Archive for the ‘Surgery’ Tag

$295,000 for Teenage Pedestrian   1 comment

On December 2, 2008, Jane Doe (a 12 year-old minor) exited her school bus and was walking home when the Defendant pulled into the neighborhood in an SUV and negligently ran her over, fracturing her leg in two places.  Miss Doe’s medical expenses were over $25,000 and her plastic surgeon estimated that an additional surgery would be necessary and will cost approximately $10,000.  But this case was not about $25,000 in medical expenses; it was not even about $35,000 in medical expenses.  The fractures were bad and painful and the experience was horrifying for Miss Doe, but she recovered well and did not appear to be facing any permanent orthopaedic problems.  So, the case wasn’t even about permanent physical disability. 

The most upsetting aspect of this case was that the Defendant’s tire badly mangled the skin and tissue of Miss Doe’s ankle.  This was almost a de-gloving injury.  Consequently, Miss Doe has permanent burn-like scarring on her leg.  This might have been a different case if the Defendant had permanently scarred a little boy.  At least a little boy could make the best of a bad situation by making up crazy stories about the scar. As that boy grew into manhood, the scar would likely be obscured by leg hair, but, even if it remained conspicuous, he could still deal with it more readily than a woman by joking and making up funny stories about it. His scar might even be perceived by some as cool.

Miss Doe, on the other hand, does not (and will never) have this option.  Instead, she will always be somewhat self conscious about this scar.  The scar is not easily concealed, and, in fact, affects a part of Miss Doe’s anatomy that is strongly associated with her femininity and attractiveness. Miss Doe has a strong family, and they will help her to come to peace with her scar, but, throughout her life, people will notice it, perhaps treat her a little differently because of it, and maybe even be so bold as to ask her what happened.  Years from now, when the Defendant has long forgotten about this incident, Miss Doe will still be dealing with it on a daily basis.

The insurance adjuster assigned to handle Miss Doe’s claim had previously worked with attorney Render Freeman and knew of Mr. Freeman’s ability to succeed in front of a jury.  Following Mr. Freeman’s investigation and aggressive pre-suit negotiations, the insurance carrier agreed to pay $295,000 to settle the claim.  This money will enable Miss Doe to undergo any necessary scar-revision surgeries and will pay for her college education.  Mr. Freeman was very proud to represent this nice young lady and gratified by the quick result.

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