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Grocery Store Landscaping Created a Risk of Harm

landscape-rocks-liabilityOur client was leaving a grocery store when she tripped on several small landscaping rocks that ended up on the sidewalk.  The rocks were flat and blended in so that she did not see them.  The fall resulted in our client’s elbow being broken.

The grocery store’s insurance company denied liability. The denial was based on the argument that the store was unaware of the condition and had no time to fix the problem.  Our client hired Dwyer Williams Cherkoss attorney, Arne Cherkoss to help her with her claim.

During several conversations with the insurance company, Mr. Cherkoss was able to convince them that they were responsible since it was foreseeable that rocks would get end up on the sidewalk, creating a risk of harm.

The store paid for all of our client’s accident related medical expenses and compensated her for her pain and suffering.

Photo Credit: Ian Broyles cc

Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Accident Investigation Results in Settlement

accident attorneysA Dwyer Williams Cherkoss client was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a friend. Another motorist, traveling from the opposite direction, veered into their lane of travel, causing a head on collision.  Our client was seriously injured and was transported to a local hospital.

The other motorists initially claimed that the accident was the fault of our client’s driver.  Another issue was that the car our client was in was uninsured.

After conducting our investigation of the events, we learned that the other motorist had veered into our client’s lane of travel and caused the accident.  Furthermore, we were able to contact the clients treating physicians and had them agree to hold his account open until the accident case was settled.

After our client completed his medical treatment, Arne Cherkoss sent a demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and began negotiating a settlement.  After several rounds of negotiations, the case settled for an amount that covered all of our client’s accident related medical treatment and compensation for his pain and suffering.

Premises Liability Settlement Increased to Cover Pain and Suffering

Our Medford, Oregon, client was shopping at a grocery retailer when this accident occurred.  She slipped and fell while walking down an aisle. Once she had collected herself after the fall, she noticed that the floor was sopping wet. Although a wet floor warning sign had been erected at the end of the aisle where she fell, it was almost fifty feet away and did not adequately warn her of the danger.  It seemed that the store had been aware of the spill, but had only done the bare minimum to clean it up and warn shoppers of the hazard.

Oregon Slip and Fall Injury AttorneysThe claims adjuster made our client a settlement offer that covered her medical bills, but which did not include any pain and suffering compensation.  She called Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC knowing that our experienced Oregon premises liability attorneys (premises liability is the official legal term for “slip, trip, and fall” cases) could help get her the settlement that she deserved.

We evaluated our client’s claim and contacted the insurer.  Several rounds of negotiation later, the case settled for an amount including all of our client’s accident-related medical expenses as well as three times the pain and suffering amount that she had been offered prior to hiring Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC.

Fair Settlement for Workplace Slip and Fall Accident Victim

Our client in this Oregon slip and fall case was injured while on the job.  He was employed at a store where he stocked shelves and put recent deliveries in the stock room.  On the day of his accident, our client had started work on time and his initial job was to move cartons of bottled liquids from the delivery area to the stock room.  As he lifted a carton and started walking, the soggy bottom of the carton gave way, causing half gallon bottles to fall to the floor, break, and spill their contents all over.  The liquid and glass on the floor caused our client to slip and fall.

Oregon Slip, Trip and Fall AttorneysAs our client fell, he instinctively extended his arm to break his impact with the floor.  When the inevitable moment of impact arrived, his hand landed on a large piece of glass that severed a tendon in one of his fingers.  Our client picked himself up from this fall and went directly to the emergency room, where he underwent surgery to repair the tendon.  The emergency physicians treating him recommended rehabilitation consisting of physical therapy to regain movement in his finger.

Upon investigation it was immediately clear that the cartons had become wet from a leak in the semi truck that transported them.  Our client had not been advised that the cartons were wet when they were dropped off and left in his care.  The freight company initially denied liability, claiming that it was normal for trailers to leak in Oregon during cold winter months.  It also claimed that store employees were aware that cartons often arrived wet.

Our client hired the experienced and caring premises liability attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss to help him in this messy workplace slip and fall case. We demonstrated to the freight company that it is not “normal” for the inside of trailers to be wet during Oregon winters.  We showed that the driver never notified any store employees that the cartons were wet at the time of delivery.  This information was not written on the delivery invoice and had not been communicated orally when the driver stacked the cartons after taking them out of his truck.

With this information, the freight company conceded liability for the injuries sustained by our client.  In spite of the hurdles in this case, we were able to obtain a fair settlement that included paying our client’s medical providers and compensating him for his pain and suffering.

Rear-End Collisions Can Exacerbate Pre-existing Conditions

Our law firm was recently contacted by a passenger who was sitting in an idling car at a red traffic light when her vehicle was abruptly hit from behind by another motorist.  The two drivers emerged from this accident unscathed, but our client sustained physical injuries and the accident exacerbated her preexisting medical conditions.  Our client had multiple health issues at the time of this collision and each was affected. Unfortunately, when our client approached the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to have her accident-related medical expenses reimbursed, she was refused.  It was upon learning this that she contacted our law firm; she knew that she needed the help of competent and experienced Oregon auto accident injury lawyers.

