Verdicts and Settlements
That's what you're looking for when you or a family member has been seriously injured due to the negligence of someone else.
And you're probably wondering what is possible when you have a very good Personal Injury Attorney working for you?
Below is a sampling of some of the results I have obtained for my clients. I'd like the opportunity to try and do the same for you. Look over the results - and when you're ready to tell me what happened to you or your family member, call me at 916-921-6400. There is no cost to you for this call. I'll answer your questions, and ask you a few questions as well. And if I can help, I will.
Paraplegia - In this construction accident, our office co-counseled on a tragic
case that settled for in excess of $25,000,000.00 (present value).
Jury Trial Verdict - Sacramento County Superior Court
Last Demand 1,100,000 (Policy Limit)
Defense Offer $600,000
Date of Verdict: December 15, 2014
8 Day Trial
Rear-end motor vehicle collision
Our client, a young professional, did not initially appear to have severe injuries from the rear-end auto accident in which he had been involved.
However, after several months of conservative chiropractic care and physical therapy did not resolve his symptoms -- in fact, the symptoms were worsening over time -- it eventually turned out that he did have more serious problems including spinal facet joint injuries and a damaged disc in his neck that had to be surgically replaced with an artificial disc.
A major point of contention was the degree to which the injuries were interfering with our client's ability to work currently and into the future. He had just begun his specialty dental practice, and we argued that his neck symptoms would significantly impair his ability to work and support his family in the future. Extensive expert testimony was presented from his surgeon, a pain management doctor, a vocational rehabilitation expert, and an economist.
Plaintiff also hired an experienced physiatrist to observe our client’s motions and movements at work so she could determine his functional limitations.
After two weeks of trial, the jury returned a verdict of $3,600,000, in addition to which more than $550,000 in pre-judgment interest was added for the repeated failure of the defendant's insurance to accept plaintiff's earlier statutory offer of settlement.
Multiple Semi trucks and trailers colliding after sliding on black ice.
Ed handled this case in association with a top-rated Montana attorney. Many thought this case impossible to win because there were several semi truck and trailers involved that collided over black ice and all the defendants claimed an "act of God" defense.
Our client was asleep in the cab of his semi truck when another semi truck slid on black ice colliding with our client’s semi. The collision caused many serious, life threatening injuries to our client, including:
Left Tl and T2 spinal fractures (in the facets); and,
Atlanto-occipital dissociation (head separated from neck, but soft tissue connecting the two, including the spinal cord).
Our client spent several weeks undergoing and recovering from many surgeries in Montana, Seattle and Sacramento hospitals.
This case settled at mediation for what is believed to be one of the largest personal injury settlements in Montana state history.
Semi-Truck vs. Automobile Collision - Ed handled this case in association with the R. Rex Parris Law Firm, attorneys Stephen McElroy and Ashley Parris. The case involved the wrongful death of a passenger in a van, in addition to serious injuries of a physical and emotional nature involving the young son of the decedent who witnessed her violent death.
An elderly woman had stopped at the entrance to the freeway instead of merging. Defendant, truck driver, saw her stopped some 17 seconds from point of impact but instead of slowing down or moving over a lane..he decided to lean on his horn for 5 seconds. The elderly lady, scared by the horn, pulled out at the last minute, resulting in the collision and the death of our client's mother.
The matter resolved for the joint policy limits of all drivers involved in the accident, on the fourth day of trial, during jury selection, when the primary Defendant, the truck driver who had refused to accept responsibility for causing the accident, ultimately tendered his $2,000,000 policy limits.
Motor vehicle collision - Client was rear-ended at high speed by a van which was rear-ended by a school bus at 50 mph. Client suffered five level disc bulges in the cervical spine and two level disc bulges in the lumbar spine impinging upon the spinal cord.
Multi-motor vehicle collision - Client was rear ended and pushed into oncoming traffic, and as a result, suffered T9-12 disc protrusions with cord compression at T11-12.
Motorcycle versus cow accident resulting in personal injury.
This was a difficult liability case involving highly contested issues of whether or not a pasture was properly fenced. The plaintiff, a 55 year old male field maintenance manager for a water company, was injured in a motorcycle accident involving a cow. This resulted in a compartment syndrome of his right leg, a comminuted right tibial plateau fracture, and right popliteal artery disruption. He was hospitalized for 3 months and underwent numerous surgeries. After 7 months, he returned to a part-time clerical job with is previous employer. Even in the alternate position, he could only work 2-3 hours a day, earning 35% of his former salary, representing a substantial loss of future earnings.
