What factors tend to drive motorcycle accident settlement values?
Valuing settlement offers is difficult even for the most experienced attorneys. While are too many uncontrollable factors to allow anyone to apply scientific principles to settlement evaluation, below please find some factors that play a role in settlement totals.
- Defendant’s negligence – many accidents result in a ticket being If the defendant is cited for a traffic violation, negligence is established. However, in some accidents, no one is found at fault. This does not mean that negligence cannot be established. However, it does make it a little harder.
- The severity of injuries – thankfully, some motorcycle accidents result in minor damages. However, unfortunately, it is common for accidents to result in serious injuries or even death.
- Prognosis – when the injuries of a motorbike accident are serious and require extensive treatment or rehabilitation, an expert report regarding the cost of what will be needed to get the plaintiff back to normal is important. Furthermore, if the plaintiff will never recover from his injuries, like in situations involving permanent paralysis, an expert report regarding the plaintiff’s life expectancy and the costs of necessary caregivers throughout the plaintiff’s life becomes important. Expert reports regarding the estimate of future care can range from a few thousand to several million.
- How any injuries affect one’s life – as you can imagine, some injuries can affect a person’s ability to continue in their line of work or in their ability to care for people who were previously dependant on them. In general, the more a person’s injuries prevent them from returning to the life they once had, the more value the injuries will have in the eyes of a jury.
- Plaintiff’s commitment – a plaintiff who wants money without any effort on their part or a plaintiff that wants to paid ASAP, will not maximize their settlement amount because they do not have the commitment necessary to let the case develop or for negotiations to play out. Moreover, a plaintiff who will fight to the end and is committed to helping his/her attorney with whatever they need, will help maximize their settlement amount.
- Jury verdict research – unfortunately, motorcycle injuries are common, and it is very likely that a jury in your area has heard and decided on a similar case involving similar injuries. These cases provide a framework of what is likely to happen if a case goes to trial. These previous verdicts should be used during any pretrial negotiations.
- Cases involving death – the options when it comes to compensation increase when an accident results in death. For example, the son of a father who broke his leg in a motorcycle accident cannot legally pursue damages against the defendant. However, when that same father dies in that accident, that son, and other family members, can legally seek compensation for the loss of companionship and support.
- Property Damage – generally, the more it costs to replace/fix the motorcycle and/or any other personal property damaged in the accident, the larger the settlement.
- Adjusters – In most motorcycle accidents, the plaintiff will be negotiating (pre-trial) with an insurance adjuster. These adjusters are motivated by one thing – paying as little as possible. Some adjusters are so blinded by this goal that they do not see or acknowledge the facts of the case. However, some adjusters will listen and take everything into consideration. As such, any pretrial settlement talks are highly affected by the willingness of any adjuster to listen.
- Attorneys – Litigation is an adversarial As such, the skill of the attorneys involved will affect settlement talks or jury awards. Generally speaking, the harder a plaintiff attorney works, the higher the settlement.
Case 1: Haymond Acquires Police Video That Clears Up Questionable Statements – $150k Awarded
Leonard was riding his Harley and being followed by his fiancé on hers. To the right side of the road a truck was parked in the grass which was being used to load logs. In the driveway of this lot was a pickup truck with a trailer. As Leonard approached, the truck started to pull forward onto the shoulder of the road. Leonard went around the truck, but at the same moment the pickup pulled out of the driveway to turn left onto the road, blocking Leonard ’s path. Leonard’s bike hit the trailer and he was seriously injured.
The insurance company denied responsibility. We obtained the police video of the interviews with the drivers of the pickup and the truck, and Leonard’s fiancé. We were able to point out inconsistencies in the version of events and got the insurance company to change its position. However, that was not the end of the story. We went after separate insurance for the trailer (which also insured the truck as a commercial policy), and got them to pay as well!
The insurance company paid out $150,000. Now the client has money to support himself during the rest of his recovery and future medical care.
Case 2: Overcoming a False Police Report – $325k Recovered
Andrew was operating his motorcycle in Springfield when a car took a left turn and side-swiped him, resulting in serious internal injuries for which he needed to be hospitalized. As a result, the police were not able to interview him as part of their investigation. Police refused to listen to Andrew’s cousin, who witnessed the accident.
The driver of the car told the police a different story, but do to the detailed statement form Andrew’s cousin, we changed the insurance companies mind.
We got a detailed witness statement from Andrew’s relative, and the level of detail was enough to push the insurance company to settle Andrew’s case for $325,000.
Case 3: HLF Investigators Work Results in Full Policy Being Recovered
Jose was driving his motorcycle in Springfield when the defendant cut him off which resulted in an accident with serious injuries. The insurance company for the defendant denied liability because they said Jose was speeding. The Haymond Law Firm’s investigators obtained video surveillance of the collision from a nearby business. The tape clearly showed the defendant was at fault in the accident.
