$1,200,000 Car Accident – Pedestrian suffered knee injury requiring multiple surgeries


Car Accident

Injuries: Knee injuries requiring multiple surgeries; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Amount of Settlement: $1,200,000 one week before trial

Special Damages: Medical Expenses approximately $150,000; Lost Earnings approximately $50,000

Plaintiff’s Lawyer: Attorney Ronald E. Gluck Boston, Massachusetts

Details of the Case

The plaintiff was a thirty-one year old school teacher who was walking on a sidewalk of a privately owned strip mall when the elderly defendant attempted to park her car in a diagonal parking space. The defendant negligently accelerated the car onto the sidewalk plowing the plaintiff through a plate glass window of a store.

At the deposition of the defendant driver she showed no remorse and tried to avoid responsibility for her mistake by claiming that her car mal-functioned which she claimed caused her to accelerate over the curb onto the sidewalk. There was no evidence that her claim was true and this defense was dropped by her lawyer. It seemed that the defendant driver’s biggest concern at her deposition was that her license not be taken away for her careless driving.

At the mediation that took place shortly before the scheduled trial date, Attorney Ronald E. Gluck who represented the teacher was able to negotiate a significant settlement for his client. The driver’s insurance company was in a weak negotiating position because it was clear that the driver would make a bad witness in front of a jury because she expressed no willingness to take responsibility for her actions which increased the likelihood of a large verdict in the plaintiff’s favor.

As a result of the car accident, the plaintiff suffered a tibial plateau compression fracture, tears of three of the four major ligaments in her knee and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Initially, she underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery for repair of the tibial plateau compression fracture. She was hospitalized for nine days and then was an inpatient at a rehabilitation facility for two weeks. She then underwent rigorous physical therapy.

Approximately one year later, she underwent surgery for removal of hardware. Two years post accident she underwent reconstructive surgery to repair the three torn ligaments followed by another round of physical therapy.

Prior to the car accident, plaintiff had an outstanding record as a teacher. In addition, she worked in the summer for public television as the science and math coordinator for a children’s television program. She was substantially unable to engage in her employment for approximately six months. She returned to both jobs using a cane for six months. Plaintiff returned to her pre-accident level of excellent performance through hard work and determination. She struggled with recurring nightmares and accident related anxiety on a decreasing level over time.

It is expected that the plaintiff will require knee replacement surgery within the next seven to ten years and probably a second knee replacement in the course of her lifetime.

Plaintiff’s medical bills at the time of the settlement were approximately $150,000.00 which resulted in a health insurance lien of $46,200. Plaintiff suffered no actual lost earnings. Her loss of earning capacity was approximately $50,000.00.

Plaintiff enjoyed skiing, rollerblading, and dancing prior to the car accident. It is unlikely that she will be able to engage in these activities as a result of ongoing difficulties with her leg. She is able to engage in other activities that she enjoys such as traveling, walking her dogs, working and caring for her child.