Justice is often slow, but sometimes justice prevails. This is the story of justice prevailing after six long years.
An Anderton Law Office client was injured when a pickup truck ran a stop sign and broadsided her mini-van in 1999.
The client was injured in the crash, but got better after a few months of chiropractic treatment. She continued to have back pain, however. Eventually, she had an MRI that showed she needed back surgery.
Luckily, she had not settled her case when she first began to feel better.
Unfortunately, when the client underwent back surgery, she had complications and was placed in a nursing home for assistance while she recovered.
The client required strong pain medication following the invasive surgery and was still completely unable to walk. The nursing home determined that she required two people to assist her in and out of bed.
After being helped out of bed by a single person, she was left alone when the attendant decided to go on break.
The client then fell face-first and the contents of her eye spilled out on the floor.
She underwent emergency eye surgery but lost all vision in the injured eye. Meanwhile, she filed suit against the pickup truck driver because, in Washington State, negligence claims must be settled or a suit filed within three years.
We negotiated with the driver’s insurance company, but it took until just before the originally scheduled trial for the insurer to agree to pay the limits of its insurance policy.Because of the seriousness of her injury, the client’s car insurance company paid the limits of its UIM or underinsured motorist coverage.
But the client was nowhere near being fully compensated for her injuries. She was still recovering from her back injury and would never recover from her eye injury.
Anderton Law Office sued the nursing home when it refused to negotiate or even communicate regarding its responsibility.
The parties did participate in a formal mediation to try and settle the claim before trial, but the nursing home refused to pay more than $50,000.
Six years after her car accident, the client’s case finally went to trial. And the verdict? The jury awarded her $850,000.
What’s the moral of this story? If you have a claim for personal injuries, be sure you are fully recovered before you settle.
Justice can be slow, but real injustice can result from speed.
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