The tape showed that the driver pulled to the intersection and started to turn, and then stopped when Jose’s motorcycle came into view, but then started the turn again thereby causing the collision. After seeing the tape, the insurer changed its position and paid the full policy for $250,000.
Case 4: Haymond Law Firm’s Crime Scene Results In Large Rewards For Motorcyclist
Nicholas is a first responder in metro Worcester. He was riding his motorcycle and was side swiped when a car passed over the center lane, fortunately not hitting him head on. The driver of the car claimed that Nicholas had just passed a vehicle illegally and suddenly appeared.
The Haymond Law Firm’s scene investigation revealed that no car was present, and that the line of sight was more than sufficient for the defendant to see Nicholas even if he had passed a car at the point the defendant stated. Nicholas’s case settled for $425,000.
Case 5: Haymond Law Firm’s Creative Layering Overcomes Objectionable Employer
Drew was out for a motorcycle ride in Deerfield when a van blew a stop sign and hit him on his bike. He didn’t take an ambulance from the scene. However, five months later he finally succumbed to the pain and had knee surgery. Resulting in him missing another five months of work. His employer knew that he was going to be out and laid him off prior to the surgery, so there was no evidence of lost time from work.
Haymond Law proved that the 5 months out of work were due to the accident even though he didn’t have the support of his doctor. Drew received $560,000.
Case 6: Haymond Law Firm Overturns Police Report, Female Rider Awarded $675,000
Connie was seriously injured while riding her Yamaha R3 and even after three surgeries the insurer contested liability claiming that Connie was speeding when she turned onto the road.
The police report supported the insurance company’s claim. By conducting a scene investigation, we were able to establish that the defendant’s line of sight was clear past the intersection and that he should have seen Connie. The insurer changed its position to accept most of the responsibility for the collision, and we obtained $675,000 for Connie.
Case 7: Haymond Law Firm Obtains 100% Recovery As Thorough Examination Blows Hole In Insurance Company’s Case; $865,000 Recovered
Nino was riding his motorcycle home from work in Enfield. As he approached the intersection he had a green light and began to cross. A driver however ran the red light and struck him. No witnesses remained at the scene.
The driver of the car told police she had the green light, and her insurance company denied liability. We examined the security camera footage and saw that cars on Dickinson Road began moving from a stop towards the intersection on the film, and Nino is seen 30 seconds later entering the intersection when the collision occurs.
Haymond Law Firm conducted a scene investigation to time how long the light stayed green, and it remained green for Nino’s traffic for 40 seconds. Therefore, we were able to prove that he had the green light. Then we claimed the insurance company was acting in bad faith with unfair settlement practices. Upon receiving our notice, they quickly changed their position to accept 100% of the fault and settled for $865,000.
Case 8: Police Body Cam Footage Used to Recover $1.5M in Motorcycle Accident
Trevor was riding his motorcycle in Granby when he was unexpectedly struck by a turning vehicle. The reckless turn by the car smashed into Trevor’s ankle and severely fractured it. He required immediate surgery, and after recovery Trevor regained use of his ankle and looked well.
The Haymond Law Firm obtained the police body cam video that showed paramedics pulling Trevor’s Harley boot off and putting him in the ambulance. In addition Haymond Law Firm utilized video interviews, one from Trevor’s wife in the waiting room during his surgery and another from Trevor in the hospital after his surgery recounting their testimony as to what happened.
As a result, the evidence gathered by Haymond Law convincingly proved damages and earned her client a payment after litigation of $1.5 million. It can also be said that Haymond Law’s 40+ years of experience working similar cases in multiple states was critical in navigating this case and bringing about a positive outcome for the client.
Case 9: Weekend Ride Turns Tragic – $2.5 Million Recovered For Innocent Rider
Paul was riding his motorcycle on a beautiful day in 2020 in the open space farm lands of Litchfield Connecticut. Suddenly, he was caught by surprise when another driver made an improper left hand turn and hit him and his motorcycle. Paul suffered injuries that will forever impact his quality of life – including several broken ribs and loss of use in his right hand.
The insurance company did everything in their power to avoid delay and deny responsibility and communication with the client. As a result, the client reached out to The Haymond Law Firm and took control immediately by telling the adjuster to keep the file on her desk because they didn’t offer all of the available policy limits within two months of the accident. Otherwise we would attach land and assets owned by the wrongdoer.
When the two months expired we filed to attach property and land to the defendant. Within days of that filing, the claim adjuster made a multi-million dollar offer to settle the case.
Case 10: Worcester Motorcyclist Trusts Haymond Law to Protect His Rights
On a sunny spring day near Worcester, Tim was enjoying a ride on his Harley. As he approached the intersection in the downtown area, he proceeded straight with a green light in his favor. Suddenly, a school van made a left hand turn into his path, and despite an evasive maneuver that he had learned from years of motorcycling experience, there was a collision.
Tim’s case became complicated when an independent eyewitness claimed that the motorcyclist ran through a red light and failed to yield to the left turning van. Based on this eyewitness testimony, the van’s insurance company insisted that no settlement would be paid. Tim called upon The Haymond Law Firm who took on the case, filed a lawsuit, and arranged for the deposition of the eyewitness and the van driver.
