An Injured California Truck Driver Rejects a $50K Settlement, Wins $1.63M Verdict in a Jury Trial

When you’re hurt in an accident, there are several questions that must be answered. Do you have a case? If you do, how much is your case “worth”? These are some of the kinds of questions where an experienced attorney can be invaluable on your behalf. Your counsel can help outline for you how you might proceed, what kinds of claims you might pursue and how much those claims might possibly yield in terms of a damages award.

This assessment of the value of your case can be especially critical if the other side makes you a settlement offer. Settlement offers, even modest ones, can be tempting. A settlement payment represents a sure thing and cash in hand. There is no delay and no uncertainty, making a desperate plaintiff prone to accepting, even when the offer is far too low. A knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney can help you avoid this trap.

Need an example of what we mean? Look at the case of D.A., a maintenance worker for a railroad, which was reported by the Northern California Record. D.A.’s job involved operating a grapple truck. One day, the Southern California worker was struck in the leg, back and head when an 83-pound rail rack fell off his truck and hit him. The worker allegedly was attempting to remove a guard rail when the entire rail rack slammed into him. The worker sued the railroad for the serious injuries he allegedly endured as a result of the accident.

In D.A.’s case, the railroad offered him $50,000 in exchange for him dropping all his claims. The railroad argued that, even though there were pins that were missing from the rack, the injuries D.A. suffered were only modest ones.

D.A., with the aid of counsel, decided to reject the offer. Eventually, the case went to trial. The jury heard about the missing pins and the impact of their absence on the stability of the 83-pound rack. They heard about the injuries the heavy rack caused to the worker, including the impact they had already had in the past, and would continue to have on D.A. in the future. They heard how D.A.’s injuries were much more than just modest ones, including permanent ankle damage that left him with a physical limitation that meant that, going forward, D.A. would be unable to perform the duties required of a rail maintenance worker, which was the career he had pursued for most of his adult life.

At the end of the trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of D.A. and determined his total damages to be $1.63 million, or more than 32 times what the railroad had offered to settle. In other words, the settlement offer he received was egregiously low and he was wise to have declined it.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to know many of the law’s nuances. You need to know what the best legal path forward is, and you need to know how much a verdict might reasonably mean to you. In other words, you need reliable legal advice from knowledgeable attorneys. The experienced San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have been helping injured people for many years get answers to these and other vital questions about their cases. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Bay Area Mom Gets $14.5M Settlement After a 100-Pound Tree Branch Falls on Her and Leaves Her Paralyzed, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Published December 6, 2018

How an Air Force Officer Proved that a Utility was Directly Liable for His California Motorcycle Accident and Recovered a $40M+ Settlement, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Published September 28, 2018