Child Pedestrian in Clay County, MO Sustained a Concussion & Orbital Fracture
Our law firm was retained by parents of an 8 year old boy after he sustained a concussion and facial bone fracture when a car struck him as he was retrieving a ball from the side of the road in front of his home in Clay County, Missouri.
The accident occurred when a child's football rolled into the gutter in front of his house. As the child bent down to retreive the ball, a vehicle came around the corner and struck him. The point of impact on the vehicle was the front hood of the passenger side, and the force of the impact caused our client to be thrown up onto the hood and tossed to the side of the road.
The police came to the scene of the accident and made a report after interviewing our client's parents and witnesses to the accident. The boy was transferred to a local hospital and diagnosed with a fracture of the orbital bone with concussion with loss of consciousness, a laceration and abrasion to his right forehead and orbital area, as well as his chin and other locations of his body. Given the seriousness of his condition and the potential for life-threatening deterioration, the child was eventually life-flighted to the children's hospital by helicopter.
At the local children's hospital, our client was evaluated by neurosurgery as well as ophthalmology for his ocular injury and laceration. He was referred to neuropsychology for consultation to assess any loss in cognitive functions and to provide education support to the family. Fortunately, the child appeared to avoid any permanent injury except for facial scars from the lacerations and road rash on his forehead, eyebrows, and chin.
Policy Limits from Liable Party Triggered an Underinsured Motorist Claim
Our law firm presented a settlement demand to the insurance company for the driver of the vehicle that struck our client. This insurance company tendered its policy limits. Our clients were not aware that their own automobile policy would provide additional coverage pursuant to the underinsurance provision of their policy.
After evaluating the policy limits and the amount of bills incurred as well as our client's injuries and other damages, it was clear that this claim merited additional compensation. Additionally, the cost of medical care resulted in a sizeable hospital bill and medical lien that would have taken most of the settlement unless a further recovery was made under the under-insured motorist provision of our client's automobile policy.
As a result, our law firm submitted a settlement demand to our client's own insurance company under the under-insured motorist provision of their policy for additional payment.
Insurance Adjuster Initially Blamed the Child Pedestrian
Our client’s own insurance company initially argued that the 8-year-old boy was at fault for the accident because he was playing with a ball that had rolled into the roadway. Unfortunately, in car accident cases involving pedestrians, insurance adjusters commonly will try to blame the pedestrian to avoid liability and reduce the amount of the claim.
As part of the negotiation process, we provided legal support to rebut this claim. Specifically, Missouri Revised Statute 300.410 provides that all drivers of vehicles shall "exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway."
Medical Liens Were Reduced for a Maximum Recovery
As a result of our efforts, we were able to obtain significant additional settlement from the under-insured provision of our client's automobile policy. Further, we were able to negotiate the ERISA lien that had attached to our client's claim due to the large medical bills for his care and treatment. This resulted in a maximum recovery for the child.
Since this was a minor settlement, we were required to have it approved by a court and to structure the payments to the child after he turned 18 years of age. The structured settlement will result in significant payments to the minor after he turns 18. In the end, this was a very good result for our client and his family.
Child Pedestrian Injury Cases Benefit from Experienced Legal Counsel
This case underscores the many ways an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes that will wreck your case and obtain a maximum recovery. Accident or injury claims involving children, multiple insurance policies, serious injuries or medical liens almost always benefit an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, our legal team is ready to answer your questions and to offer guidance and support. Call our personal injury law firm in Kansas City at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation.