$4,021,837 Settlement- 10 Year Old Girl Injured In Collision With Farm Tractor
In August 2010 our ten year old client was a passenger in a Chrysler car driven by her teenage stepsister on a rural road in Los Banos, Merced County, California. A slow moving farming tractor pulling a water trailer filled with 1000 gallons of water suddenly turned left in front of the Chrysler just as the Chrysler was passing it, causing a collision. The insurance company for the tractor driver’s employer claimed the Chrysler was speeding and responsible for the collision.
When the tractor turned left to enter a field, the tractor and water tank blocked the road, causing the Chrysler to crash into the water tank at a high rate of speed. The tractor driver’s employer contended that the teenage driver of the Chrysler was speeding and inattentive when she attempted to pass the tractor near an intersection, thereby causing the collision. We were brought into the case early and our accident reconstruction expert was able to find the skid marks and gouges on the road to be able to prove that the Chrysler had the right of way and that the tractor driver had made a left turn in front of the car as the car was in the process of passing the tractor. Our cross-examination of the tractor driver proved to be decisive on the liability issue. We obtained admissions from the tractor driver that he never activated a turn signal, never gave a hand signal and never looked behind him before he suddenly turned left into the field.
After the collision, our client lost consciousness and was airlifted to a medical trauma center where they discovered multiple lacerations of her intestines, spinal fractures and a right subdural hematoma. After she was stabilized, she was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Oakland for further treatment that included surgery to remove a section of her colon. At Children’s Hospital an MRI revealed traumatic brain injury that has caused problems in her concentration. With successful medical treatment at Children’s Hospital, she made a remarkable recovery but lost one year of school. Prior to trial we settled the case at mediation for $1,315,000 that was used to purchase a lifetime annuity payout of $4,021,837 for our ten year old client.