Following the depositions, the van’s insurance company changed from a “no pay” position to ultimately offering the client $350,000. Additionally, the defense attorney himself commented on the change in the insurance company’s position, given Attorney Keyes’ skillful handling of the case.
Case 11: Custom Bike Down But Not Out – HLF Property Damage Specialist Saves The Day
On a sunny fall day in Bridgeport, John was enjoying a motorcycle ride on his customized bike. While he was stopped at a red light in Bridgeport, an elderly driver drove up too close to him and bumped the rear of the motorcycle, causing him to fall onto his right side with the bike on top of him.
Fortunately, the client’s injuries required only ER treatment and a few visits to a chiropractor. The bike also had extensive customizations that needed to be included in the damages, that our property damage specialist was able to document in detail. In typical fashion, the insurance company failed to acknowledge the extensive customizations to the motorcycle.
The Haymond Law Firm swiftly moved into action and property damage investigator, Steve Elinsky went to bat and hit a home run. Haymond Law came in and quickly obtained money for the repairs of the bike and all customizations to the last penny.
Additionally, Haymond Law was able to promptly obtain a settlement for the client’s injuries. The client was pleasantly surprised by both the speed of the property damage settlement and the $100k recovery.
Case 12: Haymond Law Obtains Security Camera Footage To Prove Fault – $250k Recovered
A motorcyclist was involved in an accident at an intersection in Chicopee.First responders showed up and both operators stated they had the right of way and green light. The insurance company claimed our client the motorcyclists was at fault, and denied responsibility.
With a great deal of effort The Haymond Law Firm managed to secure security camera footage from a nearby store. The camera did not capture the stoplights, nor the collision, but did capture the cars stopped at the stop line for the direction our client was traveling.
The footage also showed the moment when the cars started to move forward across the stop line, and highlighted when the light turned green. Thirty seconds into the video, the film shows our client entering into view and heading into the intersection.
Our investigator and attorneys went out to the scene and filmed the light sequence at the intersection and timed the length that our client’s traffic light would be green. Ultimately, we proved that the light stays green for 40 seconds and as a result, we were able to prove that our client entered the intersection with the green light.
Despite this evidence, the insurance company still only wanted to accept 50% fault. We absolutely disagreed, and filed a bad faith action against the insurance company. Within two days they accepted 100% fault for the collision and settled our client’s property damage for the custom motorcycle and personal injury claims for a substantial amount.
Case 13: Motorcycle hit by car from behind
Chaz Demarco was riding his motorcycle when he was hit from behind by a driver who was talking on the phone at the time of the accident. However, there is far more to the story. The driver of the car also committed several other negligent acts. According to Connecticut law, Courts take into account the number of different negligent acts that take place at the time of the accident. This can often result in a much higher financial award if brought to the attention of the insurance companies lawyer or a jury.
The Haymond Law Firm established that she was speeding and was following too closely. In addition, the driver claimed that her visibility was poor due to the fact that she was driving eastbound just after sunrise. We proved that this condition should have been taken into account before she got in her car.
Additionally, the circumstances of the case were exacerbated by the fact that the female driver was making an illegal turn at the time of the accident. The turn was illegal for two reasons: she both failed to signal before making the turn and she attempted to accelerate through a yellow light at the intersection where Chaz was parked.
The motorcycle with less than 300 miles and only three months, was totaled and Chaz was put in the hospital for three weeks as the result of a fractured leg and ligament damage in his wrist that required two operations to repair.
Due to our ability to establish fault on several levels and complete disregard for Chaz, we were able to recover funds for his pain and suffering and our property damage expert also got him complete reimbursement for the damage to his bike. Chaz was thrilled with the recovery as it was far more than he ever expected to receive. All of his medical bills were paid for as was the damage to his motorcycle.
Case 14: Rider hit in intersection accident – Massachusetts
During the summer of 2013, our client was enjoying a casual motorcycle ride in a suburban area. He approached an intersection at the correct speed, intending to cross through the intersection. At the same time, a driver in a sedan pulled up to the intersection to make a left-hand turn.
Accident reports indicate the sedan driver was required to make a full stop, as indicated by a stop sign. Our client had no stop sign, and thus had the right-of-way at the intersection. A report filed by police officers cited the sedan driver with failure to yield and a rolling stop, but also noted that the sedan driver indicated yard debris piled at the curb by a homeowner made it impossible to see the approaching motorcycle.
Our client suffered injuries that required hospitalization. He also missed several weeks of work during recovery and required physical therapy to rehab injuries to his shoulder.
The other driver’s insurance originally denied the full claim for property damage and medical coverage, citing the negligence of the homeowner in blocking visibility at the intersection. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client seeking damages for loss of property, loss of wages, and medical expenses. The suit named both the homeowner and the sedan driver as defendants.
