Did you hear the story about the Plaintiff who rear ended a parked vehicle on the shoulder of a highway on ramp and got a $200,000 settlement?! Well then let me tell you . . .
Back in January, 2021, we received a phone call about a potential new case where the facts were as described above. The potential client (a 20 year old young lady) was speeding up to merge on 95 South off Route 543 in Harford County at 6:30am on her way to work when she briefly crossed the line onto the shoulder. Unfortunately for her, there was an F-150 truck with a trailer attached that had stopped on the shoulder and she plowed into the back of it breaking both of her legs and requiring multiple surgeries.
Obviously her injuries were extensive, but given that Maryland is a contributory negligence state (meaning that even if the Plaintiff was 1% at fault, she would be barred from recovering anything at trial), there was some concern regarding the viability of the case. However, as we always do, Dubo Law undertook an investigation to determine whether there was any way we could obtain any recovery at all on her behalf.
As an initial step, we hired an accident reconstructionist who was able to determine (1) that the driver of the F-150 was a 20 year old male from upstate New York and was transporting SUVs from New York to Florida for his Uncle, (2) that he had told the State Trooper who responded to the scene of the accident that he was tired and had pulled over to rest, and (3) he had his 19 year old girlfriend in the car with him.
Armed with that additional information, we concluded that the defendant’s explanation for why he had stopped made no sense. Anyone who has ever driven down 95 South through Cecil and Harford Counties knows about Chesapeake House and Maryland House – rest stops that are specifically designed for providing respite from long drives.
For the defendant’s story to be credible, you would have to believe that although he was allegedly tired from a long drive, he drove past both Chespeake and Maryland House, got off the highway at Route 543 (which is 2 miles south of Maryland House), did not stop at any other potential rest areas off the exit, and decided to get back onto 95 South when he then pulled over on the on ramp with no lights or hazards on.
Not only was his version totally implausible, but given that he had his 19 year old girlfriend in the car with him, we formulated a theory that they had pulled off on the unlit portion of the on ramp at 6:30am on a dark morning for a purpose other than resting (if you know what I mean . . .)!
The insurance company initially issued a formal denial, and when I spoke to the adjuster she literally laughed out loud at my theory of the case and made clear that she thought it was preposterous. However, less than 72 hours after that initial phone call, she called me back and said “why don’t you send us a demand.” After some back and forth negotiating and with the very real threat of a lawsuit hanging over their insured’s head, we were finally able to get the case settled for $200,000 – an amazing result given the initial facts as we knew them.
Our client was absolutely delighted with the outcome and blown away by the effort and tenacity we displayed in achieving this settlement. In truth, while this case was certainly more interesting than our average case, the approach and methodolgy that achieved this result is the same one we implement in all of our cases. Insurance companies know that we will litigate and go to trial unless their offers are fair and reasonable and our firm culture and relentlessness are uniquely designed to maximize the result of all of our cases.
You can learn more about our firm culture and approach in this video which explains why other personal injury attorneys send their family members and friends to us when they need quality legal representation. And there is no higher compliment or endorsement than that.
Neil Dubovsky graduated with Honors and magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2002. He received the prestigious Faculty Award, which was awarded to the student who best “exhibited unusual qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service.” Neil also received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell – the highest rating possible. He is rated as one of the Top 100 Civil Trial Lawyers in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association and selected to the 2022 Maryland Super Lawyers list. Neil is a husband and father of two beautiful girls.
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