Family ski trips are suppose to be fun and filled with lifelong memories. Unfortunately for our three young clients, this trip was tragically different. Here’s their story.
While driving down the 91 Riverside freeway on the way to the local ski resort in Big Bear, California, the family van lost traction on the slick highway surface and skidded to a stop sideways on the freeway. Approaching vehicles slowed and easily made their way around the right and left side of the stopped van.
Before the family could take evasive action, an approaching semi tractor trailer truck was driving too fast for the wet surfaced roads. The driver wasn’t paying attention. Unable to stop in time, it struck the van broadside seriously injuring the 3 young children and instantly killing their wonderful mother and loving father.
The trucking company and its insurance company originally denied responsibility for the loss. After carefully reviewing the traffic collision report, we determined this collision could have easily been avoided and that the truck driver was at fault. We recommended to our clients to allow us to file an Orange County Superior Court lawsuit.
During the course of litigation and our related investigation, we uncovered the name of a previously unknown off-duty emergency paramedic who just happened to also be on his way up to the ski resorts. He reported that before the collision and while traveling North on the 5 Freeway, the large semi tractor trailer truck had sped past him at an unsafe speed for the wet weather conditions. In fact, the truck driver was going so fast that it actually upset the paramedic and so he followed the truck for awhile until it pulled ahead of him in the rain. He then came upon the accident scene shortly thereafter. With this paramedic’s deposition testimony, we were able to settle the case for $1,000,000.00 shortly before trial.
Because our clients were minors and to protect the children’s financial interest in the settlement, the settlement funds were placed into court approved structured settlement annuities providing the children with a substantial monthly income for many years to come. Food, shelter, clothing and a good education are now available to our three young clients. A superior court judge reviewed and approved the settlement and also determined it was in the best interest of the young clients.
Looking back, this was a case that went from an offer of zero and complete denial of liability to a $1,000,000 settlement. Sure, it took a bit of hard work by this firm, but we can report that knowing justice was served and helping secure a stable financial future for our clients was worth every ounce of effort.
If you have a legal question that you would like answered, please give us a call. We’ve been helping victims of personal injury and wrongful death since 1986 and chances are, we can help you too!