A little while back, after I had just finished a grueling binding high-low arbitration on behalf of one of my clients, I received a call from a potential client wanting me to be his motorcycle accident lawyer, representing him for a serious motorcycle accident injury.
He was on his way to work, traveling his usual route, and as he approached a cul de sac street on his right, another driver, while stopped at a stop sign “didn’t see him” and pulled out directly in front of him to make a left, to go back toward the direction he was coming from.
As a result my client steered to the left as far as he could but unfortunately was unable to avoid the front of the other vehicle and both he and his motorcycle came crashing to the ground. This caused him to sustain serious injuries to his arm, shoulder and hip.
Fortunately for my client, there was a trash truck driver waiting on the street he was traveling on, who had stopped in order to make a left turn into the cul de sac and who witnessed the entire accident. He was listed on the police report and provided an excellent statement concluding that based on his observation, the collision was 100% the fault of the driver who pulled from the stop sign.
Subsequent to the collision, my client was taken to the hospital where he remained for several days of observation and was ultimately referred to the Rothman Institute for the injuries to his arm. After multiple visits to several doctors at the Rothman Institute, my client, given the severity of his injuries to his right arm, underwent arthroscopic surgery to his right elbow to clean out and repair the damage that had been caused by the motorcycle accident.
It should be noted that although my client worked in construction, he had never sustained an injury to his right arm or elbow prior to this motorcycle accident.
Even though the liability seemed clear, in that the defendant was facing a posted stop sign and never saw my client coming toward her, and there was an eyewitness who observed the entire collision take place, She still refused to accept responsibility and therefore State Farm’s total offer, including the healthcare liens, wage loss, out-of-pocket expenses and the various categories which make up an award for the motorcycle accident pain and suffering was $65,000 and they refused to go any higher.
As a result, a motorcycle accident lawsuit was filed and after the discovery period ended, the defense attorney and I were able to reach an agreement whereby instead of going to a jury trial, we would arbitrate this matter as binding high-low arbitration with $50,000 being the low parameter and $250,000 being the high parameter.
The arbitration took place at the Bucks County Bar Association and after a full day of arbitration which included hearing testimony from my client, his wife, the defendant, the doctor who performed the surgery on my client, the independent witness and the doctor hired by defense counsel, the arbitration panel of three members eventually awarded my client just under $225,000 which was binding.
Needless to say, he and his wife were very pleased.
On a final note it should be noted that in certain cases such as the above, no mater how obvious the liability may seem, even if the insurance company initially agrees that they are responsible for the accident, if a settlement is not reached, they are completely within their rights to argue the liability at the time of the arbitration/jury trial.
As a result, we were forced to retain a motorcycle accident Reconstructionist who went to the scene, took video and still-photographs and eventually produced a report concluding that the defendant was 100% the cause of the accident and this was also presented at the time of the accident.