Representative Cases: Please note that every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Commercial Truck v. Pedestrian: $5 Million Recovery
Our client was the 75-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 10 who was out for her morning walk in the Nob Hill area of San Francisco. While crossing the street, she was struck by a truck making a right turn and dragged six feet. She suffered a crushed pelvis and required multiple surgeries, including amputation of her left leg. The trucking company claimed our client was not visible to their driver. However, we proved through accident reconstruction and visibility studies that he would have seen her if he had been paying attention. Dale Minami, Mark Fong, Seth Rosenberg, and Eunice Yang represented our client and obtained $5 million in settlement for her.
Garbage Truck v. Pedestrian: $3.5 Million Settlement
We represented a 62-year-old MUNI mechanic who was struck by a garbage truck as he crossed the street near his home in San Francisco. He suffered a fractured skull, brain damage, broken ribs, and cognitive defects (personality changes). The truck company claimed our client was partly responsible for the accident because he was holding an umbrella that blocked his vision and ignored the approaching truck. Due to his brain injury, our client had no recollection of the accident. However, we performed a digital reconstruction of the accident which proved the truck driver should have seen our client crossing directly in front of him. We also obtained state-of-the-art MRI imaging of our client’s brain that showed the injuries causing his personality changes, which were likely permanent. After a series of mediations, the defendant settled our client’s claim for $3.5 million. Dale Minami, Mark Fong, Seth Rosenberg, and Eunice Yang represented our client.
$2.675 Million Settlement for Injured Pedestrians
“May,” a 36-year-old woman, was walking across a street when she was struck by a truck that failed to yield to her, injuring her and her 74-year-old aunt, “June.” May complained initially of pain on her head where she struck the pavement. However, in monitoring her symptoms over the next several months, we noted she developed symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, including dizziness, slurred speech, and inability to focus.
We referred May for further treatment and evaluation with experts in traumatic brain injury. May also complained of soreness in her hip, which suggested a more serious injury than originally reported. We encouraged further workup of this condition, which led her doctors to find a tear in her hip cartilage.
May worked in a startup company in customer relations and quality assurance, but her symptoms made her job too difficult to continue working there, and caused her to take a less stressful job. May underwent arthroscopic surgery on her hip, and may require another surgery in the future. However, her concussion symptoms continued to interfere with her job and her relations with her husband and children.
May’s doctors diagnosed her with mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from the collision. The experts hired by the defendant driver claimed she was simply depressed, and her emotional problems were due to causes other than the collision. We rebutted these defense claims with the testimony of a world-recognized expert on PTSD and, at mediation, MT Senior Associate Seema Bhatt settled May’s claim for $2,250,000.
May’s aunt June suffered fractures of her left ankle and right wrist, trauma to her left wrist, and soft tissue injury to her left thigh. Complicating June’s case, she had a cyst in her left wrist due to an autoimmune condition, dermatomyositis, which made her wrist susceptible to inflammation from trauma. As a result of the collision, her dermatomyositis flared up, and required June to undergo surgery to remove the cyst. This was followed by a procedure to drain the wound, and hand therapy to restore function of her hand. At mediation, Seema obtained a settlement for June in the amount of $425,000, bringing the total settlement for our clients to $2,675,000.
Pedal Misapplication Causes Pedestrian Death: $1.75 Million Recovery
Our clients’ wife and mother, an 84-year-old community activist, was walking across the street in San Francisco’s Chinatown, intending to put groceries in the trunk of her car, when she was struck and killed by the defendant’s car. The defendant, age 76, had stepped on her gas pedal instead of her brake, causing her car to speed out of control and strike the decedent, three parked cars, and a light pole. Defendant claimed she suffered a stroke that caused her to mistake the gas for the brake, and this “sudden medical emergency” excused her from fault for the crash. She claimed bleeding on her brain seen on MRIs after the crash showed she had a degenerative brain condition that caused her stroke. In contrast, we argued the impact of the crash caused the defendant’s brain bleeding, and the bleeding was the result—not the cause—of the crash. As the defendant placed her medical condition at issue in order to assert the “sudden medical emergency” defense, we deposed all of the doctors who treated her after the crash. They agreed defendant’s brain bleeds were caused by trauma from the crash, and therefore did not play a role in causing the crash. We also hired a world-renowned trauma neuroradiologist who testified that defendant’s brain bleeds were caused by the trauma of the crash. The case was settled at mediation for $1,750,500 shortly before trial by Mark Fong and Seema Bhatt. Dale Minami also assisted.
Woman Suffers Pelvic Injuries from SF MUNI bus collision: $1.25 Million Settlement
We represented 84-year-old Hanna, who was struck by a left-turning MUNI bus as she walked across a street in San Francisco. Although she did not require surgery, Hanna suffered pelvic and hip fractures which required treatment with physical and occupational therapy. Before the collision, Hanna lived independently, but her injuries required her to move in with her daughter, as her home had too many stairs for her to navigate safely. The City and County of San Francisco admitted its driver was negligent but argued Hanna was also at fault for failing to look before crossing the street. Mark Fong and Seema Bhatt settled Hanna’s case for $1.25 million.