The suit was settled out of court with both parties. Insurance companies for both defendants made compensation payments to our client which covered his out-of-pocket medical costs, lost wages, and some amount for pain and suffering.
In all, the case took approximately six months from the initial complaint to final mediation. A settlement may have been further expedited if our client had sought legal assistance immediately, but he first attempted to seek claims payments from the other driver’s insurance company on his own.
Case 15: Motorcycle accident at intersection – New York
In August of 2013, our client was driving to work on her customized motorcycle in a city, in New York. As she approached an intersection with a green light, she was struck by an oncoming vehicle that was making a left turn.
Our client sustained minor injuries that required treatment at the local hospital. Her customized bike; however, was damaged severely, resulting in a total loss.
The police report cited the driver making the left with 100% fault for failure to yield the right of way. The driver claimed that he did not see our client, nor her motorcycle. The police report indicated that motorcycles head lamp was still illuminated. The both insurance companies involved, our clients and the at-fault driver’s insurance company, wanted to settle the case for $28,700. Which breaks down to $11,000 for the motorcycle, and $17,700 for medical bills, and suffering. The rationale was that the value of the motorcycle was only $11,000 despite the fact that it had been customized.
Our firm filed a lawsuit, in which we named both insurance companies, and the at fault driver. Our client was able to produce receipts for all of the customized work that had been done to the motorcycle. The total value of the receipts totaled $78,349.98. The total for medical bills was $16,879. We added into the lawsuit the amount of income that our client lost due to the accident, pain and suffering, even though our client’s injuries were minor, and we asked for ongoing medical coverage for ten years.
The case was settled out of court in just over four months. Our client was able to return to her regular life. She was able to begin the process of customizing another bike to replace the one that had been lost in the accident. She was thankful for our help because, without us, her losses would have been significant. The money awarded was a long way from the $28,700 originally offered by the involved insurance companies.
Case 16: Motorcycle ride cut short
On a sunny August day, Mike L. set a course of for the open road on his prized motorcycle. But his fun run was cut drastically short when he was struck by an erratic driver operating a vehicle in reverse.
Mike was sent tumbling to across pavement. His body was marked by road rash, lacerations, and contusions to his foot, shoulder and elbow. His ride was over and the customized motorcycle he so cherished appeared badly mangled.
Mike declined the recommended ambulance transport from the scene. He was more distraught over the loss of his motorcycle than the pain that racked his body. His father took him to an emergency room to be examined by a doctor. He followed that up with an Urgent Care visit to have the wounds cleaned, bandages changed and made sure to see his primary care physician, who knows his medical history best.
Our client incurred very little in medical bills as the worst thing for him was that he no longer had a bike. It was totaled by the negligent driver. The Haymond Law Firm went to right to work and demanded Geico pay the $20,000 policy. Geico countered with a $7,000 offer, claiming that ML suffered only minimal soft tissue injuries with extremely limited medical treatment.
Haymond Law Firm attorney Albert D’Antonio was livid by the insurance giant’s attempt to lowball his client and not make him whole for his pain, suffering, medical bills and loss of property. Mr. D’Antonio instructed his legal assistant, Julie Moquete, to let that insurance company know they would file an immediate lawsuit on their client’s behalf. The papers were at the courthouse within three days and the Haymond Law Firm kept the pressure on Geico until the policy limit of $20,000 was paid in full.
In addition, The Haymond Law Firm has a property damage specialist on staff. He has been with our Law Firm well over 20 years and knows all the property adjusters personally and knows all the ins and outs of resolving property damage claims to the complete satisfaction of our clients. Our specialist calculated the value of the wrecked bike, the customized parts as well as the custom and irreplaceable paint work on the destroyed bike. Mike was also totally compensated for the loss of his bike as well as all the customized accessories and paint work.
Case 17: Motorcycle hit by car in illegal U-turn – Connecticut
In April 2014, Linda was involved in a motor vehicle accident when the driver in front of her made a sudden and illegal U-turn. Prior to the accident that seriously impacted her life, Linda was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and a veterinarian’s assistant. On the afternoon of the collision, she was driving her motorcycle on a busy road in Hartford County on her way to work.
The other driver veered to the shoulder, Linda moved into the oncoming lane of traffic and began making a lawful attempt to pass the other driver’s vehicle. Just as she began passing the other car, the driver made an abrupt U-Turn to the left, thereby causing her motorcycle to crash into the back end of the other driver’s car.
The police came to the scene after the accident but Linda was unable to speak to the Officer as she was rushed to the hospital. The other driver claimed that Linda was at fault for attempting to pass her as she was making a left turn. As a result, Linda was issued a ticket for passing in a no passing lane.
Linda spent several days at the hospital recovering from her injuries. She hired the Haymond Law Firm to represent her in a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Linda met with John Haymond in her hospital room and she told him what had really happened. Fortunately for Linda, John Haymond knew from his many years on 2 wheels as well has his many years representing motorcyclists that this type of accident takes place far too often. An accident reconstruction expert was immediately retained to attempt to determine the “how and why” this accident took place. The specialist was able to prove through a detailed analysis that the other motorist was making an improper left-hand turn. Haymond Law continued to work tirelessly on Linda’s behalf.