Motorcycle incident - Client suffered a fracture of the right tibial plateau, four-compartment syndrome.
$1,208,401.52 - Jury Trial Verdict - Sacramento County Superior Court - Our client was rear-ended by a fully loaded 73,000 pound logging big rig truck. The estimated speed at collision was between 6 to 7 miles per hour. Our client and Plaintiff in this case, was driving a sedan which was pushed forward into another vehicle. All vehicles sustained minor physical damage. Plaintiff’s vehicle was declared a total loss due to bending of the frame. Immediately after the collision our client had neck pain.
Over a year later, numbness in her arms and severe headaches interfered with her ability to enjoy life and work. After conservative treatment by Kaiser failed to remedy the problems, Plaintiff consulted with an orthopaedic surgeon. After concordant discography confirmed disc disruption, Plaintiff received a one level artificial disc replacement at the C5/C6 level. Following surgery, Plaintiff’s neck pain and headaches were initially resolved.
Approximately one year after surgery, Plaintiff began to experience neck pain and headache in steadily increasing frequency and severity. Plaintiff also experienced persistent low back pain and soreness. Plaintiff’s experts opined that the decline in Plaintiff’s condition after surgery was due to subsidence (sinking) of the artificial disc and abnormal cervical curvature (kyphotic deformity). Plaintiff’s experts further opined that the artificial disc would fail sometime in the next 5 to 40 years.
Defendants’ opinion providers stated Plaintiff had an excellent surgical outcome, that all current pain was related to repetitive work trauma due to her occupation as a cosmetologist doing nails and hair. Defendants’ offer before trial to resolve the case was $526,000.00.
After three week trial, the jury awarded our client $1,208,401.52.
Motor vehicle collision - Client suffered a central and right-sided disc herniation at C4-C5 touching the spinal cord and disc protrusions at C3-4, C5-6 with radiculopathy into extremities.
$995,000.00 - Motor Vehicle Collision Settlement
Our client, a 39-year old house cleaner, was violently rear-ended by defendant’s Dodge Ram 2500 truck, which pushed her vehicle into the car in front of her.
The injuries our client sustained ultimately resulted in surgery to fuse her cervical vertebrae after years of conservative treatment, including physical therapy, chiropractic, injections and acupuncture, failed.
The defense in the case argued that our client had a pre-existing degenerative spine condition and would have had neck surgery regardless of the car crash.
They offered $450,000 at mediation and said they’d never come off that figure. Ever.
Our offices hired excellent experts including an economist, a life care planner, a vocational rehab specialist, a physiatrist who evaluated residual functional capacity and a bio-mechanic.
The case settled 3 days before trial was to begin for $5000 less than policy limits of 1 Million.
Pickup truck vs SUV collision - This highly contested case involved our client, a young single mother, in a moderate motor vehicle collision injuring her lower back. She subsequently had surgery to fuse vertebrae in her lumbar spine, and a year and a half later had a second surgery.
Defense in this case disputed liability, and contended that our client had a pre-existing condition known as spondylolisthesis which would have necessitated surgery whether or not the vehicle collision occurred.
Defense was unwilling to make any offer to settle the case until the eve of trial.
$800,000.00 Semi-truck vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered a cerebral concussion, proximal left femur fracture, proximal and distal comminuted right humerus fracture, proximal comminuted left humerus fracture, bilateral scapula fracture, fight clavicle fracture, abdominal Injuries, pneumonia requiring tracheostomy, exploratory laparotomy, epicranial laceration, and a left thigh abrasion.
Motor vehicle collision involving a drunk driver - Client suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in post-concussive syndrome with cognitive impairment, speech and vision changes and difficulties; damage to tissues and structures of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar Spine including disc herniation/tearing at C5-6 and C6-7 requiring multi-level fusion and plating procedure.
$675,000.00 - Motor Vehicle Collision - Our client, an elderly house cleaner, was involved in a relatively minor motor vehicle collision which caused injury to her neck. She tried conservative treatment for almost three years (chiropractic care, physical therapy, and medications) before the pain became too overwhelming and forced her to undergo spine surgery. The defense in the case argued that she had a pre-existing degenerative spine condition and would have had neck surgery regardless of the car crash. With the assistance of auto reconstruction and bio-mechanic experts, we proved that the car accident at least exacerbated an asymptomatic condition, as well as likely caused new injuries, that led to her surgery. The case settled within days of trial in Sacramento County.
