Recently, after months of tough negotiations and on the very eve of going to trial, attorney Brian D. Knauth, settled an accident injury case for $490,000. The initial offer was only $50,000.00.
The client was an over-the-road truck driver who was transporting a container of Lucky Charms cereal. When the defendant attempted to remove the container of cereal from the trailer of the truck, it was claimed the defendant’s gantry crane operator lifted the entire truck off the ground and then dropped it. The defendant denied he was at fault, and also claimed if the truck was dropped it was only about a foot.
“As a result of the incident with his truck, we claimed our client suffered a serious injury that required him to have surgery,” Knauth said. “Although he had a good recovery, he still suffered significant changes in his lifestyle and he deserved to be fairly compensated for how the incident impacted his life and his family.”
Knauth felt that the $50,000 originally offered by the insurer was not adequate. He and his legal team worked hard preparing witnesses, securing expert witness testimony and medical testimony, and submitting evidence and exhibits to the court in advance of trial. At the same time, Knauth was engaged in negotiations with the defense attorney, although neither side was hopeful that the case would ultimately be settled.
During a final pre-trial conference with the court, the judge sat down with all the attorneys and all the parties.
“He pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of the case on both sides and that with a trial there is no guarantee,” Knauth said. “He talked about a trial as if you were going to the casino and laying your money down.”
The judge then recommended a settlement figure of $490,000.00 – which was significantly greater than the initial offer – and recommended each side agree to the amount.
“When the judge recommended an amount nearly 10 times the original offer, I felt we had done our job. This amount would address the future needs of our client, compensate him for his pain and suffering, and compensate him for the compromises he will make for the remainder of his life,” Knauth said. “The settlement would also allow the client to put the matter behind him and move forward.”
The client was very satisfied with the outcome and highly recommends the Freedman firm for personal injury cases.