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$5 Million Car Accident Settlement Recovered by Attorney Michele Kennedy

In 2013, our client was hit by a drunk driver in Carmel Valley, California. The defendant was a primary owner and employee of a local company. He had been drinking alcohol during his work day and while driving, during the course of his employment, crossed over the center line and hit our client head-on. Both vehicles were totaled in the car accident.

Our client suffered multiple fractures all over her body and became wheelchair-bound. She required multiple corrective surgeries and needs more in the future.

Experts Required to Calculate Real Damages

Originally, our client was represented by another counsel, in what appeared to be an open-and-shut case that would guarantee her compensation. However, as soon as it was clear that the insurance company intended to fight against the injured party – our future client, and dispute her medical costs, injuries and damages, the situation changed. The injured party was referred to Swartz & Kennedy for real fighters to take on the case, choosing to retain Attorney Michele Kennedy, a Monterey personal injury attorney known for always protecting her clients’ rights and hiring fair and qualified experts to recover her clients’ damages.

Ms. Kennedy retained top experts in the various fields of importance — orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, arthritis, life care planning, and economics — to prove our client's damages were indeed caused by the drunk truck driver. The team of experts met with Ms. Kennedy and our client, evaluated her injuries, and determined what types of future medical treatment and care she would need. Our Life Care Planner then calculated the future costs for each type of treatment and our expert economist translated those future costs into the present value. Ms. Kennedy also evaluated our client’s past and future business losses to ensure the final recovery for damages included the damages due to the loss of business.

After Trial was Set, the Case Settled at Mediation

The defense counsel and the insurance company maintained that our client was disabled prior to the accident, that she had a pre-existing condition that would have required some of the same surgeries, and that some of the treatment our experts proposed was unnecessary. In sum, the insurance company retained experts whose opinions countermanded our expert opinions and minimized or negated the injuries, future medical costs, and future medical treatment our client would need. Since no offer was made during the course of litigation, the case was set for trial.

Ms. Kennedy fully prepared the case to be tried before a jury in May of 2018. Our client, her family, and all the witnesses and experts were ready to testify. Prior to trial, a successful and experienced mediator, who was agreed upon by both counsel and the insurance company, spent a day working to resolve the case. Ms. Kennedy, the defense counsel, and its insurance adjuster presented their arguments, evidence, and the expert reports to the mediator. Ms. Kennedy also provided the defense with a film that depicted a “Day in the Life” of our client. This film included interviews with our client, her family, friends, and her business clients. All of those interviews were pivotal in deflating and defeating the defense’s attempt to minimize our client’s damages and any argument that she was disabled prior to the accident.

At the mediation, Ms. Kennedy and her expert team convinced the defense insurance company and its counsel that the risk was high they would not prevail in front of a jury. Seeing the undeniable logic of Attorney Kennedy’s casework, the defense finally offered our client $5 million to resolve the case, rather than risk a higher verdict if the case were presented to a jury. This has marked a resounding success, and we are glad to report that our client is highly satisfied with the outcome.

If you, your family, a friend, or an acquaintance have been seriously injured in any kind of car accident – whether the negligent driver is an individual or a business representative driving either a business vehicle or a private vehicle – please contact Ms. Kennedy or our Monterey personal injury law office for a free consultation. We accept serious injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid unless we recover a verdict or settlement amount for you. Call (831) 373-3235 today to learn more about our services and your options.