Davis Law Group, P.S. recently recovered a $1,050,000 settlement for a car accident victim who suffered a broken leg after a collision with a garbage dump truck.
Facts of Motor Vehicle Collision
Our client, MJT, age 60, was driving his Smart Car on Newberg Road near Granite Falls, WA in 2012. It was 4:30 PM during the winter, and police reports indicated that it was dark at the time MJT was driving.
Suddenly, without warning, MJT came upon an overturned dump truck in the middle of the road that had been operated by an employee of Questech Unlimited, Inc. The dump truck driver did not place flares or emergency triangles to warn other motorists because he claimed that he smelled gas which caused him to flee the truck immediately.
Due to the lack of lighting and the employee’s failure to adequately warn other motorists, MJT did not have sufficient time to stop his own vehicle and crashed into the undercarriage of the defendant’s dump truck.
In preliminary discussions, the defendants argued that MJT was at fault for his own injuries for not paying attention and using his cell phone. They also argued that another motorist had approached the overturned dump truck shortly before MJT did and was able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
A neighbor living 2 blocks from the crash site was outside and heard the dump truck overturn and crash. The neighbor also said 1-2 cars approached the overturned dump truck and both were able to stop in time to avoid a collision. The neighbor alleged the plaintiff was speeding when it went by the neighbor just seconds before plaintiff crashed into the truck.
Liability and Settlement Negotiations
The defendants initially denied any liability whatsoever for our client’s injuries, and they even went as far as to allege that the plaintiff was solely at fault for the collision by accusing him of not paying attention.
The defendants’ insurance company initially denied the claim altogether. Later on, the defendants offered $20,000 to settle the claim, but being that he incurred more than $400,000 in medical costs that offer was rejected. We eventually filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client. After one year of litigation, the insurance company offered $75,000 to settle. After 18 months, the insurance company increased its settlement offer to $275,000.
The plaintiff was prepared to take the case to a jury trial, which would have resulted in significant legal expenses for both sides involved.
About 5 months before trial was scheduled to begin, the defendant’s insurance company finally agreed to pay its full policy limits of $1M to settle the case. Davis Law Group recovered another $60,000 from MJT’s own insurance company for underinsured motorist benefits. MJT was ably represented by attorneys Chris Davis and Greg Colburn of the Davis Law Group in Seattle, Washington.