$1.25M Pre-Litigation Settlement in Auto v. Pedestrian Collision

damage to windshield from pedestrian accident

DLG represented Jeff C. who was struck by a car in San Carlos, California.  Despite an adverse finding of fault against the client in the police report, the case settled for $1,250,000 before a lawsuit was filed.

Jeff C. needed help. The 43-year-old single dad and fitness enthusiast lay in a bed at the Stanford Hospital ICU wondering what had happened. Less than an hour earlier, Jeff had been taking measurements of fiber optic placements on a utility pole in San Carlos — part of his training for a new career in telecommunications. Unfortunately, a negligent motorist intervened. 

As Jeff took his measurements in the early morning hours, a motorist sped toward him, unable to see clearly due to a fogged windshield. The motorist never saw Jeff near the edge of the roadway and plowed into him, launching him 10 feet into the air and sending him crashing to the pavement 15 feet from the point of impact. When paramedics arrived, Jeff’s Glasgow Coma Score was 8 (a GCS of 15 is normal) — a telltale sign of a brain injury. At the Stanford ER, doctors found he had a skull fracture and closed head injury, fractured jaw, broken teeth, cervical ligament tear, multiple rib fractures, fractured thoracic vertebrae, left fibula fracture, and shoulder and knee pain.  His pain was so severe that typical IV pain medication was ineffective and he required a procedure that delivered the medication directly to his spinal nerves. After 8 days, he was discharged … into uncertainty.

In the weeks before the collision, Jeff had taken a leap of faith. With his daughters both grown and out on their own, Jeff was presented with a unique opportunity — self-employment. His brother-in-law had offered him an apprenticeship in the growing telecommunications industry. The upside was an opportunity to be his own boss. The downside was that he would begin as an unpaid apprentice for several months as he learned the trade. Jeff left his job as a sales representative (and with it, his health insurance), ended his lease, and moved in with his sister and brother-in-law to save costs. He planned to live off of his savings until his apprenticeship was complete. The actions of a driver who couldn’t be bothered to clear the condensation from her windshield changed everything. Unfortunately, the police officer who investigated the crash found that Jeff was the cause of the collision — as he took his measurements, he was standing in a crosswalk against a red light.

With an adverse police report, no job, no health insurance, and in need of several expensive surgeries, Jeff turned to the Demas Law Group for help. 

John Demas and Tim Spangler took the case and immediately set out to get Jeff evaluated by some of the best physicians in Sacramento. Fortunately, the driver who hit Jeff had a $250,000 auto liability insurance policy with a $1,000,000 umbrella. Unfortunately, Jeff needed three surgeries, including a two-level cervical disc replacement, ACL repair, and arthroscopic shoulder surgery. He also needed extensive dental surgery (with multiple tooth implants) and neuropsychiatric treatment for ongoing mild cognitive deficits. The cost of this treatment, if financed, would likely exhaust all available insurance proceeds. However, it seemed that the adverse insurance carrier would be unlikely to pay the policy limits with surgical recommendations alone. It appeared that protracted litigation was unavoidable. However, undeterred, John and Tim prepared a comprehensive policy limits settlement demand package that exhaustively detailed Jeff’s pre-incident life and outstanding physical condition juxtaposed with his post-collision condition, medical experts’ evaluation of his current and future needs, and detailed future cost analysis and life care plan.  Though Jeff was in an unpaid position at the time of the crash, John and Tim carefully crafted a past and future wage loss claim based on Jeff’s solid past employment history and his projected advancement in the telecommunications field.   The demand left no question unanswered and the insurance company agreed to pay the policy limits.  With a portion of the settlement proceeds, Jeff was able to purchase health insurance and proceed with the necessary surgeries at a fraction of the cost he would have faced without it.

A significant pre-litigation settlement like the one Demas Law Group obtained for Jeff C. requires a deep understanding of medical issues, the ability to quickly pull together an appropriate team of experts, effective advocacy of liability principles, and the capacity to understand and persuasively articulate the impacts of injuries on the life of the client.  With treatment and time, Jeff C. will return to work and his active lifestyle.  The Demas Law Group was proud to represent him and play a role in giving him back his future. 

John N. Demas is the founding partner of Demas Law Group, P.C., and has been exclusively representing injured victims around Sacramento for nearly thirty years. John is passionate about helping people, and he has earned a stellar reputation in the community for his dedication and successful results for his clients.