Pedestrian Accidents Case Study
Our firm represented an immigrant who was walking in the roadway and was struck by a car. He suffered extensive orthopedic injuries. Before this client came to us, he had already been turned down by two firms. Why? First, he was walking in the roadway when it would have been safer to walk on the sidewalk on the other side off the road. Second, he had been drinking at a local bar just before being struck by the defendant driver — he was taken to the hospital immediately after being struck and the hospital’s test showed that our client’s blood alcohol was well over .30. (This is “knee walking” drunk, or that state where there is an “extreme loss of motor function”.)
When hearing this, other firms rejected this “hard” case. What did we do different? We listened. Our client admitted that he had been drinking and he decided to walk home, instead of getting behind the wheel. He also told us that what he had to drink and eat while at the bar. The defendant in the case insisted that our client was walking in the middle of her lane, that it was dark outside, and that she was in a curve. She would ask the jury to believe that she did not see our client in time to react to avoid hitting him. She also asked the jury to believe that our client was drunk.
We knew it would be an uphill battle, but we were able to persuade the jury that (1) our client, while he had something to drink, was not too drunk to walk straight; (2) that our client was not so intoxicated that he would walk down the middle of a busy road; (3) that the defendant had taken her eyes off of the road and allowed her car to veer over the white fog line to the right where she struck our client and (4) that our client was within his right to be walking on a narrow strip of pavement that was outside of the white fog line. We employed the services of a toxicologist and an accident reconstructionist to help persuade the jury that our client was entitled to compensation for the defendant’s negligence. The jury ultimately awarded a significant six figure verdict to our client even though they did find him partially at fault for his own injuries.What is a fair measure of justice for a “small case”?
What we can do with a “small” case: we had a recent win in traditionally conservative Rockdale County with a “small” case involving a woman whose car was struck by another vehicle. While this client received only “soft tissue” injuries and had only a few thousand dollars in chiropractic and medical bills, we were able to recover over $26,000 for her.