$827,000.00 For Closed-Head Injury To Medical Van Passenger

Closed Head Injury Settlement 1

About the Case

Our client was one of three patients being transported for dialysis treatment in Clearlake, California, in a paratransit van traveling northbound on state highway 59. After entering a left-turn lane at the highway’s intersection with Olympic Drive, the medical van made a left turn in front of a southbound vehicle, a Chevy S-10 pickup truck, just as the pickup entered the intersection. According to witnesses, the van’s left-turn movement was so sudden that the pickup truck driver had no time to brake or swerve to avoid a collision.

The force of the impact caused serious injuries to all three passengers. Our client was seated in a wheelchair strapped to the floor in the rear of the van and sustained a severe closed head injury. He was taken by ambulance to the Redbud Hospital emergency department, then immediately transferred to Santa Rose Memorial Hospital for trauma activation.  One of the other passengers was airlifted to the closest emergency facility but died the following day. The accident was investigated by the CHP who determined that the medical van driver was the sole cause of the accident by his sudden left turn in front of the pickup truck.

Case Facts

The admitting diagnosis for our client was a closed head injury with bilateral intraparenchymal and subarachnoid hemorrhages. He had pre-existing conditions of chronic end-stage renal disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. It was also determined that he had a diminished level of consciousness. He remained at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for 13 days under observation for the effects of his head trauma on his pre-existing conditions and then transferred to a skilled nursing facility.

Accident Attorneys GJEL were retained by members of the family of the plaintiff with three questions initially:

  1. Can a family member be designated as the legal representative?
  2. Can the effects of the injuries from the accident be separated from the pre-existing conditions for claims arising from the accident?
  3. Can the lines of legal responsibility between the van driver, the van owner the transit company be sorted out?

Because he was not able to manage his own affairs, the first step for the GJEL attorneys was to obtain court orders appointing a conservator and a guardian-ad-litem as his legal representatives for all proceedings. Then, to sort out the complicated legal relationships between the van driver, the owner of the van, and the driver’s employer, extensive and protracted negotiations with the insurance companies were required.

Because of the severity of the injuries to our client, and the costs of his future medical expenses, Attorney Jim Larsen, GJEL partner, pursued policy limits from the insurance carrier of the van owner, and then, through state and federal courts, the policy limits of the driver’s employer’s insurance carrier, which initially denied coverage. With that issue resolved successfully to our client’s benefit, the GJEL Accident Attorneys were able to recover the maximum available for our client.

Insurance Company Names:    GEICO
Stratford Insurance
Police Report  CHP
Vehicle Types  Honda Civic
Toyota Prius
Dodge Ram 5500
Accident Locations:Hwy 49, south of LaBarr Meadow Rd, near Grass Valley, Nevada County
Hospitals and Medical Centers Visited  Sutter Roseville Medical Center
Shasta Orthopedics and Sports Redding
Mercy Medical Center
Types of Injuries (Specific as possible)  Fractures right and left calcaneus
Fracture left ankle

What is a closed head injury?

A closed head injury is an injury to the head that does not involve a break in the skull. Closed head injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. Mild closed head injuries may cause a brief loss of consciousness, confusion, or dizziness. More severe closed head injuries can cause unconsciousness, coma, or even death.

How much can I expect to receive from a closed head injury settlement?

The amount you can expect to receive from a closed head injury settlement will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical bills and lost wages, and the strength of your legal case. In general, however, you can expect to receive a significant amount of money from a closed head injury settlement. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a closed head injury, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Author Photo

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.