Drunk Driving Accident
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Couple gets $135,000 Settlement in Downriver Drunk Driving Accident

Case Type: Drunk Driving Accident

Settlement: $135,000

Plaintiff: Confidential
Defendant: Confidential
Case Number: Confidential
Judge: Leslie Kim Smith
Location: Wayne County Circuit Court
Date of Settlement: December 15, 2016

Facts of the Case

Our clients, a married couple in their 60's, were travelling in their vehicle on W. Jefferson Avenue in Trenton, Michigan. Suddenly and without warning, their vehicle was hit head on by a 1971 Chevelle being owned and operated by a drunk driver with a .12 BAC who crossed the center line into Plaintiff's oncoming lane of travel. The defendant also admitted to smoking marijuana earlier the day of the accident and blood tests were positive for same. The at-fault driver did have insurance, but in an amount that was insufficient to fully compensate our clients for their noneconomic damages sustained. Fortunately, our clients had underinsured motorist coverage on their vehicle, which provides for a recovery over and above the policy limits of the at fault driver in a situation where such drivers insurance limits were so insufficient.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

  • Frozen right shoulder
  • Fractured sternum
  • Advanced osteoarthritis of the right knee precipitated by the accident requiring surgery
  • Fractured right ankle requiring surgery
  • Lacerated left temple
  • Fractured right patella

Other Types of Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological damages
  • Disability
  • Fright and shock

Legal Issues in the Case

  • Was the knee surgery related to the accident?
  • How much of a credit was the underinsured motorist allowed for the insurance coverage that the at-fault driver had on his insurance policy?
  • How much compensation should be paid to each injured person in a settlement?

What We Did To Win The Settlement

Our drunk driving accident attorneys filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court against the at fault driver and against Auto Owners Insurance for underinsured motorist benefits. We obtained the files of the relevant policy agency which contained witness statements and photos of the involved vehicles demonstrating the significant impact of the collision. We also obtained copies of the alcohols and drug tests results of the at fault driver to prove that he was in fact intoxicated and under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident.

Depositions were taken and discovery was exchanged between the parties. The parties then agreed to facilitate the case in an effort to resolve the matter without the need for prolonged or costly further litigation. The parties reached a settlement in the total amount of $135,000.00 for our clients that included compensation for their pain and suffering, residual scarring and emotional trauma.

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$135,000: Drunk Driving Accident