Motorcycle Accident Cases Vsam1040 Chicago Llc

ND:

Hello, Mike, how are you doing today?

Mike:

I'm doing well, ND. How are you?

ND:

I'm all right, thank you. Are you ready for the new year?

Mike:

I am. Last show of the year, right?

ND:

Yes. This is the last show. Yes, please welcome to The Law Firm Show. We have a lot to talk today. Last time we mentioned something about getting some experience in the process from Agruss Law Firm and we received quite a bit of email and phone calls. Okay. They do appreciate your business, your services. Actually, basically, they're very satisfied with what the Agruss Law Firm has done for them. That's something I would share with you and congratulations.

Mike:

Thank you. I appreciate that.

ND:

You're welcome. And today's, we're almost stepping forward to the new year, right? 2022.

Mike:

2022. Yeah.

ND:

We understand. Okay. Everybody leaves and is giving up your very precious time to come over and expand. Also you're sharing some experience.

A lot of people get concerned when they get into a car accident, a lot of things they don't want understand. They don't know what they're supposed to and have to do. But the truth is this program they understand very clear and also it is really helping a lot of people. They're not concerned about a law, but now they understand the law. So, more people are interested in and they want to learn more and hear it from you. Especially the Agruss Law Firm is a law firm with a good reputation so that's just something very, very interesting for everybody in our community.

Today, we are going to be talking about some tort cases, somebody wants to discuss where the client is and where the motorcycle accident, this can occur anywhere, right? So as you mentioned, in July 2016 a husband and wife, father riding a motorcycle and they got in to an accident on the road. Two lane. That's a very narrow lane and what happened? So what happened in this case? What in your expertise, can you explain in this particular case?

Mike:

Sure. So thanks for having me back on the show. And as much as we talk about question and answers that pop up in car accident cases, personal injury cases, I also think it's important for the viewers to hear about real world examples, right? Where things happen and that someone could relate to.

So this particular motorcycle accident case happened in 2016 in the summer. It's a real unfortunate case where a husband and wife were out riding a bike. They were on a bike together and the husband's father was on another motorcycle behind them. It's a two-lane road out on a rural road down in central Illinois.

And anyway, as they're riding their motorcycle on the road, a tow truck is coming in the opposite direction, over the hill and ends up veering into their lane and they had nowhere to go. They all had to essentially lay down their motorcycles on the road to avoid getting hit.

ND:

Wow. Okay. Yes. [foreign language translation 3:50]

Yes, this is a very serious accident and what insurance company will get involved?

Mike:

Sure. So the husband and wife ended up suffering broken bones, they had road rash and the husband's father who was also out on a motorcycle with them, a motorist claim, right? So no one knows where the tow truck company is. No one knows what insurance the tow truck company has. So then you turn to the insurance policies on the motorcycle and you're looking at uninsured motorist coverage on the motorcycles.

ND:

Let me understand. Clearly the tow truck hit the motorcycle and they just left the scene. They just basically ran away.

Mike:

So what's interesting and unusual about this case is the tow truck didn't actually hit the motorcycles. The tow truck was coming over a hill. And we later found out that he was on a cell phone, looking at his phone and his truck veered off into their lane. So it looked like there was going to be a head-on collision. So the people riding the motorcycles had nowhere to go, so they laid their bikes down. And at the last minute, the tow truck driver slams on his brakes, swerves back over into his lane to make sure he doesn't hit the people, but then he looks to see what happened. And rather than staying and calling for help, the tow truck driver leaves the scene of the accident.

ND:

Wow.

Mike:

I mean, it's terrible. So you're dealing with an uninsured motorist claim because they can't find the driver. A helicopter came in because the father had life threatening. He hit his head on a guardrail. I mean, it's just terrible. So the dad passes away, the husband and wife have road rash, broken bones and look, accidents happen. The fact that this tow truck driver fled the scene is awful. So if you can't find him, you can't find the insurance.

ND:

Okay. Okay. All right. [foreign language translation 6:43] Yes, please continue. I want to know more about the insurance. So how you deal with the insurance now?

Mike:

Right. So the tow truck company left the scene of the accident. So we didn't know about his insurance, but both motorcycles had insurance, so we submitted claims to both of those insurance companies for uninsured motorist claims.

