Firm Settles Motorcycle Injury Case for $150,000.00
October 4, 2013
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 collision occurred.
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.