This Ought to Be Easy
At the insistence of her daughter, co-workers and another lawyer that was a family friend, I walked into my new client’s and eventual friend’s, hospital room. Just one day after her collision with a large commercial vehicle, she had already endured two surgeries. More surgeries and months of painful rehabilitation would follow. After quizzing me about my age and experience, she said “Nate this ought to be easy.” As she lay in a hospital bed, I explained to her what too many people have learned the hard way. Negligent corporations and big insurance companies fight very hard to protect their money.
I assured my new client that my partner Katrina and I as well as our staff were up to the challenge. Within two hours of the time we were hired, we had a professional photographer taking high-resolution images that could be used at trial. By the end of our first day on the case, we had found the isolated lot where the company stored its damaged vehicles. Within 48 hours of the time we were hired, we had engineers mapping the scene. In less than a week, we found the driver of the vehicle. He willing provided us with detail about the vehicle and his dealings with the company.
As is par for the course, the company denied all liability and blamed others. They hired one of the largest law firms in the world to protect their money. Despite their efforts we worked diligently to locate past drivers of the vehicle and obtained a court order to perform a top to bottom inspection of the vehicle. Working with engineers and mechanics, we examined every inch of the vehicle and found a number of failures that caused the wreck that injured my friend. Unlike many lawyers, we did not sit back in our office and wait on a report, we braved 20 degree temperatures, freezing rain and crawled around the truck with our mechanics and engineers to make sure we fully understood the issues and could explain them to a judge and jury.
Having handled hundreds of cases and recovered millions of dollars for clients, we knew that simply identifying the cause of the collision was not enough. We would have to make sure a jury understood our case completely and would deliver justice to our friend and client. We worked closely with economists and life care planners to make sure the jury could completely understand how the negligence of the company impacted my friend’s family and her finances. We worked closely with a videographer to document her journey.
In the weeks leading up to trial we tested our theory of the case and our presentation on not one, but three mock juries. In the end, we were able to prove to the big company and its lawyers that we were prepared to prove its negligence to a jury. With that information in hand, we ultimately achieved a settlement of $3,700,000 for our friend that had suffered numerous broken bones and endured multiple surgeries after her collision with the commercial vehicle. After medical bills, expenses and legal fees, the friend that once told us she wanted a million dollars, received more than $2,200,000.
Our success in this case was not based upon the wreck, but because we dedicated our time, resources (more than $81,000 spent on engineers, economists, focus groups and private investigators) and past trial experiences to the cause of justice for our friend.