$675,000.00 - Motor Vehicle Collision - Our client, in what the defense in this case classified as a very minor "fender bender" collision, injured her neck and eventually underwent cervical disc replacement surgery. The defense was unwilling to offer any real settlement because they argued our client could not have been injured in such a minor impact. On the eve of trial, we negotiated and secured a $675,000.00 settlement.$600,000.00
Motorcycle versus cow accident resulting in personal injury. This was a difficult liability case involving issues of whether or not a pasture was properly fenced. Plaintiff was injured in a motorcycle accident involving a cow that escaped from the owners property. Plaintiff was in a coma for several days. He suffered a fractured jaw, fractured elbow, traumatic brain injury, and injuries to his back, shoulder, and leg. After the accident, he was in rehabilitation and was unable to return to work representing a substantial loss of earnings.
Motor vehicle collision - Client suffered significant central and right-sided disc herniation at C4-C5 and disc protrusions at C3-4, C5-6 with radiculopathy into extremities; intervertebral disc derangement and internal disc disruption at multiple levels; bilateral brachial plexus stretch injuries; exacerbation of pre-existing lumbosacral sprain and sciatic nerve stretch with resultant annular tear and progression to internal disc disruption in the lumbar spine.
$500,000.00 - Slip and Fall
The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith have obtained a $500,000 policy limit settlement for an elderly client who fell and suffered a significant head injury.
This difficult, complex, and disputed liability case centered around two dogs tussling, and in the melee, our client losing her grip on her dog's leash resulting in her losing her balance and falling.
The Defense in this case argued no liability; that it was unreasonable for our client to step on her dog's leash to prohibit her dog from confronting the defendant's approaching dog. As a result of our client stepping on the leash, she lost her balance and fell when the leash was pulled from under her foot.
We successfully argued that the Emergency Doctrine applied in this situation and that defendant should not escape liability because our client took whatever action she could to keep her dog restrained. Had defendant not initially lost control of his dog, our client would not have been put in the situation that ultimately resulted in her fall.
We employed Ron Berman, a prominent Southern California animal behavioral
expert, to examine defendant's dog and if necessary provide expert testimony that
the dog was not only improperly trained and behaviorally dangerous, but defendant's inability to reasonably control and restrain his dog ultimately led to plaintiff's fall and resulting injuries.
We also employed a leading Gerontologist, G. Jay Westbrook, M.S., to provide testimony concerning our client's injuries and their effect on her, her husband's, and her family's lives. Mr. Westbrook was prepared to testify regarding the changes in our client's activities of daily living, as well as functional and emotional changes resulting from her injuries.
Both experts' work contributed to the successful outcome of our client's case.
Truck vs. Truck Collision - In this matter, we were successful in obtaining the full combined policy limits from the third party carriers and the clients’ underinsured motorist carrier concerning the wrongful death claims of the children and wife of a person who was killed during a vehicular chase which ensued following an alleged armed robbery. Despite the potential liability of our clients’ decedent, and despite the alleged criminal acts by the decedent, and despite potential ‘intentional acts exclusion” defenses which might have been available to the third party carrier (as it is alleged that their insured intentionally
rammed the rear of decedent’s vehicle causing decedent to lose control, overturn, and sustain fatal injuries), we were successful in prevailing upon theories of negligence and the overall limits resolution.
Wrongful Death Case - In this tragic case, a man lost his wife and two children in an horrific head on accident off of I5 near Stockton. The defense alleged that the driver of Plaintiff's car, a relative of decedents, had had a heart-attack and crossed the center line of the freeway. They alleged an "Act of God" was responsible and they had no liability.
After extensive consultation with the coroner, he testified he could not say whether the decedent had suffered a heart attack before the accident or after the crash. As a result, the highly contested case resolved for $500,000 (Policy Limits).
Vehicle vs. motorcycle collision - Client suffered disc protrusion at L4-5; disc protrusion at L5-S1; radiculopathy from disc protrusions requiring surgical intervention; displacement of lumbar intervertebral disc without myelopathy; fracture of the superior end plate of L4.
