Hanna P. (fictitious name), a 22-year old mathematics student at the University of California, Berkeley, was walking home from campus when she was struck by a sedan in 2007 on a busy Berkeley intersection. She was slammed to the ground, striking her face. She fractured four teeth and needed implants and bone grafts.
Partner Dale Minami, Senior Counsel Mark Fong and Associate Eunice W. Yang obtained the $25,000 policy limits of the driver of the sedan, and in addition, obtained a $540,000 settlement for Hanna at mediation against her own insurance company under an Underinsured Motorist Claim. In addition, the team claimed reimbursement of $20,000 medical payments. In total, the team recovered $585,000 for Hanna.
The bone graft, insertion of implants, and placing of crowns required almost 18 months of painful procedures and her consultants felt she would require two or three more such procedures in her lifetime. In addition to the fractured teeth, Hanna suffered a fractured nose and continual headaches, which were diagnosed by the prosthodontist to whom we referred Hanna. Fortunately, the prosthodontist discovered the problem and was able to create a splint for Jenny that helped reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
Hanna’s insurance company disputed this claim and felt she would not require another implant, offering $340,000 to settle the case. Our team was able to convince the insurance company that she would be a chronic dental patient, suffer headaches for the rest of her life and compromise the delicate anatomy and physiology of her teeth and mouth. The settlement will compensate Hanna for her past pain and suffering and medical bills and will pay for Hanna’s future dental needs and the pain and inconvenience of her future procedures.