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A woman was hit by the side door mirror of a passing by ambulance gets $440,000
Jul 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

Data: A housewife (54 y.o.) was hit by the right side door mirror of a passing by ambulance when she was crossing Queens Blvd.

Injuries and consequences: As a result of the shock and fall, the woman had a slight concussion and fractures of the shoulder and the nasal septum.

Arguments of the defendant: The woman, according to the driver, crossed the road on a red light (there were no witnesses). The ambulance was moving with the siren and flashing lights on, so it had the indisputable right of way. Based on the facts above, the accident is completely the plaintiff’s fault and no monetary compensation is due to her. In addition, the woman’s health is completely restored.

Our arguments: The woman crossed the road on the green light. The ambulance driver was driving without a siren and flashing lights. In evidence, we showed the record from an external surveillance camera, located three blocks away from the place of the accident. Our investigator-detective was able to get this record. It’s impossible to see the color of the traffic light (the camera was too far away) on this record, but it is clearly visible that the ambulance was moving without flashing lights. In addition, we presented to the court  a route sheet that confirms that it was not an emergency ride for the ambulance. As for the injuries of the plaintiff, we argued that even though her shoulder has healed, it is still limited in mobility, and the woman feels pain when the weather changes or when load is applied. Also, the victim complains that she has permanent headaches and that she loses balance from time to time. An expert-otolaryngologist insisted that the woman developed a chronic sinusitis due to the fracture of the nose and she will not be able to get rid of it without a surgery.

Because of the injuries, the plaintiff can not fully fulfill her housework, neither can she read or watch TV as much as she wants. The woman also almost lost her sense of smell.

Result: The lawyers of the defendant were shocked when they discovered the information from the video and the route sheet. It looks like their client was a liar. The parties agreed to a compromise – $ 440,000. By the request of the client, the money was put on trust, which we opened in favor of her children.

Man who fell on an uneven paving slab gets
Jul 2018
by Yuriy Prakhin

Data: A retired man (74 y.o.) stumbled and fell on an uneven paving slab on his way home from a store.

Injuries and consequences: Fibula fracture, surgery, eight months of rehabilitation therapy. He now walks with a stick.

The defendant’s arguments: It was a minimal defect of a slab and it could not have caused a fall. Even if it could, then under the existing law, cases with minimal defects should not be considered by the state courts. In addition, the defect was open and obvious and any person was able to see and overstep it. The plaintiff fell because of his negligence and inattention only, and nobody should pay him for that.

Our arguments: Based on expert’s opinion, we proved that in this case the defect is not minimal, because the height of uneven parts, which the plaintiff stumbled over, is more than half an inch. We presented accurate measurements of the defect’s size and the expert’s testimony (the road engineer confirmed that the defect in all parameters is not minimal). Due to the fact that our client was walking from the store with the shopping cart, which he pushed ahead of himself, he could not have seen the defect. Therefore, in this case, the defect can not be considered open and obvious. We also insisted that the concept of open and obvious should be different from case to case. The vision of the old man was not good enough to see the difference in merging colors of asphalt and the defect itself. So the defect was not open and obvious for this plaintiff.

Result: Taking into consideration the seriousness of the injury and the consequences, we demanded $1,000,000 from the defendant. The defendant offered $100,000. Medicaid and Medicare agreed to a $65,000 compensation for the plaintiff’s treatment. Before passing judgment by the insistence of the client, we agreed to accept a settlement of $360,000, taking into account that the defendant will also pay Medicaid and Medicare directly. Negotiations with Medicaid and Medicare and SSI were conducted by our lawyers.