Our team at Haymond Law put together a compelling video which highlighted the negligence of the driver as well as the severity of the change in the quality of Linda’s life after the accident. Without any meaningful negotiation taking place prior to our video and investigation, we were prepared to file a lawsuit against the insurance company and the other driver. The insurance company chose to settle in advance of the case going to court.
Haymond Law recovered a $250,000 compensation payout for Linda which covered all the lost wages incurred as well as an unexpected and very large nest egg for her children’ college education.
Case 18: Driver’s careless action – Connecticut
A motorcycle rider was commuting to work on a clear morning in Early December 2015 when he got into an accident on I-84 in East Hartford, Connecticut. The driver of a 2010 Honda Civic, which is a coupe, ran a red light and collided with the motorcycle at about 65 mph. Due to the impact from the sudden collision, the rider was thrown off the motorcycle, only to land on the side of the road a few feet away from the wreckage.
Witnesses called the police and paramedics to the scene. Within about 15 minutes, the victim was rushed to the hospital to treat his injuries. While the motorcycle rider suffered several serious fractures and broken bones, the doctors deemed he was in stable condition just a few hours after his admittance to the hospital. Over the course of his stay at the hospital, the victim received treatment for his burn and open wounds. Thanks to the helmet the motorcycle rider wore at the time of the accident, he sustained no major injuries to the head and neck.
Police officers charged the driver of the 2010 Honda Civic with running a red light at the scene. According to a police officer, the driver had recently received several citations for running red lights. At one point, the driver had his license suspended for reckless driving and running several red lights. Several witnesses at the scene reported that they spotted the driver running red lights and speeding right before the accident.
Thanks to the help and guidance of Attorney John Haymond, the victim received the justice he deserved after enjoying a fairly smooth recovery from his injuries. Attorney Haymond met with the client and his family after the accident. The client sought out compensation for his medical bills as well as for the destruction of his motorcycle. The case was settled before it could be taken to court. The victim and his family recovered about $250,000 after the case was settled.
Case 19: Motorcycle rider hit by van – New Hampshire
Last autumn, a motorcyclist was driving on Route 16 through the Great North Woods in New Hampshire. A commercial van had been tailgating the motorcycle rider for several miles. The driver of the van attempted to pass the motorcycle in a no passing zone, then quickly cut back into the left lane due to an oncoming vehicle. As the driver of the van cut back over, the van clipped the rear tire of the motorcycle. The impact knocked the motorcycle out from under the rider, sending the bike over the guard rail and into a ravine. The rider slammed into the shoulder of the road, sliding several feet. Eyewitnesses reported that the driver of the van stopped briefly about a hundred yards ahead, then sped off.
A motorist who had witnessed part of the incident stopped to assist the victim and called 911. The victim was airlifted to the nearest hospital, where he was treated for a concussion, broken ribs and a fractured pelvis. His injuries prevented him from being able to return to work at his manufacturing job for three months as medical bills mounted. The custom motorcycle was removed from the ravine by a towing company but it was completely destroyed. The victim continues to suffer from migraines due to the head trauma.
The victim was referred to the Haymond Law Firm by another motorcycle rider who had previously been assisted by Attorney John Haymond. The Haymond Law Firm used all the resources at its disposal, including a private investigator, to locate the company and driver of the commercial van. Haymond’s investigator took photographs and used sophisticated equipment to prove speed and reckless driving. In addition, the investigator immediately took sworn statements from all witness within 2 days of the accident. At John Haymond ‘s Law Firm, we prepare every case and assume it will be going to trial.
The witness statements can be used at trial even if the witness doesn’t want to appear in Court. The case was settled, and the victim was compensated for his medical expenses, the value of his motorcycle and personal effects destroyed in the crash, and for lost wages. John Haymond was able to assist the victim in recovering more than $500,000 in damages.
Case 20: No witnesses to motorcycle accident caused by loose cargo
When it comes to accidents, there are many different options when it comes to defending one self. Last year John Andrus was involved in a motorcycle accident in Southern Connecticut as the result of loose cargo on a tractor trailer. Tractor trailer drivers are required by law to secure their cargo to protect not only the investment of the company they are driving for, but also for the safety of other operators on the road.
Though it may seem as though these tractor trailer drivers always work to help keep their goods secure, sometimes trailers slip by. The tractor trailer driver denied the fact that the cargo was from his truck and claimed that he was not at fault. John Andrus, the driver of the motorcycle was struck by this cargo which caused him to wreck.
Following the accident, Mr. Andrus was subjected to numerous medical treatments, doctor’s visits, and lost wages, Haymond Law helped Mr. Andrus get the money he deserved on his road to recovery.
While big business and the tractor-trailer driver will argue that it is not the fault of the company but rather a freak accident, Haymond Law disputed this claim and argued his case successfully.
