Tire skid marks over the yellow lines.

Case Study: Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

Attorney

Alex D. Abate

Highlights

  • A $1,050,000 global settlement was achieved for a man and the estate of his wife who were hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed the center line. The man suffered significant injuries, and his wife died in the collision.
  • Alex D. Abate of Angelini, Ori & Abate Law obtained a substantial recovery despite a minimal insurance policy and utilized expert knowledge of the lien laws and statutes to further maximize the amount of recovery that the clients received.

Case Study

A $1,050,000 global settlement was achieved by Alex D. Abate of Angelini, Ori & Abate Law for a man and his wife's estate, who were hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed the center line. The man suffered significant injuries, and his wife died in the collision. The Defendant driver who hit them only had a $25k/$50k insurance policy and had no significant assets, so she was essentially judgment-proof (someone that is “judgment proof” essentially has no assets, property, or income that can be seized). Our injured clients only maintained an underinsured policy that was slightly higher.

Legal Strategy

Assigning and Asserting Responsibility

Through investigation, we determined that the Defendant Driver was traveling from her home on her way to work as an in-home care provider at the time of the accident.

Actions: We asserted that she was within the scope of her employment and acting as an agent at the time of the collision, so we filed suit against both the Defendant Driver and her employer.

The defendants asserted that the Defendant Driver was not on the clock at the time of the incident, she was not being paid for her travel, and that Federal Labor laws do not require payment for employees traveling from their homes to the first job of the day. Despite this, we successfully argued that she was, in fact, a traveling employee within the scope of her employment and at the direction of her employer.

Result: The employer eventually tendered their full $1,000,000.00 insurance policy to settle the case.

Reducing the Resulting Medical Expenses

Once the global settlement had been reached for the full settlement of the available insurance policies, we were then confronted with over $700,000.00 in liens for medical expenses, most of which were paid by health insurance agreements and policies created under Federal laws.

Actions: We were successfully able to petition some of the lienholders to extinguish their liens under equitable principles, and others were extinguished by enforcing the contractual language in the insurance contracts themselves. Additionally, we successfully petitioned the Court to apportion the global settlement funds into three separate settlements.

The liens were only able to attach to one of the three settlements and the other two settlements were able to be given to our clients without any liens.

Results: Ultimately, we were able to allocate over 85% of the funds to claims free and clear of any liens, and the aggregate liens were ultimately paid off at less than 10 cents on the dollar.

Dedicated Trial Lawyers. Consistent Results.

Angelini, Ori & Abate Law’s success is rooted in the thousands of clients who return or continue to refer others to us for representation, counsel, and advice.

Our trial lawyers approach each case with a tenacious pursuit of justice, from settlement negotiations all the way through trial. Since our inception in 2005, we have obtained over $100m in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.

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