We were also able to use our clients' insurance medical payment that they had on the policy on the motorcycles. And then all of our clients fortunately had health insurance and they had decent health insurance. In the beginning, we were able to use our own clients' insurance to cover, I mean, just a fraction of their damages, but at least it was something.

ND:

Yeah. [foreign language translation 9:00] So what were your clients' injuries and who paid up for the medical bills?

Mike:

Sure. So like I mentioned, the father passed away. He hit his head at the scene of the accident. He died shortly after. The husband and wife, they had broken bones, road rash from being on a motorcycle. For such an unfortunate turn of events and what happened, if there's any sort of good news to look at in this case, what the clients did, the woman who we represented, who survived the accident, she hired my law firm. Within 24 hours she reached out to us. And so what's important about this is because we were hired so quickly, we could notify the police. We could notify the investigators, the Illinois State Police, the local police and we could do what was called a Freedom of Information Act request, where we basically let the officers know that we represent this family and any information that they find out from the accident, to please give to us so we can try to figure out who was driving the tow truck.

And as it turns out, the investigation that was done by the Illinois State Police, they did a phenomenal job. They actually found the tow truck driver.

ND:

Oh, okay. That's good news.

Mike:

And so they did a great job investigating it. And then because the family hired us so quickly, we were able to assist in the investigation and they actually found the tow truck driver. So, in the end, we were able to go after the tow truck driver's insurance company. Which was a commercial policy. There was a lot of coverage.

So this is a situation where it's a really unfortunate set of facts and what happened, but because the family hired us so quickly, we were able to investigate, assist in the investigation and they actually found the guy.

ND:

Okay. Alright.

Mike:

Which is wild.

ND:

Yeah. That's good news, yeah. That's amazing. [foreign language translation 00:11:47] Yes. I just try to translate very detailed about the accident and that could happen anywhere anytime, because that's in the rural area, right? Nobody there. Nobody around and there's no witness.

Mike:

Right. And that's exactly what the tow truck driver thought was. We never spoke with him. He ended up serving three or four years in prison. And I know we're going to get to this question next about what the viewers can learn, but this is there's certain things that if people take away one or two points from a show, something that's really important here is the fact of if you're involved in an accident, whether it's minor, major, whatever it is, do not leave the scene of an accident. So in Illinois, if you're involved in a car accident, and this is obviously, someone died, this is horrific. But if you're involved in an accident and someone's injured and you leave, even if the injuries aren't significant, it's a felony.

ND:

Okay. Oh, wow.

Mike:

Yeah, you can go to jail.

ND:

Okay.

Mike:

So this tow truck driver served about three or four years in jail.

ND:

Okay.

Mike:

But what we were able to do here with the assistance of the police who did the investigation is we were able to figure out who the tow truck company was. We immediately filed a lawsuit. There was a million dollar commercial policy. They did not have umbrella or any type of excess coverage, but we were hired right away. We immediately filed suit once we figured out who the tow truck company was. And we were able to settle the case. From the date of the accident until we settled, the case was six months.

ND:

Okay.

Mike:

Which is fast.

ND:

Yes.

Mike:

Especially considering there was an investigation and then we filed the lawsuit. We went through discovery where we exchanged documents and information. And then once the insurance company for the tow truck, once they realized that's the guy, they turned over the policy right away.

And, what's real interesting about this case and also another reason why it's so important to hire attorneys right away, we were able to figure out that about a week or two before this accident, the tow truck company installed GPS tracking on all of their trucks.

ND:

Oh, okay. I see.

Mike:

And so we were able to get the GPS information from the tow truck. We were able to send that out for an evaluation. And they were actually able to determine that that tow truck was on that road at the time. And was going 60 miles an hour and then came to a near complete stop for a few seconds and drove off.

In other words, what are the chances of that happening?

ND:

Right.

Mike:

And I'm giving you, although this is a real world example, it's obviously an extreme example, but it just goes to show how important it is to hire a lawyer to start that investigation right away. Don't feel like you have to go at it alone. Don't worry about any of that.

And once again, this is all on a contingency fee. Our clients don't pay us until the end when we get a percentage of the settlement. And so even if it turns out the other party doesn't have insurance or whatever the case is, our clients never have to pay us out of pocket.

ND:

Yeah. Okay.

