Butler | Kahn recently obtained a $720,000 settlement in a commercial accident case involving a driver who wasn’t paying attention and a major company that operates thousands of delivery vans. The name of the company is confidential at the company’s insistence.
Here’s more about the case, plus video reviews from our clients.
Facts of the Collision with the Delivery Van
One Tuesday morning, Cameron* was driving down a two-lane road in south Georgia. His friend Calvin was in the passenger seat. A delivery van was driving in front of them. As they continued down the road, the delivery van driver put on her right turn signal and began to slow down. This stretch of road was a legal passing zone.
Road where accident occurred
Cameron decided to pass the slowing delivery van. As he began to pass the delivery driver – legally, over a dashed centerline – the driver missed her right turn and continued straight. Then, without warning, she turned left, directly in front of Cameron, causing a violent collision. Cameron’s truck and the delivery van were totaled.
Our client’s vehicle
The investigating police officer found the driver of the delivery can at fault and cited her for failing to yield while turning left.
Our Clients’ Injuries from the Delivery Van Collision
Cameron’s femur was clearly broken at the scene of the wreck. Calvin was bleeding from his face. Both clients were taken to the emergency room by ambulance. Cameron’s broken femur required emergency surgery. This surgery was invasive and life-altering. It was important for us to show a jury just how invasive this surgery was. We hired a medical illustration company to draw Cameron’s injuries and surgeries.
The first illustration shows Cameron’s broken femur. The second illustration shows the traction device doctors put in Cameron’s leg. This traction device pulls down on Cameron’s broken femur to temporarily stabilize it as he waits for surgery.
Cameron’s leg prior to surgery
The second illustration shows Cameron’s intramedullary nailing (“IMN”) surgery. The surgery requires a nail be placed into the femur. Screws are placed at the top and bottom of the femur to permanently stabilize the fracture.
Cameron’s IMN surgery
A jury needed to understand this wasn’t just a broken leg. This was a significant, life-altering injury. These illustrations did a good job of showing how invasive and significant Cameron’s injury and surgery was.
Thankfully, Calvin was not as severely injured. He had some soft tissue injuries and required stitches in his face. Still today, he has a scar from the wreck on his cheek.
Both clients had permanent injuries and deserved to be compensated for those injuries.
Handling our Clients’ Hospital Liens after the Accident
In Georgia, hospitals can file liens for medical treatment they do when the patient is hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence. See O.C.G.A. § 44-14-470. These liens are filed in the county where the hospital is located and can also be filed in the county where the patient lives. If a hospital properly files a lien, then the patient will be required to pay back the hospital from any settlement funds they receive. But these liens can be challenged or reduced.
Excerpt of Hospital Lien
In Cameron and Calvin’s case, the hospital they went to after the wreck filed liens. In total, they were facing nearly $70,000.00 in hospital liens. The attorneys and paralegals at Butler | Kahn reviewed and worked to reduce the liens the hospital filed. Through that work, Butler | Kahn will be able to put thousands of dollars into our clients’ pockets instead of the hospital’s. In other words, we increased the amount of the delivery van settlement that our clients got to keep.
$720,000 Delivery Van Settlement
Our clients wanted justice, but they didn’t want to wait several years before obtaining that justice. It was clear settling the case was in our clients’ best interest due to the long backlog the courts still face.
While most of our firm’s settlements are obtained by formal demands or offers, informal negotiations sometimes happen too. Here, informal negotiations worked best. It took numerous e-mails and a few phone calls, but after several days of negotiating, Butler | Kahn was able to achieve a settlement amount our clients are very happy with.