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$2,250,000 Awarded to Car Accident Victim With Multiple Injuries, Including a Brain Hemorrhage

The plaintiff, a 62-year-old corrections officer, was injured when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving on SR 133 near its intersection with West Orchard Road in New Castle, New York. The plaintiff had no memory of the accident due to his injuries. However, based on the physical evidence at the accident scene, Plaintiff alleged that the vehicle operated by the defendant crossed the double yellow lines and struck his vehicle head-on. $2,250,000 was recovered for him.

Court and County
Supreme Court, Westchester County

Age and Occupation of Plaintiff
At the time of the accident, our client was a 62-year-old corrections officer.

Description of Case
On the day of the accident, our client was driving to work on the westbound side of Route 133, in New Castle. Route 133 is a two lane road with one lane going eastbound and one lane going westbound. The two lanes are separated by a painted double yellow line that divides the road in half. Our client was very familiar with this road as he had taken it to work for many years. Our client was nearing the intersection of Route 133 and West Orchard Road when his vehicle collided with an eastbound vehicle that was being driven by the defendant, who was driving a work van in the course of his employment.

As a result of the crash, police were called to the scene by an unidentified witness. When a police officer arrived at the scene, he observed both vehicles off to the westbound side of the road and pointing in opposite directions. The officer discovered our client bleeding, semi-conscious, and questioning what had happened. The officer noted that the driver’s side of our client’s vehicle was crushed in and there was front headlight and rear body damage to the car. Our client was transported to Westchester Medical Center, in Valhalla. He was hospitalized for 20 days and subsequently transferred to a rehabilitation facility, where he underwent 15 days of treatment.

Due to a head injury, our client could not recall the circumstances that led to the accident. As a result, Plaintiff hired an accident-reconstructionist expert to determine how the accident actually happened. The plaintiff’s expert concluded that the defendant crossed Route 133’s double yellow center line and caused the collision. The defendant argued that it was our client that crossed the double yellow line and caused the accident. Additionally, the defendant argued that he “veered away” from our client’s vehicle, but he could not avoid the collision. The defendant’s accident-reconstructionist expert agreed with the story told by the defendant.

Instead of trial, both sides agreed to take part in binding arbitration in which the arbitrator found that the defendant was negligent, but assigned our client 50% of the blame. The result of the arbitration was a net recovery of $2,250,000.

Damages
The plaintiff sustained several injuries, including a brain hemorrhage, fractures to his femur that required surgery, a hip fracture, and a wrist fracture, which also required surgical repair. The plaintiff also alleged damages for future medical treatment as well as damages for lost wages and union benefits, as he was forced into early retirement due to his injuries. The plaintiff’s wife also alleged loss of consortium and services due to her husband’s injuries.

Settlement
The parties participated in a binding arbitration resulting in an award for the plaintiff of $2,250,000.

Handling Attorneys
The case was handled by Partner Daniel P. O’Toole and Senior Counsel Frederick C. Aranki.

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