The at-fault driver’s insurance provider gave a two-pronged explanation of why it would not pay for our client’s post-accident care.  First, it argued that the collision could not be the direct cause of our client’s injuries because damage to the vehicles involved was inexpensive and relatively minor.  According to this provider, if the cars were not badly injured in this accident then our client could not have been either.  The provider’s second argument was that our client’s injuries were preexisting conditions that fell outside of the insurance provider’s coverage.

Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC has years of experience with car accident injury claims in the state of Oregon.  When contacted by this new client, we identified the weaknesses in the insurance company’s position.  The extent of damage to vehicles involved in a collision has no direct or measurable correlation to the extent of the damage sustained by human beings within the vehicles that collide.  Our client had an increased risk of getting hurt in any collision, regardless of the magnitude of impact or the extent of damage to cars, because of her preexisting health issues.  However, even though our client did indeed have preexisting health issues, it would be wrong to confuse her post-accident injuries with her preexisting issues.  Our client was injured in this accident above and beyond her preexisting pain.  The injuries she sustained in this rear-end collision were legitimate and serious.

Our client’s medical records and history made it amply clear that the auto accident aggravated her preexisting conditions and increased the pain and suffering that she experienced.  We presented these medical records to the insurance provider as well testimonies from our client’s doctors.  These medical experts confirmed that the accident should be considered the direct cause of our client’s post-collision pain and that it had negatively impacted her preexisting conditions.  Armed with this evidence in support of our case, and after several rounds of negotiation, we were able to get a favorable and fair settlement offer for our client.  Her injuries were not simply preexisting conditions and they were caused by the reckless driver who hit the vehicle in which our client was riding.

Medical Expenses Reduced for Injured Motorcyclist

Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC was recently contacted by a man who was seriously injured while riding his motorcycle.  This man was lawfully riding through a quiet neighborhood when he was abruptly struck by a motorist who backed out of a driveway without inspecting oncoming traffic. He was knocked clear off of his motorcycle and he ended up in the hospital because of the injuries he sustained.

Motorcycle accidents have the potential to be especially destructive.  Motorcyclists wear very little protective gear and move at such high speeds that serious injury and death are virtually guaranteed when motorcycles collide with other moving vehicles. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Oregon traffic crashes that involve motorcycles.  According to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Traffic Crash data, of a total 49,000 motor vehicle crashes in the State of Oregon in 2011, one in fifty involved motorcycles.  This number represents a year-on-year increase of 17% from 2010.  As in this case, driver inattention was one of the ten most common errors that resulted in accidents.

The injured motorcyclist in this case called our law firm after learning that the inattentive at-fault driver’s insurance policy was not large enough to cover all of his accident-related medical expenses, which totaled close to $200,000.   Furthermore, an asset search of the at-fault driver revealed that he had virtually no collectible assets.  As a result, the injured rider owed far more than the amount he could potentially recover from the insurance provider and he needed an expert motorcycle injury attorney to advise and advocate on his behalf.

Once Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC had been retained as this motorcyclist’s counsel, we immediately sent detailed letters to all of our client’s treatment providers as well as to his insurance carriers, requesting a substantial reduction of his medical bills.  Both the health and insurance providers had issued liens in this matter, but they would not have been able to collect on those liens.  Using the potential settlement as leverage, we were eventually able to convince most of the providers to agree to our proposed reductions and these providers were promptly paid.  Neither our client nor the at-fault driver were bankrupted by this accident and all parties involved were satisfied with the outcome.

Insurance Provider Settles Pedestrian Collision Claim

Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC recently settled a lawsuit brought against the insurance provider of a driver who backed into a pedestrian in a grocery store parking lot.  This incident occurred several months ago.  At that time, a female customer was returning her shopping cart to the grocery store’s cart return area after shopping when she noticed a van quickly reversing in her direction.  She waved at the driver, indicating her presence and encouraging the van driver to slow down.  Unfortunately, the driver continued to reverse on his trajectory aimed directly at her instead of slowing down or stopping his vehicle.  In the final moments before the van struck her, this pedestrian instinctively extended the arm she had waved at the driver.  When the van collided with her arm, it jammed her arm into her shoulder and severely injured it.

The injured pedestrian contacted our law firm after learning that the at-fault van driver’s insurance provider was refusing to cover the costs that she incurred treating her injuries.  The insurer argued that this pedestrian could not have sustained any significant injury because the van was moving slowly when it hit her, thus the force of impact was minimal and incapable of causing her serious harm.  Dwyer Williams Cherkoss LLC has vast experience in personal injury law involving automobiles and specific expertise in pedestrian collision injuries.  We were happy to take this client’s case when she approached us and to negotiate with the recalcitrant insurance provider on her behalf.