Mike:

So there's really no risk to hire us right away. And there's all the benefits of allowing us to do our investigation.

ND:

Yes. That's definitely, for sure. That's a big help. Okay. That's a real, real big help from your law firm.

Mike:

Right. Right. Because some people in this case might think, okay, the tow truck left, what are we going to do?

ND:

Right.

Mike:

How are we going to recover?

ND:

Right.

Mike:

And they hired us and it turned out that we were able, they turned over the full million dollar policy and although nothing will bring this guy, the dad, back, which is terrible. At least they were able to get something, get some conversation.

ND:

Right. Yes. Okay. [foreign language translation 00:17:48] Yes. That's a very good general experience. And your Agruss Law Firm handled this very, very well.

I've got a question about what can our viewers learn from this case?

Mike:

Sure. So I'd say the two most important takeaways from this case are hire an attorney right away. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain. It's very simple. Hire an attorney.

Once again, our firm handles these cases on a contingency fee. We don't get paid unless there's a settlement.

And then the next thing too is if you're involved in an accident, even if it's your fault, stay at the scene, call the police. It's much better to stay at the scene, call the police, fill out a police report, even if it's your fault, even if you don't have insurance. Even if you think you're going to get in all this trouble, because the moment you leave a scene of an accident, if someone's injured, you're facing a felony in Illinois, which is serious.

Literally, if this tow truck driver stayed at the scene, he would've never gone to jail.

ND:

Right, right. Yes.

Mike:

Because accidents happen. But he left the scene and then what makes it worse is not only was someone injured, someone died. So he had two felony counts against him.

ND:

Two?

Mike:

Two.

ND:

Two points.

Mike:

It was a felony for leaving a scene of an accident where someone was injured. And then it was a separate felony for leaving the scene when someone died in that accident.

So if you're not at fault for an accident and you're injured, call a lawyer right away. Even if you're at fault, even if you don't have insurance, please stay at the scene, call the police and report it.

ND:

Yeah. [foreign language translation 00:23:05] We'll take a short break and we will be back shortly. Thank you.

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ND:

[foreign language 00:29:11] Yes, thank you for staying tuned. And now I have another question regarding about medical views and the insurance. Can you explain a little bit more in this case, what were the clients' injuries and who paid for the medical bill? Because I know the husband died, right?

Mike:

Right.

ND:

And then, the wife got injured.

Mike:

Right. So the husband and wife and the father, they all had private health insurance. I believe it was Blue Cross Blue Shield. So they had private health insurance to cover some of the medical bills. And then they also had medical payment coverage on their motorcycle policies. And most people who have medical payment coverage on their auto insurance, they have $5,000 worth of coverage. So what ended up happening is we submitted some of the bills to the medical payment coverage on their motorcycles. We submitted the rest of the bills to Blue Cross Blue Shield, their health insurance. And then when we settled the case with the tow truck company's insurance, we had to reimburse some of the medical bills that were paid out. It's called the file was liened. And basically if medical bills are paid out by one party and you get a settlement from the other party, you have to reimburse that party a little bit.

ND:

Oh, okay.

Mike:

The company that paid out. But when we handle personal injury cases, we always handle the medical liens and we settle it for our clients. That's part of our services.

ND:

Oh, that's very good. Right?

Mike:

Yeah.

ND:

Yeah. That's clear enough.

Mike:

Yeah. I mean it just goes to show once again about hiring an attorney where sometimes people think, oh, I'll just do this on my own. It'll be fine. There's a lot of moving parts. And one thing you want to make sure when you settle a personal injury case is that all of the lien holders are paid because if you don't pay them, then they're going to come after you.

ND:

Yes. Okay. I see. Yeah. That's a very important point. Okay. [foreign language translation 00:31:44]

Yes. This case, I believe, it's a very important case. Very interesting too, because a lot of people they're afraid or, well, I don't know who's driving the tow truck, and the insurance and if they pay too much for the healthcare, even though they've got Blue Cross blue Shield. And what if the big bill they have to pay a half a million, so where can they find the money, right? And that you say they can lien to you later on. Right?

Mike:

Right.

ND:

Yeah. Because usually people, they go to the hospital, they don't ask you to pay right away.

Mike:

Right.

ND:

But they send you the bill later, right?

