two additional operations and may require additional surgery in the future.
The 32 year old plaintiff sustained a fracture to her left wrist with torn ligament, an aggravation of a pre-existing herniated disc in her cervical spines and contusions to both knees. Our clients also suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for which they were receiving therapy.
Approximately two months prior to trial, the defendants urged that we attend a formal mediation before a retired Judge. At the mediation we gave a presentation that included magnified views, on a large screen of plaintiffs' x-rays, documenting their fractures and post-surgical condition and scars. The negotiations concluded with the defendants presenting a final offer of $2,150,000 as a combined settlement for our clients. We rejected this offer and prepared for trial.
Immediately prior to jury selection the case settled for a total of $2,500,000 which represented $2,200,000 for the 66 year old plaintiff and $300,000 for her daughter.