Haymond Law worked to gather all the information, expert testimony, and facts that were needed to prove that Mr. Andrus was not at fault even though no eyewitnesses remained at the scene of the accident. With extensive research, dedication, and man hours spent, Haymond Law was able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the trucking company was at fault due to poorly maintained and secured equipment. With perseverance and hard work, Haymond Law was able to get Mr. Andrus the financial award that he needed to pay his medical bills and get back on his feet after the accident as well as a significant sum of money for his pain and suffering.
Case 21: Motorcycle pushed into stalled car – Massachusetts
Any day riding is a good day for most motorcycle enthusiasts, and that was the case for Cynthia Jones. At least it was until one day last year when a relaxing afternoon ride down a tree-lined secondary highway set her on course for a long and painful recovery.
Just a few miles out of Springfield, Cynthia became aware of a car following her much too closely. This stretch of highway usually had little traffic during the early afternoon hours, and there were many places where it could pass safely, but still it persisted. Becoming more cautious, Cynthia slowed and hugged the right side of the roadway, giving the car ample opportunity to get by, but still the driver refused and instead inched his car even closer to her.
As the vehicles rounded a curve, a stalled car loomed in their path, causing Cynthia to apply her brakes. The tailgating driver was far too close to her to stop and instead slammed into her motorcycle, pushing it forward, into the stalled car. Cynthia then catapulted into the air, over the stalled vehicle and slammed into the pavement beyond. Then, shockingly, the driver who had hit her and caused the accident, simply backed up, and drove away.
Luckily, the driver of the stalled car had witnessed the entire accident, and was able to call for help and give a description of the vehicle and its driver to the authorities. By the time Cynthia was en route to the hospital, a nearby patrol car had already apprehended the fleeing driver, and placed him under arrest.
Cynthia was a mess, literally. A broken pelvis, cracked ribs, and severely damaged knees and wrists would mean months of recovery and mountains of bills, as well as lost time at work and tremendous emotional and financial damage. Thankfully, she took her mom’s advice and called The Haymond Law Firm for a free consultation.
The driver who followed too closely had a history of traffic violations and driving under the influence, and would be facing serious criminal charges for his actions. Although his attorney tried hard to get Cynthia to settle out of court for just the cost of her lost wages, we knew that was not a fair payout.
Fully prepared to go to trial, we moved ahead. Shortly thereafter, Cynthia received a half-million dollar offer to settle, which she rejected, countering at one million dollars. On the eve of the trial, the call came in with an offer which was accepted. With money to live comfortably while recuperating, rebuild her nest egg and repair her beloved motorcycle, life is looking much brighter for Cynthia Jones these days.
Case 22: Stray dog causes motorcycle accident
It was a rare warm day in early November in New England. Neil had just gotten his Goldwing back from the shop with a new exhaust and front rim and was testing it out through the neighbor hood before he headed out for the annual toy run. Everything was running smoothly. However, smoothing caught his attention from the corner of his eye. A big German Shepherd was racing across the front yard and was on a direct course to collide with the motorcycle.
The dog was quicker than Neil had thought and before he could react the canine was directly in front of his bike. Not wanting to hit the creature, the rider laid the bike down in order to steer clear of a direct collision with the animal.
While he was able to avoid the dog, the motorcyclist suffered severe injuries to his wrist and arm. Neil’s attempts to collect from the dog’s owners and their insurance company were futile. That’s when he called John Haymond and the Haymond Law Firm.
Returning his call the same day, the firm wasted no time in contacting witnesses, securing reports and investigating the scene of the accident. After seeing the evidence compiled the firm and its hired experts the insurance company accepted liability and agreed to a large compensation.
Case 23: War veteran suffers collision on his motorcycle – Massachusetts
Barry L., a 29-year-old combat veteran fresh off his last tour of duty in Iraq, was involved in an accident near Worcester, Massachusetts in early June of 2012. He was riding his motorcycle when a driver pulled out in front of him from a side street. It was a horrible collision.
Barry had a variety of injuries including 7 fractured ribs, a fractured sternum, and a collapsed lung. If these injuries were not bad enough, he sustained a very unusual fractured scapula.
Barry had seen active combat during the war and was looking forward to a simple life with his young family. We developed a personal relationship with Barry and observed that he seemed to live in a fog for a long, long time. His doctor knew he needed more surgery and connected him with a surgeon in Minnesota; a leading expert on performing complete scapula reconstructions.
Throughout this time, we were able to provide Barry with all the guidance and our legal skills to get him on Medicare. We also set up and coordinated the care in Minnesota such that Medicare would cover it. This allowed him to get the best medical treatment and not have to pay over $100,000 from his settlement for the cost of the out-of-state surgeon and after care.
On top of these injuries, Barry had seen active combat during the war and suffered from PTSD and depression. We at the Haymond Law Firm take a lot of pride in the fact that we helped counsel him not just on the case but also worked with him to improve his life situation as well. By the end, he was stronger, mentally and physically, and ready to get back on his feet. He was even able to take care of his son and was granted custody from the mother. He was just so much more put together by the end of the case.
