Case Results

$250,000 Settlement – Woman Suffers Permanent Loss of Ankle Function When Other Driver Turns Left in Front of Her

After spending the afternoon at a cookout, our 29-year-old client was on her way to pick up a friend when another driver failed to yield the right-of-way to her and turned left in front of her, causing a serious collision that totaled our client’s car and shattered her ankle. Throughout the entire case, our client was consistent in saying that her traffic light was green when she entered the intersection. Despite this, the other driver tried to blame her for the crash, saying that he believed her light must have been yellow when he turned in front of her. Complicating matters, our client tested well above the legal blood alcohol limit after the crash. Although the other driver attempted to say she was partially at fault for the collision because she was driving under the influence, we argued throughout that her intoxication did not in any way contribute to the accident because the accident would never have happened without the other driver turning left in front of oncoming traffic.

Our client’s ankle injury was severe. She suffered a displaced fracture to her tibia and fibula and was forced to undergo a surgery to have external hardware installed. About a month later, she had the external hardware removed and underwent another surgery to have hardware placed in her ankle. Our client could not bear weight on her ankle for at least four months. Unfortunately, her ankle did not heal well even after surgery and our client eventually had to undergo a fusion surgery for her ankle. This completely and permanently eliminated her ability to move her ankle with a normal range of motion. In her early 30s, our client was looking at a lifetime of reduced range of motion. She also developed post-traumatic arthritis in her ankle, a condition that will only worsen over time.

Pre-suit, the insurance company refused to make a serious offer on the case because they believed our client shared responsibility for the collision. We filed a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and took his deposition to pin down the fact that he was in the intersection and never even saw our client before he turned left. Because of this, he could not say what color the light was at the time this collision occurred. Aggressively pursuing our liability theory, we filed a motion for partial summary judgment asking the court to find that even if our client was intoxicated, her actions did nothing to cause or contribute to the crash. Rather, we argued that the only cause of the accident was the other driver turning left in front of oncoming traffic.

The case proceeded to mediation before the court had ruled on our motion. At mediation, we successfully negotiated a settlement that was more than five times the best pre-suit offer. By pursuing the case aggressively and not shying away from a difficult liability situation that another attorney had rejected, we were able to put a six-figure settlement directly into our client’s pocket.