Rochester Personal Injury Case Results
SETTLEMENT: Over $1million recovered for injured motorist
We successfully resolved an auto collision case for the full policy limits of liability insurance, umbrella insurance, underinsured motorist insurance and PIP (no-fault) insurance. The client was seriously injured in an auto collision, along with two others. After a careful workup of the details of the collision, the injuries, and the long-term implications on the client’s life, we then coordinated a mediation with the insurer and the other injured people and their attorneys. The net result for our client was a recovery of well over $1 million and financial security for life. We also, at no additional charge, helped him to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, and Medicare to help cover his future medical needs.
SETTLEMENT: $1.25 million recovered in Wisconsin motor vehicle crash
Two of our attorneys are licensed in Wisconsin, and we accept representation of Wisconsin clients in serious injury cases. In 2017, we successfully resolved an injury case for a Wisconsin client for the full $1.25 million of insurance coverage available. The case required coordinating with the Wisconsin criminal court regarding the at-fault driver, and resolving repayment obligations both to Wisconsin Medicaid and federal Medicare which paid substantial medical bills. The client’s medical condition limited her ability to travel to our office, so we went to her – home, hospital and rehabilitation center, many times – because that is what the case required. We also helped her get her financial affairs in order, anticipating a large settlement, including helping her get a Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive, as well as clean up some bills in collections. We try to meet our client’s needs, whatever the circumstances require.
SETTLEMENT: $2 million combined settlement deaths and injuries from a single-vehicle crash
We represented the parents of a young man tragically killed when the driver of the vehicle he was riding in missed a turn and rolled off the roadway.
The case was complicated by two deaths and several serious injuries with significant medical bills and four separate insurance policies. We took the lead on encouraging all affected people to retain skilled legal counsel, and coordinated their efforts. We again took the lead in arranging mediation where the insurers paid their full liability and umbrella insurance coverages, and we worked out an agreed distribution of the multiple claims. This was accomplished without litigation, and without recrimination between the grieving families. We recognize that the insurance claims and litigation are not the only things, or even the main concern, of a family suffering a tragic loss. Our representation is sensitive to all of the client’s needs.
SETTLEMENT: $1.6 million settlement for wrongful death in boating tragedy caused by faulty motor installation
A married father of three bought a brand new boat, and within the first few minutes on the lake the steering failed. The man was thrown from the boat and tragically drowned in front of his children. We were retained and immediately took statements from key witnesses before the insurance representatives. We took possession of the boat to preserve it for evidence, to inspect it for defects, and to give the boat manufacturer and dealer that same opportunity without altering anything. We hired an expert who identified the dealer’s negligence. The case settled for $1.6 million without requiring litigation.
SETTLEMENT: Over $2 million settlement for tragic collision in another state with Minnesota connections
In a tragic collision, a semi tractor-trailer with poor tires skidded on a wet freeway, and crashed over a freeway barrier and onto a van traveling in the opposite direction. The van driver, a mother, and two of her children died, and another child was seriously injured. The surviving children had Minnesota connections and the injured child’s father lived in Southeast Minnesota. We were retained and immediately helped the family select and associate with a skilled law firm in the state where the accident occurred to assist litigation there. After litigation the case settled for well more than the commercial trucking company’s $2 million insurance coverage limit. When our clients’ cases are venued outside of Minnesota, Iowa or Wisconsin, we will associate with another law firm in that state and work closely with that firm to continue to serve our client’s interest.
SETTLEMENT: $1 million settlement for young man sexually abused by family member
Our client suffered sexual abuse from an older male relative for many years. We guided the client and his family through the criminal process, where the older relative pled guilty to felony sexual abuse. The sexual abuser had substantial personal assets, and agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to avoid the risk of a higher verdict and our threat to tie up all his assets while the legal claims were pending. The substantial settlement will help the client all his life. Equally important, we helped him clear up some of his own legal issues (likely a result of his abuse) and get some professional guidance to steer him to a productive future.
SETTLEMENT: $900,000 in workers’ compensation and liability settlement from two auto insurers when client was injured in a gravel road collision between two pickups
Our client was on-the-job driving on a rural gravel road. A young reckless driver barreling along in a plume of dust from the truck in front of him, hit our client’s pickup head-on. The huge crash resulted in serious injuries. The client faced over $100,000 in medical bills and a long period of difficult rehabilitation. We assisted the client in his workers’ compensation claim for medical bills, a wage loss and a sizable injury settlement. The at-fault driver had insurance coverage of only $50,000. With careful legal work, we were able to recover by settlement close to $700,000 of Underinsured Motorist coverage on the client’s work truck. Workers’ compensation will continue to pay for our client’s accident-related medical care for life.