Case 24: Frontal collision between two motorists – Massachusetts
Paul was cruising the country roads of the Berkshire mountains on his Harley. The day was clear and crisp that fall afternoon. As he approached a diner, a motorist traveling opposite him ended the tranquil setting when she turned left and caused a collision. Paul was briefly knocked out, but came to at the scene.
Paul considered himself very lucky. In spite of the impact, he suffered no broken bones or anything considered medically serious. He went to the ER the day of the accident and was examined, given X rays and told to go home and rest. Paul was diagnosed with a mild concussion. He was able to go back to work immediately after the accident.
Unfortunately, he began to suffer short term memory loss, poor concentration and was unable to focus and play his guitar. Worse yet, he was unable to help his wife care for their two disabled children. Paul was skeptical as to what a lawyer could do for him as his medical expenses were minimal and he had no lost wages from his regular job. He talked about his problems with other motorcyclists who had retained the Haymond Law Firm and he decided to call.
The strain at home was difficult, but Paul slowly began to improve. Fortunately, he fully recovered from his concussion and associated problems. However, over the course of months The Haymond team kept in constant contact with Paul. They knew the difficulties Paul had endured. The lawyers at Haymond Law were able to show Paul’s issues as a result of the accident beyond pages of the doctor’s notes.
Case 25: Short-term disability lien invalidated
Chris D. was thrown off his motorcycle 20 feet through the air when the defendant failed to obey a stop sign and crashed into his motorcycle. The injury to Chris’s knee prevented him from working for 13 weeks so he used his short-term disability benefits through his job.
His employer then put a lien on Chris’s injury claim for the $8,000 which the employer had paid out in short term disability benefits. The defendant only had a $22,000 policy and after attorney fees, medical bills and the payback to the short-term disability plan, Chris would be left with only $2,000 in his pocket which clearly would have been insufficient to adequately compensate him for his losses. Then the John Haymond team reviewed the file and went into action challenging the legal structure of the disability plan on legal technical grounds.
John Haymond determined that the lien was totally invalid as it was a “payroll practice” and not a true self-funded ERISA plan. We didn’t legally have to pay the medical provider a penny and he received thousands of dollars more in his pocket. Chris was thrilled as he could now upgrade to a new motorcycle. He’d been looking for this new bike for some time.
Case 26: Yamaha Motorcycle Injury
Rodney Smith and Jack Sear, Connecticut residents, were avid motorcyclists and looked forward each spring to their annual ride in Upstate New York with their fellow motorcyclists. In 2019, both were riding on the back of their friend’s Yamaha FJR 1300, they were enjoying the sunshine and fresh air of a beautiful Spring day. As they made their way along the empty state highways of Columbia County, they slowed to enter the Town of New Lebanon, where they hoped to take a break and have lunch outside.
As they entered the Town, Rodney, as a cautious driver, saw a car stopped at a stop sign to his right. He slowed to see what the car would do, and as he did so, the car started up from the stop sign, leaving him no room to maneuver or to avoid a collision. The impact occurred on the driver’s side of the car and his passenger Jack was ejected from the motorcycle. Given that they were in a small town, Jack was transported by ambulance to Albany where a diagnosis concerning his shoulder was made. He then returned to CT where he saw an orthopedist who treated him at a local hospital. The injury required a surgical repair and as a result, had a complete and full recovery.
Rodney and Jack decided to call the Motorcycle Attorneys at The Haymond Law Firm and Attorney Keyes was assigned to the case, given the NY insurance and liability issues. Attorney Keyes was able to negotiate a settlement of the limits of the car’s insurance policy within 2 months. Investigator Steve Elinsky was able to recover 100% of the value of the client’s property which had been damaged. Rodney and Jack were sure that they had made the right choice for representation!
Case 27: Motorcyclist with Fractured Ankle Takes Down Insurance Company
Haymond Law represented a motorcycle client with an ankle fracture and filed suit in the Waterbury Superior Court. Attorney Kim Sudnick aggressively pursued the video of the body cams of the Waterbury police officers that responded.
The video from the police bodycam showed her client screaming in pain as the EMTs removed the Harley boot from his fractured ankle and the ambulance doors slammed shut.
We took a video of our client’s wife in the private family waiting room at Yale-New Haven Hospital as she suffered through her husband’s surgery. The interview was raw, real and powerful.
What would normally have been a modest six-figure recovery for an ankle fracture case, turned into a $1.5 Million dollar recovery because Haymond Law had a vision.
Case 28: $5,000 Offer Declined, Nerve Damage to Knee Leads to $180,000 Recovery
On a quiet afternoon in the summer, Gina was driving her motorcycle when a car turned in front of her motorcycle and caused a collision.
Gina suffered injuries to her leg and after treatment was left with an area of nerve damage on her knee. This caused her a lot of pain when kneeling. The insurance offered $5,000.
