On January 24, 2012, a law school student, A. Doe (fictional name), was walking to the bus stop, on her way to class, when she was struck by a car going approximately 35 miles per hour. Not only was Ms. Doe walking in the crosswalk, but she had stopped and looked both ways before entering the crosswalk, and was hit after she had already made it halfway through the intersection.
Upon impact, Ms. Doe was hit so hard that her head cracked the windshield of the car; she then rolled off the car, where she hit the pavement in another impact, and was struck a second time by the driver of the vehicle. Ms. Doe suffered injuries including a bone marrow bruise, hip and back pain, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and damage to her right knee.
Her total medical and loss of tuition damages were $72,889, with future damages estimate at $81,000, as well as non-refundable tuition in the amount of $21,000. Total damages were around $174,000.
Partner Dale Minami settled with the adverse driver’s insurance company for the policy limits of $250,000. Dale was able to prove that, although Ms. Doe lives in San Francisco, her “residence” remained with her parents in Oregon and was thus able to access her mother’s auto insurance policy, resulting in an additional underinsured motorist’s policy limits of $50,000.
Because Oregon law allows for a “Personal Injury Protection” coverage, we were able to recover an additional $15,000 under Ms. Doe’s personal policy and another $15,000 under her mother’s policy. We also collected Medical Payments coverage of $5,000 from her mother’s policy and another $1,000 from her own policy. And finally, we required her health insurance to pay for medical bills totaling for a total recovery of $336,000.
As Dale points out, “There are sometimes many sources of recovery for an injured person and part of our job is to exhaust every single pocket of money for our clients. By the way, Ms. Doe graduated and passed the bar in 2014!”