Tow truck vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), left temporal contusion, right parietal and left parietal involvement, with loss of consciousness and combativeness and brain swelling requiring medically induced coma for numerous days and resulting in ongoing significant cognitive, speech, language and memory deficits.
Semi-truck vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered a cerebral contusion with associated loss of consciousness along with severe headaches and amnesia.
Semi-truck vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered a herniation to cervical level C5-6 with associated loss of nerve input.
Semi-truck vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered neck and back injuries with disc herniation at L5-S1.
Motor vehicle collision - Client suffered acute cervical acceleration/deceleration injury with sprain/strain of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions.
Slip and fall incident - Client suffered mild traumatic brain injury/concussion (including loss and/or alteration of consciousness) and injuries to the tissues and structures of the head, right eyebrow, back, neck, legs, groin area (including testicular fracture and severe scrotal swelling), heart (including but not limited to two severe myocardial infarctions requiring ICU intervention and ultimate five-way heart bypass surgery).
Bus vs. vehicle collision - Client suffered injuries to the tissues and structures of the spine including post-traumatic lumbar disc damage at L5-S1 (left neural foraminal disc protrusion measuring 2-3 mm causing neural foraminal narrowing on the left); disc desiccation with disc bulge at L4-5; and post-traumatic C5-6 kyphosis division disc collapse.
Boat vs. Boat collision in the Sacramento Delta - In a highly disputed matter involving the clear negligent operation of a speeding boat, at night, by a highly intoxicated operator under the legal drinking age, our office, after working with top experts in the field, was successful in obtaining the full $300,000 insurance policy limits for the operator of the stationery boat hit by the drunk driver. In addition, we obtained $10,000.00 from the DUI driver’s boat owner, and, despite the lack of insurance coverage for the DUI driver, we obtained $45,000.00 in settlement from that individual personally. Our client sustained tragic and severe injuries when flung from the DUI driver’s boat on impact in the Tracy Slough, where he hit the rocky banks and nearly died. We were further successful in essentially eliminating the need for the client to repay his medical insurers.
$350,000.00 - Motor Vehicle Collision - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - Our client unfortunately did not have auto insurance and therefore could not recover pain and suffering damages. She suffered a wrist injury in an auto collision which eventually progressed into RSD, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, in her arm. We arranged for her to be examined by one of the leading Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy experts in California who helped us determine our client's potential future medical needs and costs. Our work led to the adverse insurance company tendering their total insurance monies available.
Vehicle vs. Bicyclist collision: A mother, dropping off her cheerleader daughter in front of a high school, double-parked and allowed the teenager to open her car door without ensuring the roadway was clear to do so. Our client hit the car door and was flung to the ground, sustaining serious and painful hip injuries, resulting in fractures requiring surgical correction. Despite contentions by defense that our client was drunk and was a DUI bicyclist, we were successful in resolving this claim prior to trial for payment of the underlying coverage, with excess contribution from the defendant's
Vehicle vs. pedestrian incident - Client suffered a left foot injury with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Semi Truck and Trailer Motor Vehicle Collision
The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith have obtained a $325,000.00 settlement, following mediation, of this very difficult and medically complex case.
Our client was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a semi-truck and trailer. As a result of the collision, our client suffered back injuries requiring surgical procedures
to ease his pain.
The Defense in this case argued that as evidenced by our client's extensive prior history of back problems, his treatment post-subject collision was just a continuing and natural progression of an already existing condition. Defense's position was that the surgical procedures that our client underwent would have been necessary, and would have occurred, regardless of the subject collision.
Ultimately, our detailed and comprehensive analysis of our client's medical records persuaded the defense that our client's injuries, and resulting treatment, stemmed at least in part from the collision caused by defendant.
We employed the services of Life Care Planner Dorajane Apuna to determine and calculate our client's future medical needs and their costs.
We also employed Vocational Rehabilitation Expert Robyn David Harris to determine and calculate the effects our client's injuries would have on his earning capacity over the course of his life.
Both experts' work contributed to the successful outcome of our client's case.
Motor vehicle collision.
Please keep in mind the value of cases varies dramatically depending on various and numerous factors and not simply a specific injury.
The above is meant to be illustrative only of settlements and victories obtained. They are not to be construed as a guarantee or a likelihood that we will obtain these or similar amounts for your case.