CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Verdicts and Settlements

Verdicts and SettlementsResults. 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 are some of the results we have obtained for our 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 a 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.

Table of Contents of our Verdicts and Settlements:

Auto Accidents


Jury Trial Verdict - Sacramento County Superior Court
Last Demand: 1,100,000 (Policy Limit)
Defense Offer: $600,000
Verdict: $4,150,0000
Date of Verdict: December 15, 2014
Carrier: Allstate
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. Our client 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 our client's earlier statutory offer of settlement.

Jury Trial Verdict
Sacramento County Superior Court - Trial lasted 7.5 days
Date of Verdict: March 25, 2016

Our client is a young woman, approximately 26 years old, who was involved in a collision in December 2010 when another driver failed to stop at a stop sign. Our client had immediate neck, back, knee and leg pain. Our client’s knees had struck the interior of the vehicle upon impact. Initial medical treatment from the Emergency Room where our client was taken to via ambulance from the accident scene was directed to her legs and knees which were bruised, swollen and painful. She went to an emergency room a few days later with complaints that her legs were unable to bear her weight. Medical attention to her legs and knees were provided. Since our client had no medical insurance, she presented at a low-income medical clinic for treatment. While neck and back issues were raised with this medical provider, treatment was initially directed to her ongoing knee and leg pain. Eight months after the collision, her medical provider referred her to a chiropractor for treatment of her low back and neck complaints. Since the low back symptoms had not resolved, she obtained an MRI which indicated an alarming disc herniation blocking 80% of her spinal canal. However since the client did not have medical insurance, she was unable to immediately obtain the surgery that was recommended. Months later an emergency surgical intervention occurred as the client had the onset of cauda equina syndrome - loss of sensation that can lead to complete paralysis. In addition, after the collision, the client developed an acute fear of driving or riding in vehicles, sustained panic attacks, and experienced sleep disturbance. In addition, she had a loss of memory. The insurance carrier for the individual who ran the stop sign admitted liability for the collision. However, it was their contention that the disc herniation was not related to the collision and rejected payment of their policy limits of $100,000.00. Additionally, the insurance carrier argued that as the client was unemployed at the time of the collision this negated our client's claim for lost wages. Our client had been employed for 5 years prior to the accident with a dental lab before being laid off the year before the collision. Our client’s medical bills and wage loss at the time of trial was $298,759.00.

Motor vehicle collision - Our client was rear-ended at high speed by a van, which was rear-ended by a school bus at 50 mph. Our 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 - Our client was rear-ended and pushed into oncoming traffic, and as a result, suffered T9-12 disc protrusions with cord compression at T11-12.

Minor Rear End Automobile Collision – Neck and Back Injuries - Our client suffered neck and back injuries in a relatively minor rear-end motor vehicle collision. Following the accident, our client’s physician told him that because of “cord compression” in his neck he would probably benefit from surgery to alleviate his pain. We demanded that the at-fault party pay for the surgery our client was told he should have to help with his pain. Attorneys for the at-fault driver attempted to low ball our client by initially offering only $75,000. We filed a lawsuit on our client’s behalf and ultimately agreed to settle for $1,300,000.00 just prior to trial.

Motor vehicle collision - Our client, a 43-year-old electrician, sustained severe burn injuries in a two-collision accident.  His vehicle was disabled by the first collision, then was subsequently hit again by a commercial vehicle, causing our client’s vehicle to erupt in flames.  We were able to obtain the full policies of both insurance involved insurance companies in short order, for a settlement of $1,050,000.00.

Motor vehicle collision - Our 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.

Motor Vehicle Collision Settlement - Our client, a 39-year old house cleaner, was violently rear-ended by the 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 the 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. The defense was unwilling to make an offer to settle the case until the eve of trial.

Motor vehicle collision involving a drunk driver - Our 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.

Minor Impact Auto Accident – Lumbar Back Injury - Our client was injured in a relatively minor rear-end collision. Many months later he ended up having back surgery. The defense, in this case, disputed that the back injury and subsequent surgery was caused by the collision and contended that our client’s back problems, specifically a herniated lumbar disc, pre-existed the minor motor vehicle collision. The defense in the case argued that our client was going to eventually have surgery regardless of the collision. We litigated our client’s case and ultimately obtained a settlement just prior to trial.

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.

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 Settlement at Mediation
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.

$650,000.00 Settlement at Mediation
Minor Rear-End Motor Vehicle Collision – Pre-Existing Neck Pain - Our client, a long-time sufferer of neck pain, exacerbated her neck symptoms following a minor rear-end collision. Many months after the collision our client ended up having surgery on her cervical spine, specifically the removal of a disc and fusion of her vertebrae. The defense, in this case, argued that our client’s neck problems pre-existed the minor rear-end collision and that she was going to end up having cervical (neck) surgery regardless of the auto accident. Nevertheless, thru the use of medical experts who consulted with us on this case we were able to convince the defense that the collision played a significant part in causing our client to ultimately have neck surgery.

Motor vehicle collision - Our 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.


Motor vehicle collision: Binding Arbitration Award (Spine Injury): Our client suffered an exacerbated spine injury in a relatively minor motor vehicle collision.  Prior to the collision our client had suffered back problems for years and had a previous surgery.  She had another surgery after our collision which the defense argued was not due to the collision, but rather a natural progression of a pre-existing condition.  Our medical experts proved otherwise at arbitration and the arbitrator sided with us.

Confidential Settlement Figure
Auto vs Auto - Our client was driving to work. At the same time, another driver was driving at an erratic rate of speed. Several eyewitnesses interviewed by CHP officers said that the at-fault driver was traveling at 80-90 mph on the wrong side of the road divider. A head-on collision occurred. Ultimately, our client succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead when the emergency medical technicians arrived.

Motor vehicle collision - Our client suffered acute cervical acceleration/deceleration injury with sprain/strain of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions.

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.

Confidential Settlement

Auto vs. Tractor (Sulfur Duster) - Our client was a 63-year-old male who worked at a vineyard. At the time of the collision, he was driving a sulfur duster on the main road, traveling from one portion of the vineyard he was working on, to another portion of the vineyard. While on the main road, he was violently rear ended by a pickup.  The pickup was driven and owned by another nearby vineyard owner. The impact resulted in the sulfur duster our client was driving to roll over.  The vehicle rolled several times off the roadway and landed in the vineyard. The client was ejected from the sulfur duster and sustained a broken femur and a fractured right tibula.  Surgical intervention was required including the placement of a metal rod for stabilization.  Due to this severe injury, the client had to remain for several months in a care center upon discharge from the hospital.  Physical therapy was also provided for some time until our client regained strength and mobility. His injuries prevented him from ever returning to work. This claim ultimately resolved at mediation.

Motor Vehicle Collision - Headlights Off - Our client, a 70-year-old retired man, did not see a vehicle traveling with its headlights off. Our client suffered a back injury that resulted in permanent kyphosis. Our client's injuries require the need for ongoing pain management.

Motor vehicle collision - Our client suffered injuries to neck tissues and structures including herniated disc at C5-6.

Rear-end Motor Vehicle Collision - Our c lient suffered herniated cervical disks at C5-6 and C6-7 that required cervical fusion surgery. The defense alleged the herniations and symptoms were pre-existing, based upon our client having had numerous chiropractic treatments in the years pre-accident (actually more visits in the year before the collision than in the year after). Policy limits were paid.

Motor vehicle collision - Our client suffered multiple herniated cervical discs and bony hypertrophic changes with spinal cord impingement.

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.