Motor Vehicle v. Pedestrian: $1.11 Million Recovery
Our client was a 68-year-old recently retired engineer who was crossing El Camino Real in Sunnyvale when he was struck by an inattentive driver traveling 45 miles per hour. Our client was in a coma for over a month and required disc fusion surgery in his neck. The driver claimed he did not possess adequate auto insurance, but we conducted an in-depth investigation to find alternative sources of recovery. We determined that the driver of the vehicle owned a moving company for which he was working at the time of the accident, and we were able to settle the case for $1,115,000. We also focused on reducing the claim of our client’s healthcare insurance for reimbursement of the medical bills it paid, which were over $1 million. By apportioning the total settlement between our client and his wife, we were able to convince his health insurer to accept only $184,500 as reimbursement, thereby maximizing the client’s net recovery. Dale Minami and Mark Fong represented our clients.
Taxicab Strikes Pedestrian: $1 Million Settlement
While walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco, our client, a 65-year-old retired woman, was hit by a taxicab. She suffered traumatic brain injury, which resulted in vision problems, headaches, cognitive deficits, personality changes, depression, and difficulties with memory. The cab company claimed her damages were not as severe as we claimed, and initially refused to pay its policy limits of $1 million. After several mediations, we were able to obtain the policy limits. Dale Minami, Mark Fong, Seth Rosenberg, and Eunice Yang represented our client.
Rented Tesla Strikes Homeless Man: $850,000 Recovery
Our firm believes this is one of the first cases in the U.S. to challenge the insurance coverage offered by a vehicle sharing company in a personal injury case involving a car rented through its app. Our client was a 58-year-old homeless man who was struck while crossing the street by the driver of a Tesla who had rented the car through a popular vehicle sharing app. Our client suffered severe injuries, but the driver carried only $100,000 in personal auto coverage. The vehicle sharing company advertised that it carried $1 million in liability insurance to protect persons who owned and rented vehicles through its app. However, it told our client it would cover his injuries only up to $105,000, based on its interpretation of the law and its insurance policy. We analyzed the defendant’s insurance policy and the recently enacted statute under which vehicle sharing programs operate in California (Insurance Code Section 11580.24.) We argued the defendant was negligent in allowing the driver to rent a Tesla through its app, as the number of moving violations he had and his young age disqualified him from renting the car according to defendant’s own policies. The company ultimately paid $750,000 in settlement. When added to the policy limits of the driver’s insurance, this brought our client’s total recovery to $850,000.
Pedestrian v. Auto – Dental Injuries: $585,000 Settlement
In another unfortunate pedestrian accident, our client was walking home from the UC Berkeley campus when she was struck by a car. She was knocked to the ground, struck her face, and fractured four teeth that required implants and bone grafts. Dale Minami, Mark Fong, and Eunice Yang obtained the $25,000 policy limits of the driver of the sedan, followed by $540,000 from our client’s own insurance company in an Underinsured Motorist Claim. Our team also obtained reimbursement of $20,000 in medical payments, for a total recovery of $585,000 for our client.
Elderly Dentist Suffers Spinal Injuries After Being Struck by Car: $500,000 Settlement
This case was transferred to us by another attorney after the client’s insurance company refused to offer fair compensation for his injuries. Our client, a 78-year-old semi-retired dentist, suffered fractures in his neck and back after a negligent driver struck him while he was out walking with his wife. Our client’s auto insurance company offered to pay him only $140,000 through the underinsured motorist coverage of his automobile policy. After we took over handling his case, we sent the client to a spine surgeon in his area who recommended surgery to treat his fractures, and argued the insurance company should pay for their cost. In addition, we researched comparable verdicts to show his insurance company’s offer was well below reasonable value. Based on this, we threatened the insurance company with insurance “bad faith” for failing to accept our reasonable settlement demand. Under California law, insurers are liable to their insureds for withholding benefits under their policy without proper cause. Based on our efforts, Seema Bhatt settled the case for $500,000, more than $250,000 than the initial offer.
Angry Rideshare Driver Injures Customer: $360,000 Recovery
We represented a doctor who was injured when the driver of a rideshare vehicle backed his car into him during an argument between them. Our client suffered a torn ligament in his knee that required surgery. The rideshare company argued our client’s damages were not substantial due to his low medical bills (the surgery was performed by our client’s colleague and heavily discounted as a professional courtesy to him), and his full recovery after surgery. To bolster our client’s claim, we added a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress on behalf of his wife, who witnessed his injury. The law allows a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress to be brought when a defendant’s conduct is extreme and outrageous, intended to inflict injury, and the victim suffers severe emotional distress from witnessing the injury. After extensive negotiations, Seema Bhatt settled the client’s case for $360,000.
Pedestrian v. Auto – Tailbone Fracture: $250,000 Recovery
Our client, a 41-year-old administrative assistant, was walking to work in San Francisco and entered the crosswalk on a “walk” signal. Meanwhile, a limousine driver was attempting to make a left turn onto the street the woman was crossing. The limousine’s passenger yelled to the driver to “watch out” but he continued to turn, striking our client, and knocking her to the ground. She landed on her tailbone and was diagnosed with a fractured coccyx. She suffered from coccygeal pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression. We brought a claim against the limousine company that employed the driver and the case settled with their insurance company for $250,000.