Mike:

Right. They'll send it to our office and we manage those bills. We make sure that when the case settles at the end that we take care of those bills. And we also let all of the providers know that we represent the client, there's a personal injury case pending and to just direct communications to our office. And then that way our clients can focus on healing and getting better as opposed to worrying about bills and debt collectors and all of that.

ND:

[foreign language translation 00:35:54] Another issue, based on your experience, what happened in a four case, right? This one of the four case because your clients were in a truck accident.

Mike:

Yeah. So this is the second case that I wanted to talk about today, which also has a very unusual set of facts. But the end result is really important based on the settlement we were able to get for our client. And I think that this is also important for viewers to learn about and listen and understand.

So sort of a straightforward case in the sense that it was a three-car accident. We represented a truck driver who was in the first car and then, or a truck driver who was in a truck. There was a sedan behind him and then a truck behind the sedan. It was a rear end accident, pretty low speed where the truck behind the sedan hit the sedan and the sedan was essentially smooshed or pushed in front of the truck ahead.

So not a significant impact to our client's truck. However, when he got out of the truck to see what happened, he was sore. He was shaken up. When he got out of the truck to see what happened, he realized and he saw that the person in the sedan in the two trucks that was smooshed, died at the scene of the accident.

ND:

Ooh.

Mike:

Which is awful.

ND:

Terrible. Yeah. Horrible.

Mike:

Yeah.

ND:

[foreign language translation 00:38:32] Yes, please go on.

Mike:

So the next issue that I wanted to talk about, which is always important, is the insurance companies involved, right?

ND:

Yes.

Mike:

So we represented truck number one, and then there's the sedan and then truck number three, who caused the accident. So you have the at-fault driver's insurance company, the third truck. Their insurance and then our client also had his own insurance on his own truck.

What's also interesting about this situation and something we haven't talked about too often on the show is the issue of workers' compensation, right?

ND:

Okay.

Mike:

So workers' compensation is insurance coverage to protect people who are injured while working. So one of the things that we investigated for our client was whether or not he was an employee of a trucking company and would qualify for workers' compensation. I'd say, to give you an example, if you are an employee of FedEx and you're driving a FedEx truck, there's going to be workers' compensation insurance coverage through FedEx. You're driving the truck.

As it turns out for our client, he was an independent contractor. He was not an employee working for a company like FedEx. So he was driving his own truck, his own tractor. He was an independent contractor. So there was no worker's comp coverage.

So anyway, we're dealing with our client's insurance and the at-fault truck driver's insurance company in this case.

ND:

Okay. [foreign language translation 00:41:22] Yes. This is a very complicated situation, right?

Mike:

It is. Yeah. It's very complicated. And, I think what makes it more complicated, which is the next issue that I wanted to address are the fact that our client's physical injuries weren't terrible. There was a low speed impact. He had a sore neck, a sore back and he got pretty conservative treatment. However, he was having emotional distress and that's something that is difficult and it's difficult to prove. And I don't think insurance companies are super sympathetic to that situation.

So, he went to his doctor, he went to get physical therapy, but after about two months, his neck and back were fine. The problem is he was having nightmares. He was having anxiety attacks. And he couldn't drive his truck again because he kept having flashbacks. And the insurance company didn't appreciate his emotional distress and his emotional injuries. They were just focusing on, "Oh, you went to your doctor. You got physical therapy a couple of months."

And then what makes this matter even more difficult or more complicated is the fact that our client was a veteran at the time. So he was getting VA benefits, meaning the VA was paying for his medical bills. So his medical bills were only a couple thousand dollars. And so the insurance company was thinking, "Okay, it's nothing."

ND:

It's nothing.

Mike:

Exactly. They're this is a low impact accident. You add some treatment for a couple of months, your bills are a couple thousand dollars. So they offered him $7,500 before he hired us. And we can get to that in a second after you do the translation for the viewers, but this offer is, he thought to himself, well, I don't know. If I just had the neck and back issues, maybe. But he's having so much emotional distress and nightmares and can't drive a truck and he thought maybe I should hire a lawyer.

ND:

Okay.

Mike:

Which he did, which was good.

ND:

Okay. Yes. [foreign language translation 00:45:48] This is very interesting, because Agruss Law Firm knows what VA insurance is and personal insurance and then you know what to ask and you know what to do. That's interesting.

