Todd Henningen was able to obtain a $150,000.00 settlement for his injured
client despite the fact that initial reports showed that his client was
at fault for causing the accident and actually received a traffic citation
as a result.
In November of 2010, our client was driving his motorcycle on a rural road
in Stockbridge, Georgia. It was the night before Thanksgiving and he was
on his way to a local factory where he worked the overnight shift. As
he was approaching a three way intersection, a slower moving tractor trailer
tow truck towing a box truck was making a right turn in front of him.
Our client, at some point, moved into the opposite lane of travel and as
he was going around the truck, another driver pulled out from the roadway
where the truck was turning and struck our client nearly head on. Because
the wreck occurred in the lane of travel for vehicles going in the opposite
direction, our client was given a citation for improper passing. There
were three independent witnesses who saw the collision and their testimony
confirmed that our client was in the opposite lane of travel when the
As a result of the
motorcycle accident, our client suffered significant injuries, including a fracture to his
spine. Despite the significance of his injuries, he was ultimately able
to make a good recovery and is currently gainfully employed and is moving
on with his life.
Following the collision, our client was given a citation for improper passing.
Due to his injuries, and prior to consulting with us, he made a decision
to pay the ticket rather than fight it in court. Unbeknownst to our client,
under Georgia law, when a ticket is simply paid, it is an admission of
guilt and that admission can be used against you in any civil case.
Thus, we were presented with a situation in which the defense could use
the fact that our client paid the ticket against him. Through diligent
investigation and development of the facts, we were able to show that
our client should not have been ticketed in the first place and the police
officer simply made the wrong call. Despite the fact that we were able
to show that our client should not have been ticketed, it still did not
mean that he was entirely without fault in the case.
Under Georgia Law, if the Plaintiff is found to be at least 50% at fault,
then he is not entitled to receive any compensation. Thus, in our analysis
of the case, despite the fact that he probably should not have been ticketed,
there were still questions as to whether or not his decision to pass the
slower moving truck in the opposite lane could make him 50% or more responsible
for his injuries. If a jury were to find this way, our client would not
receive any compensation for his injuries.
Following our investigation of the case, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of
our client and following discovery, we entered into a mediation with the
defense. After nearly 8 hours of negotiation we were able to obtain a
settlement offer of $150,000.00 which we accepted. Our client was extremely
pleased that we were able to take a situation where it appeared that he
may not receive anything for all that he had gone through, to a situation
where he could pay his outstanding medical bills and still receive compensation
for his injuries.