Our client was a fourteen-year-old girl who was in a car with her two friends, who were also minors. The car they were traveling in belonged to our client’s mother, which they took while her mother was away.
None of the girls had driver’s licenses or permits. While one of the other girls was driving the vehicle on a private road, she lost control and collided with an iron fence causing the car to roll over several times before coming to rest on its roof.
Our client lost consciousness and had to be extricated from the vehicle and air evacuated to John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek.
She underwent CT Scans of the head, neck, back, and abdomen as well as X-rays of her chest and left hand. All results were normal. She was diagnosed with a concussion, abrasions and contusions, and released a few hours later.
However, later that day our client was found unconscious at her home. She was air evacuated to Children’s Hospital, Oakland, where she was admitted for observation. The concussion diagnosis was confirmed and she was discharged two days later.
She also suffered from knee and back pain as a result of the accident. She was fitted with a knee immobilizer and crutches for treatment of right knee pain and a soft cervical collar for her complaints of back pain.
Our client had follow-up care with her regular physician at Kaiser Hospital, Antioch. Her physician ordered an EEG and an MRI Brain scan to make sure everything was okay. Both tests came back normal.
Our client’s mother contacted GJEL Accident Attorneys on behalf of her daughter. They wanted to seek reimbursement for medical expenses and related costs that approached $200,000.00.
The challenge faced by attorney Andy Gillin was to resolve the multifaceted insurance coverage issues. The insurance carriers for the minor driving the car when the accident occurred argued that our client had driven the car without permission and so a negligent entrustment prevented recovery.
One of the insurance companies claimed that since the minor driver lived with one of her divorced parents, the carrier for the other parent was not responsible for the damages caused by the accident.
These positions were successfully refuted so that the limits of both policies were available for our client. In order to maximize the recovery for our client, her mother’s UIM coverage carrier was persuaded to contribute. After obtaining the participation of the three automobile insurance companies, the health insurance provider’s medical had to be significantly compromised.
Through extensive negotiations the commitments of the insurance carriers were maintained, and an agreement that balanced policy limits contributions with compromises of the medical liens enabled the attorneys at GJEL to obtain a substantial settlement in our client’s favor.
The funds were placed into a court-approved bank account for our client’s benefit to which she will have access on her eighteenth birthday.