SETTLEMENT: $900,000 settlement for motorcyclist cut off by dump truck
Our client was driving his motorcycle on city streets, when a dump truck turned left in front of him and cut him off. The client laid down the motorcycle, but slid into the rear wheels of the dump truck, with resulting severe injuries. The truck’s insurer initially denied responsibility, claiming the motorcycle was speeding and careless. We identified and took statements from other drivers who confirmed the motorcycle was driving properly, and we learned the dump truck driver was underage to drive a commercial truck. The case settled out-of-court close to the full coverage. Since the crash, the client has supported himself from the annuity bought with the settlement proceeds and Social Security Disability benefits we helped him secure.
JURY VERDICT: $746,000 verdict for young single man with chronic headache/brain injury sustained in car crash
We successfully tried the case to jury verdict in Goodhue County on behalf of a young man who was a passenger in a car struck by two other vehicles. The client suffered disabling injuries. The case was complicated by the client not speaking English, not having a significant U.S. work history, and a dispute by the various car drivers as to who shared the fault. After a two-week trial, the Goodhue County jury returned a verdict of $746,000 in favor of our client. In preparing the case, we retained an accident reconstructionist, vocational rehabilitation expert, an economist, a health care cost/nurse expert, and assistance from the treating Mayo Clinic physicians.
JURY VERDICT: $699,000 verdict, including $249,000 in punitive damages for a disabled man struck by a personal care attendant causing psychological injuries
Our client, an adult male paraplegic with a progressive neurological disorder was a resident of an adult foster care group home. While residing in the home, our client was struck on the head with an object and verbally abused by a personal care attendant. In another incident, he was dropped during a transfer from his wheelchair to his bed. When he attempted to report the incidents of abuse and neglect to the police, our client was not permitted access to the telephone. He was also denied medical care. When he was finally able to report the assault, he was taken to a medical facility for evaluation. After our client reported the abuse to authorities, he was evicted from the home in retaliation. The incidents were investigated by the Minnesota Department of Health and with a finding of substantiated physical abuse. Our firm sued the caretaker and the owners of the facility based on violation of the Vulnerable Adult Act, Assault and Battery, Negligent Hiring, Retention and Supervision, and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. The case was mediated prior to trial with an offer of $10,000. Throughout the trial the Defendants continued to deny the abuse despite the fact that one of the incidents was audiotaped and the jury could clearly hear our client being struck. After two days of trial, the defendants increased their offer to $50,000. Both offers were rejected and the jury returned a verdict for compensatory damages of $450,000. In the second phase of the trial for punitive damages, the Defendants were ordered by the Judge to produce their financial documents for the jury. The Defendants claimed only minimal earnings according to their financial statements. The jury awarded an additional $249,000 in punitive damages for the reckless disregard of our client’s safety. Our firm’s diligent investigation of the company’s success was critical to the award of punitive damages.
SETTLEMENT: $650,000 settlement from insurance coverage of both parents living separately for crash caused by their teenaged driver killing a young husband and father
Our client’s husband was killed when he was struck on the highway shoulder at night after his car broke down. The 16-year-old driver of the at-fault vehicle (driving with just a learner’s permit) was distracted trying to help her mother adjust the navigation system screen to get past the warning “Do Not Use While Driving.” She drifted onto the shoulder and struck and killed this husband and father of three young children.
The young driver’s parents had recently divorced, and we were able to prove through divorce papers and an aggressive investigation that she was a resident of both parents’ household – resulting in both parents’ $300,000 auto liability coverage available for the claim. The case settled for the full limits of both insurance policies, plus the full limit of the deceased man’s Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage, plus the full no-fault survivor’s and funeral expense benefit.
SOMETIMES ONGOING MEDICAL CARE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY. WE ROUTINELY FIGHT HARD FOR OUR CLIENTS TO RECEIVE THE INSURANCE BENEFITS THEY HAVE PAID FOR.
In Minnesota we have “no-fault” auto insurance, and a person’s own auto insurer is supposed to pay for all accident-related medical care up to the coverage limit — usually $20,000. Very often, auto insurers try to stop paying medical bills after a few months, using the cover of a so-called “independent” medical exam. In reality, the doctors who do such exams nearly always say what the insurance carrier wants — and the same doctors are hired again and again; some make several hundred thousand dollars each year on these insurance company exams.
We often help clients challenge such benefit cut-offs so they can continue receiving needed medical care. For example, a client was rear-ended twice, two years apart, and both times suffered significant lower back pain, which worsened a condition she has suffered all her adult life. Because there were two collisions, her auto insurer should be required to pay up to $40,000 of medical expenses for any accident-related care. The insurer cut her off, however, based on the “independent” doctor’s report that she is now back to her pre-accident baseline and any further care is not accident-related.
