Fasig & Brooks in Court: Client Victorious in Auto Accident Lawsuit
Recently, my law partner Jaeson Homola and I had the privilege of representing Ms. Gwen Streeter of Gadsden County after she was injured in an auto accident. The defendant, Ms. Betsy Wood, was insured with State Farm, and our client had uninsured motorist coverage with GEICO. We offered to settle the case for Ms. Wood’s $100,000, the policy limit on her bodily insurance policy. Our offer was rejected.
State Farm paid for Ms. Wood’s defense, and State Farm lawyers decided how to defend the case against her. While admitting her fault in the accident – a rear-end collision – Ms. Wood, through her defense attorney, not only said that Ms. Streeter was partially at fault for the accident, but also denied that Ms. Streeter was injured in the crash.
First, Ms. Wood claimed that Ms. Streeter was partially at fault for slamming on her brakes and failing to use her left turn signal. At trial, we produced evidence obtained from a crash data retrieval system in Ms. Streeter’s GMC Yukon, which showed exactly how fast Ms. Streeter’s vehicle slowed before the crash.
Our expert, Dr. Jeremy Cummings, showed that Ms. Streeter’s Yukon was traveling 6 miles per hour 2.5 seconds before the crash, 4 miles per hour 2 seconds before the crash, and 2 miles per hour 1.5 seconds before the crash, indicating that Ms. Streeter was slowing by approximately 2 miles per hour per half second. Clearly, Ms. Streeter did not slam on her brakes.
Secondly, the defense claimed that her back injuries were related to pre-existing conditions, instead of being caused from the accident. The defense presented three medical records from more than seven years before the crash which showed isolated complaints of back pain, no follow up, no therapy, no diagnostic studies.
We provided a medical record from the date of the crash, before the crash, where Ms. Streeter consulted her primary care doctor and showed no evidence of back pain during that visit. We also provided prior medical records which showed seven years of medical visits before the crash with no evidence of back pain. After the crash, Ms. Streeter was taken by ambulance to the emergency room for back pain, among other complaints.
The jury didn’t buy the defense’s pre-existing condition argument, and awarded Ms. Streeter $149,000 for past and future medical bills related to the crash.
At Fasig & Brooks, we don’t give up. We know that State Farm might choose to appeal the verdict. We will continue to pursue this case aggressively and will fight any attempt to deny justice for our client.