Mike:

Right. Right. So he got a low ball offer from the insurance company. He felt like he wasn't being treated fairly. And he was also, although his physical injuries, he bounced back within a couple of months, the emotional distress he was going through, he was not being taken seriously. He hires my firm and said, "Look, this is what they offered me." I mean, he showed me the release from the other truck company and he said, "Can you help me?"

So he was having difficulties finding a counselor or a therapist at the VA's office, because the VA is maybe they were sort of brushing him off a little bit because outwardly visibly his injuries weren't that significant. So he was having a hard time seeing a psychologist, a hard time seeing a therapist. Anyway, we were able to refer him to someone locally who was able to help him, who gave him medication for the anxiety, gave him medication to help him sleep at night and also to do some talk therapy. I mean, this poor guy was involved in a minor rear end accident where someone died. It's awful. He came to us, we were able to help him out. And after a couple of months, we were able to get him sort of back on track where he felt better and was headed in the right direction with therapy and medication. And we were actually able to get the at-fault driver's truck company to pay 10 times more to settle the case.

ND:

Wow.

Mike:

So they ended up settling the case for $75,000. When this guy came to us, he was offered $7,500.

ND:

Yeah. That's a big difference.

Mike:

Right. And I'm not, I mean, look, this doesn't happen all the time, but it's a perfect example of insurance companies low balling clients, people trying to handle things on their own. And then also people not being able to get the proper treatment they need.

ND:

Right.

Mike:

This client of ours, I liked him. He was a nice guy. He was just in a terrible situation. And we were able to help him get the right treatment he needed, get better. And literally got him 10 times the amount of money that he was offered when he came to us.

And so, an important takeaway from this case that I think the viewers would want to know is research has shown when you hire a personal injury attorney, that lawyer will typically get you three times greater of a settlement than if you handle it on your own. So if you tried handling your case on your own, you might get $5,000 for the settlement. But if you hire us, statistics show that we would get you at least three times that or $15,000. So it always makes sense to hire an attorney.

ND:

Okay. Yeah. Okay. That's very good for the statistic.

Mike:

Yeah. And this client was really happy. And like I said, it's 10 times greater of a settlement. Within a matter of a couple of months. They just weren't taking him seriously. And they also really didn't care about his mental distress, what he was going through emotionally and we were able to help him out. And then we were also able to maximize his recovery.

ND:

Yes. Okay. Thanks. [foreign languge translation 00:51:05] Yes. I just tried to explain what can we do. And without help from the Agruss Law Firm. So that we know exactly what to do and how to do and how to you make sure you get the right composition because most of the insurance want to minimize the payment, right?

Mike:

Right. Yes. And look, we give free consultations. And I tell people all the time, please ask me and we'll have people ask us where they'll say, "Hey, I was involved in an accident. I saw a doctor once. I feel fine." And we'll tell them, "Hey, deal with the insurance company on your own, ask them to pay your medical bills. You don't need to pay us a third. You can handle it on your own." And people appreciate that.

So we tell people, "Hey, we can help you." And then sometimes we'll tell people, say, "Hey, if you handle it on your own, you're going to get more money because you weren't that injured. See if they'll pay for your medical bills, maybe a day of lost wages."

We always give free consultations. And I tell you, it can't hurt to ask.

ND:

Yeah. Right. [foreign language translation 00:54:46] Yes, the time is up right now. I can't believe it. It goes so fast together for one hour. Hopefully, it's okay after the new year and then we have more cases, so you can share more information. And if there's anyone that want any free consultation, they can call you right away.

Mike:

Absolutely. Yeah. Call the number on the screen. Talk to Quinoc. He can refer it over to me and we're happy to answer anyone's questions.

ND:

Sure. Thank you so much for your presence today. And hopefully, we have more programs and more stories so we can share them.

And before we say goodbye, especially we still have a few more days before the new year, right?

Mike:

Yeah.

ND:

Okay. And we just wish you the best luck of the year and then a prosperous for the next coming years.

Mike:

Yeah. Happy, healthy new year. We'll see you next week in 2022.

ND:

Sure. Thank you.

Mike:

Thanks.

ND:

[foreign language 00:56:51] Goodbye. Happy new year.

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