We challenged that cut-off through arbitration, even though the disputed bills were a modest amount. We were successful recovering a full award of these denied payments. More important for our client, the auto insurer resumed paying for her medical care up to the $40,000 limit.
SETTLEMENT: $400,000 wrongful death verdict for the death of an unmarried father
We represented two children of a deceased father killed by a semitruck that ran a stop sign and collided with his pickup. The deceased man left four minor children, but never married either mother of his children, and the birth records were cloudy as to his paternity. We were successful in settling the claim for a substantial sum on behalf of the children, primarily. As part of the case, we resolved paternity issues on behalf of the children, got name changes and amended birth certificates for them, and also fended off a claim from a woman who falsely stated she was the deceased man’s surviving spouse and entitled to the settlement proceeds.
SETTLEMENT: $398,500 settlement for woman who fell through a hole at a home construction site sustaining a significant back injury, with fault strongly disputed
Our client was on a residential construction site when she stepped backward into an uncovered hole falling into the basement. We brought claims against the general contractor and the electrician’s insurance. Both insurance companies denied the claims arguing that the hole was open and obvious. Our client underwent back surgery and gradually returned to employment. After winning some motions regarding the legal standard affecting the case, our firm settled her case for $398,500 shortly before trial.
SETTLEMENT: $350,000 settlement for man who fell from a ladder at his sister’s home suffering a compression fracture in his back, with fault strongly disputed
Our client went to a relative’s home to help with a move. The relative requested he climb a ladder to look into the attic area of the garage. As he was near the top of the ladder looking into the storage area, the ladder slipped from underneath him, and he fell onto the concrete floor of the garage. He sustained a compression fracture to his lower back rendering him unable to continue his profession. We brought claims against the homeowner’s insurance and the relative’s rental insurance policies. Initially the insurance companies completely denied the claim arguing that our client was at fault. Our firm settled his case for $350,000 shortly before trial.
JURY VERDICT: $280,745 verdict, including $200,000 in punitive damages for a man struck in the face while eating at a restaurant, sustaining a facial injury
Our client went to a restaurant after the bar closed with his fiancée and friends. A group of other patrons seated in the adjacent booth at the restaurant were loud and threw food and water into our client’s booth. When our client’s friend requested that they quiet down and leave them alone, one of the men in the adjoining booth came over to our client’s booth and struck him several times in the face causing facial injuries.
SETTLEMENT: $264,586 settlement for 21-year-old woman sexually assaulted by her stepfather when she was a preteen
Our client was sexually abused by a relative for years. She finally told someone who reported the matter to authorities. After an investigation, her abuser was charged with several felony-level offenses arising from his sexual abuse of our client. He ultimately pled guilty to a felony offense of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. We were able to assist the client in settling the matter for $264,586.
SETTLEMENT: $200,000 settlement with dog owner for the death of a young man who was chased into the street by dog, struck by a motor vehicle and killed
Our client was a recent immigrant to the United States. He had just started college and was also working to help support his family. While he was walking in a residential area of St. Paul, a large dog left its yard and growled at him. Scared of being attacked by the dog, our client ran into the street, and was struck by a vehicle and killed.
Our firm successfully brought a claim under the homeowner’s insurance for the dog owner under the Minnesota “dog bite” statute. While often called the “dog bite” statute, this law does not require any bite or even physical contact with the dog before the dog owner is liable. Despite only minimal documentation of part-time earnings, we were able to assist our client to obtain a $200,000 settlement for our client’s family, including funds for some of his brothers and sisters in a refugee camp.
JURY VERDICT: Over $172,000 verdict for area farmer with whiplash injury from auto accident
An area farmer was rear-ended by a student driver and her instructor, resulting in a whiplash injury and chronic neck pain treated at Mayo Clinic and with a chiropractor. The insurers for the student driver and the driving instructor disputed who was at fault and minimized the injuries forcing the case to trial. The jury returned a verdict awarding over $172,000 to the injured farmer.
SETTLEMENT: Over One-half Million Dollars for a Nursing Home Burn Injury
As a result of a stroke, our client lived in a nursing home and needed help with bathing. Due to some complex engineering problems, the bath water came out scalding hot. The nursing home aide carelessly lowered him into the water without checking the temperature. The resulting burn caused a lengthy hospitalization and partial foot amputation. We achieved a settlement of well over one-half million dollars from the nursing home, the plumbing company and the firm which designed the plumbing system.