It was a weekday, spring morning that started off like so many others. As he has done countless times over the years Mr. Jones wakes up, gets ready for work, says goodbye to his family and starts his drive to the office 30 minutes away. He drives a truck he borrowed from his boss because his son was in a bad crash and totaled the family vehicle several weeks ago. A short distance from his house he drives on a local two-way highway and approaches a main intersection with the green light. Travelling in the opposite direction, the defendant, Ms. Kelly, enters the left turn only lane and drives through the red arrow turn signal into the intersection in violation of Massachusetts law. Mr. Jones only has a moment or two to hit the brakes and brace for the impact. Ms. Kelly’s vehicle crashes into Mr. Jones’ truck, and the force of the impact sends them off the road where Mr. Jones’ truck hits a vehicle to his right that was waiting to enter the intersection. It is a bad crash, the vehicles appear totaled, and Mr. Jones is injured. The only good news is that a local police officer who was working a road detail nearby witnessed the crash. The officer confirms that Mr. Jones had the green light when he entered the intersection.
Mr. Jones experiences headaches, memory issues and other symptoms consistent with a concussion, as well as significant neck and low back pain. A trip to the local emergency room is only the beginning of a lengthy treatment period that includes physical therapy as well as multiple different types of painful injections that are unsuccessful. Unfortunately, his neck (and to a lesser extent back) pain persist. The pain and discomfort impact routine daily activities. His treating doctor concludes that his injuries are likely permanent, and although he is only in his mid-40’s, Mr. Jones can expect to have to deal with these injuries well into the future.
Mr. Jones knew he needed a Massachusetts car accident lawyer and contacted our Massachusetts car accident law firm following the crash.
We presented Mr. Jones’ injury claim to Ms. Kelly’s insurance company, which included Mr. Jones’ medical bills (about $25,000), lost wages (about $1,200 for the brief time he missed work) and his past and future pain and suffering. The insurance company responded by hiring an orthopedic doctor to review the medical records and give an opinion as to what injuries and treatment were caused by the crash. These biased record reviews rarely end in favor of our clients, and this one was no different. Predictably, the doctor attempted to minimize Mr. Jones’ claims and opined that the crash caused only a short term, two-month neck injury and no injury to his low back. In order to rely on the opinions in the biased record review, Ms. Kelly’s insurance company chose to ignore the overwhelming medical evidence, fairness, and common sense. They offered only $2,321 to settle Mr. Jones’ claim. We rejected the offer.
Our Massachusetts car accident lawyers can quickly and successfully resolve injury cases at Arbitration
Undeterred, we were intent to proceed with litigation when the insurance company proposed submitting the claim to Binding Arbitration, which we accepted. After we agreed with the insurer on who would serve as the Arbitrator, Mr. Jones gave a deposition to the defendant’s attorney which was conducted remotely via Zoom due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. Mr. Jones told the truth and did not exaggerate. A month later we proceeded with the Arbitration Hearing, which was also conducted remotely via Zoom. Since liability was not contested as it was clear Ms. Kelly caused the crash, Mr. Jones was the only witness to testify. We focused his testimony on how he had no prior neck and back injuries or problems prior to this crash other than a short term injury he sustained in another vehicle crash 20 years ago, for which I had represented him. That was a fairly routine case, and both his injuries and the case resolved fairly quickly, a much different path than we had to take on this most recent case. He was in good health at the time of this crash and Mr. Jones testified how that had changed since Ms. Kelly crashed into his vehicle. Like at his deposition, Mr. Jones presented as a very credible witness.
We waited for a couple of weeks to receive the Arbitrator’s Decision and Award. After the deduction of a few thousand dollars paid for medical bills under the PIP coverage on the truck that Mr. Jones was operating, the net Award was for $128,519. Mr. Jones was very happy with the Award, and thankful he did not take the easy path to settle his case for far less than he deserved. If not for our experience conducting legal business via Zoom video conferencing, there would have been a long delay in Mr. Jones receiving his just compensation until the pandemic was behind us. In fact, we recently wrote an article about another case we resolved via Zoom Arbitration after rejecting a very low offer; however, in that case the low offer came from the client’s own insurance company.
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If you or anyone you know has been injured in a vehicle or motorcycle crash, or as a pedestrian, please reach out to us as soon as possible. Visit Ballin Law to learn more about how we help victims injured in vehicle and motorcycle crashes.
To protect the privacy of all those involved, names and places have been changed. Any resemblance to names of real persons, past or present, is merely coincidental and not intended.