Another example of Haymond Law saying no. We kept pushing back, and our client ended up with a 6 figure recovery.
Case 29: Car Pulled Out From Side Street Causing Accident
David was riding home on his motorcycle one night when a car pulled out from a side street and crashed into his motorcyclist causing him to fall off & suffer severe leg injuries.
The accident happened at night, and there was a question as to whether our client’s motorcycle headlight was on. This would have destroyed his case if it had gone to trial. We knew all the facts and somehow managed to keep the insurance company representatives from looking at our client’s motorcycle. If they observed the bike it would have destroyed his claim.
A quick pursuit of witnesses and a push on the known facts resulted in a $900,000 recovery.
Case 30: Chest & Pelvic Injuries Requiring Surgery
Brad was riding his motorcycle when he was struck by a car turning left causing serious injuries to his chest wall and pelvis.
Brad was rushed to the hospital & after examination, it was found that he would need surgery immediately. After surgery medical professionals recommended physical therapy to help him get back to 100% health.
In addition to the $800,000 recovery, Haymond Law also negotiated a deal with the client’s health insurance to ensure all future care would be covered.
Case 31: Insurance Company Denies Responsibility, We Proved Them Wrong
Liam Smith was riding his motorcycle on a narrow, winding road. He was being cautious, traveling at only 25 MPH in third gear. He even passed a speed limit radar sign which confirmed his speed at 25 MPH. Nearly 200 yards later, suddenly and without warning, a car pulled out of a driveway directly into his path of travel. In an attempt to avoid the crash, Mr. Smith locked up the rear brake and swerved to the right. Despite his efforts, Mr. Smith’s motorcycle crashed into the rear bumper of the offending car. He was ejected from his bike and landed in the roadway on his right side suffering multiple injuries. His motorcycle was a total loss. Mr. Smith had suffered broken bones in the accident and lost time from work.
Although it appeared to be an open and shut case, the insurance company for the at-fault vehicle claimed that Mr. Smith was 20% to blame and only offered to pay 80% of the value of his motorcycle and bodily injury claim. They claimed he had not taken evasive action. The Haymond Law Firm reviewed the matter and vowed that they wouldn’t accept anything less than 100%.
Our attorneys personally went to the scene of the accident and took photos of the skid mark that still remained on the roadway. They interviewed Mr. Smith at length to develop a written statement highlighting the evasive action he had taken. The Haymond Law Firm formed an email to the defendant’s insurance company that included a complaint to the insurance commissioner, a complaint suing the at-fault driver, photos of the skid marks, a statement by Mr. Smith, and a demand that they accept 100% liability
As a result of The Haymond Law Firm’s efforts, the insurance company caved and accepted 100% liability. Mr. Smith actually received more for his motorcycle than he had originally paid for it and had all of his medical bills covered as well.
Case 32: Haymond Law Succeeds When Other Attorneys Don’t
Veteran Biker R.B. was enjoying an early season ride in New Hampshire and decided to ride over to the Seacoast.
As R.B. entered the Town of Portsmouth, he was riding along Main Street, where cars are permitted to park at an angle. As he was slowly proceeding, a car pulled out which was next to a parked van and caused a collision. R.B. was able to keep the bike upright due to his motorcycling experience and skill. The front end of his custom Harley Davidson was damaged as well as the gas tank, which had a beautiful custom paint job.
R.B. originally contacted a large law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, but due to the unfavorable police report (the responding officer placed liability 50/50 on the motorcyclist and the backing car), the attorney who was handling the matter was not giving R.B. the attention he deserved. He then contacted The Haymond Law Firm and Senior New Hampshire Trial Attorney Robert H. Keyes met with him and personally went over everything with him. R.B. decided on the spot to retain The Haymond Law Firm to represent him in this matter.
Once the retainer was signed, the Haymond team swung into action. Although R.B. did not have receipts for all of the custom paint work on his Harley Davidson, the Firm’s property damage investigator, Steve Elinsky, made arrangements for a proper appraisal to be done. R.B. ended up recovering slightly more than he had paid for the custom work and was quite pleased.
Regarding his bodily injury case, we were able to collect all the relevant materials to submit proof to the insurance company and begin negotiations. Attorney Keyes was able to negotiate a settlement for the full policy limits of $100,000.
Case 33: Haymond Law Secures 5 Million Dollar Prejudgment Remedy – Highest Amount Ever Recovered in Litchfield County
Senior Connecticut Trial Attorney Kim Sudnick obtained a court order from a Litchfield County judge to secure the assets totaling more than 5 million dollars of a drunk driver defendant.
During the hearing, the courtroom gallery was filled with motorcycle riders showing support for our client and his family. Resulting in a 5 million dollar prejudgment award delivered from the bench during the hearing on that same day.
Attorney Sudnick was quoted as saying “I don’t represent drunk drivers—I go after them for every penny when they hurt my clients… And I don’t stop at the insurance coverage.”