Sidewipe and Rear End Car Accidents
WRSMH Of Counsel Brielle C. Goldfaden obtained a $715,000 settlement during trial for our client who was involved in a three-car accident. This significant settlement was most notable considering the defendants only carried liability insurance policies totaling $125,000 in coverage. One of the defendants, a taxi corporation, paid $590,000 in excess of its insurance policy.
Our client, a 44 year old medical resident was driving on the FDR Drive early one January morning when she was sideswiped by a vehicle traveling in the lane next to her. The sideswipe forced her to pull her car over and stop in the left lane – there was no shoulder in the area. While she was pulled over, a taxi cab crashed into her vehicle from behind. As a result of the rear end hit by the taxi, our client suffered a fractured vertebra of her spine requiring a nine hour surgery where a neurosurgeon implanted metal rods and screws in her spine fusing her vertebrae. She was hospitalized for eleven days, attended fourteen weeks of physical therapy and missed seven weeks from her medical residency program.
WRSMH attorney David Schwarz and another attorney from the firm successfully crafted and argued a motion for summary judgment asking the court to find the defendants negligent for the accident and our client not at fault. Both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division agreed. Thus, the case proceeded to trial on damages only.
Though the case failed to settle at mediation, Brielle was able to convince the defendants during trial that a jury would award a substantial verdict because of the seriousness of the injuries and the likeability of our client. Although it is rare that a taxi company is willing to dip into its own pocket to pay a settlement above and beyond the insurance coverage, Brielle was able to convince them to do so and obtained significant compensation for our client.