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$1.15 Million Recovered For 68 Year Old Nurse By Attorney Michele Kennedy

On a clear and sunny day, our client was completely stopped at an intersection in a semi-rural area.  The Defendant, a teenage girl, was driving a truck, and made a wide turn, hitting our client’s car head-on directly into the driver’s side.  Upon impact, the airbags in both vehicles deployed.  The impact was so great that our client’s compact vehicle spun around a full 90 degrees, and it was pushed back approximately 40’ from the point of impact.  Our client’s vehicle was declared a total loss.  The Defendant’s truck also sustained major property damage.

Our client felt pain in her neck at the scene, but got out of her car to check on her dog in the rear of her car.  The first responders arrived and immediately transported our client to the local emergency department.  The serious nature of our client’s injury was immediately assessed – a fractured neck.  She was transferred to the local trauma hospital and admitted to intensive care.  Within a day, neck surgery was performed by an excellent local neurosurgeon.  Rods and screws were inserted into her neck at multiple levels; the surgery was successful. 

The client was referred to Michele Kennedy by her treating family doctor.  Ms. Kennedy had successfully represented patients of his in the past.  He was convinced Ms. Kennedy would take care of this patient and recover all the damages she was due.

Experts Brought In To Provide Support Real Damages

Our client was a hard working woman, who enjoyed her full-time nursing job and had no plans to retire although she was 68 years old.  She was an active hiker and traveler.  Our client wanted to return to work and her surgeon released her a month after the surgery.  Unfortunately, the work worsened her neck pain and headaches.  She was disabled again.  Four months after the surgery, she again returned to her nursing job.  She was able to work part-time, but she was never able to return to full-time work.   

Our client focused on getting better and returning to her pre-accident active lifestyle while Ms. Kennedy proceeded the with legal aspects of the case.  The main contested issue in the case was future wage loss and the need for future medical care.   The U.S. Labor Department places anyone 68 years old at the end of their work life expectancy.  Ms. Kennedy’s job was to convince the defense counsel and its insurance carrier that our client would likely continue to work until at least 75 years.

Ms. Kennedy hired multiple experts:  a spine expert (M.D.); a vocational rehabilitation expert (currently employed by the U.S. Social Security Courts to review medical and education records to determine disability), and an economics expert to prove that this client had a long work life ahead of her and was disabled from working many of those years, the $ amount of future wage loss,  and the costs of future medical bills.

After Trail Was Set, The Case Settled At Mediation

Ms. Kennedy produced evidence of the future trend of employees to work well beyond 65 years, and medical studies showed that an active lifestyle improved health, both mental and physical.  Ms. Kennedy also produced evidence of the projections for the future national demand for nurses as well as the future local demand for nurses in Monterey County.  Finally, Ms. Kennedy produced evidence of the client’s strong work ethic, family longevity, and the work history of her mother who retired in her 80s. 

The case was set for trial, when mediation occurred a few months earlier.  The defense paid $1.15 Million to resolve the case. 

This case is a clear example of a  case where one’s attorneys must think “outside the box”. In spite of the U. S. Labor Department statistics, and projections, Ms. Kennedy had to prove and convince the defense why those statistics did not apply in the case of her client. 

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.