Our client was not to blame for this collision.  She had done everything in her power to stop the van as it barreled toward her in the store parking lot.  She waved at the van and then, upon realizing that the vehicle was not slowing down to avoid hitting her, she raised an arm to help cushion herself from the vehicle’s blow.  She reacted to the situation efficiently, following her human instinct.  Our client is also not to blame for the injuries that she sustained in this collision.  Our client’s shoulder was severely injured when the van hit her.  The force of the crash tore her rotator cuff and invasive surgery was required to repair this damage.

When we informed the adverse insurance provider of the severity of our client’s injuries and provided them with medical records and physician testimony that confirmed that the injury was proximately caused by the collision, the insurance provider provided a new argument in defense of its refusal to pay our client.  The insurer conceded that our client had been injured in the accident and that the van driver was at fault for the collision, but it claimed that our client was partially at fault for her injuries because she had walked behind the van as it began reversing.  This second claim was as refutable and reprehensible as the first: our client didn’t intend to be hit by a car or to have her rotator cuff torn while walking back to her vehicle after depositing her shopping cart.  Our client was struck unexpectedly and at such an angle that her protective instinct to raise her arm to keep the van away resulted in severe and unforeseeable injury.

After several rounds of negotiation with the insurance provider, we were able to secure a generous settlement for our client.  She was a random pedestrian struck by a driver who failed to take in the environment around him and thus failed to drive responsibly.  The burden of responsibility for this accident and for the injuries resulting from it fell squarely on the van driver’s shoulders.  Our client was ultimately awarded medical expense reimbursement, lost wages, and a lump sum for her pain and suffering.  She was happy to have selected experienced personal injury lawyers to represent her and defend her interests in this unfortunate pedestrian collision claim.

Preexisting Conditions at Issue in Rear-End Collision

A driver in Eugene, Oregon, was recently the victim of a rear-end collision in which her vehicle sustained minor damage and she suffered a serious lower back injury. This driver contacted Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC to represent her when her insurance company refused to pay her post-collision medical bills, claiming that her injuries were in fact preexisting health conditions. At the time of this accident, the injured driver had already been in treatment for three years for an existing lower back injury. She realized that she needed an expert in car injury law who could help her prove that her injuries were more than mere preexisting conditions. We took her case immediately.

The details of this collision are straight-forward. Our client was sitting in the left-hand lane of a two-way street, waiting to turn as soon as there was a break in oncoming traffic, when she was struck from behind by another driver. She was able to drive away from the accident and physical damage to her vehicle was minimal. The complicating factor that required the attention of an expert car accident injury lawyer was that at the time of the accident our client was already being treated for an injury in the same area of her back that was hurt in the collision.

Even though the property damage that our client sustained was minor and even though she already had lower back pain at the time of this collision, the amount and the nature of the pain and suffering that she experienced after the accident was different than what she experienced before being rear-ended. Medical examinations proved that a difference existed between our client’s preexisting lower-back condition and her post-accident back injuries. Despite this irrefutable proof that our client’s injuries were the result of the collision, her insurance provider did not want to pay her medical bills.

Once our client completed treatment for her injuries, which included doctor visits and extensive physical therapy, we obtained all relevant medical records. We then provided this documentation to the adverse insurance carrier, which ultimately accepted that our client’s need for treatment was related to the negligence of their insured and not to any prior accidents or on-the-job injuries. It took determined negotiation for Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC, but we were eventually able to secure a fair settlement for our client that included reimbursing her medical providers and compensating her directly for the pain and suffering that she had endured in this painful rear-end collision.

Negligence Found in Dog Attack Injury Claim

Several months ago, Dwyer Williams Cherkoss PC was contacted by the mother of a young girl who was attacked and bitten by her neighbor’s dog. The girl’s mother sought an attorney well-versed in dog bite liability to represent her injured daughter and to seek damages against the dog’s owner. After hearing the details of the attack, we immediately took the case: our client is a young girl who was suddenly attacked by an unleashed dog roaming in her quiet Eastern Oregon neighborhood. The dog approached our client and bit her while she was riding her bicycle near her home.

Dog bite injuries have the potential to be very serious, especially because the majority of dog bite victims are young children like our client. Dogs attack children instead of adults because children are less commanding and less threatening than adults: dogs treat children like playmates or prey, not masters. Children also move quickly and erratically, which can trigger dogs to herd and attack them according to their natural canine instincts.

This case was a reminder that dog bite injuries have the potential to maim, disfigure, traumatize, and even kill the most vulnerable members of our society with little if any provocation on the victims’ part. In this case, our client did absolutely nothing to encourage the wayward dog’s attention or aggression. She was the quintessential victim, who suffered physical as well as emotional trauma as the result of her neighbor’s failure to contain a potentially aggressive pet.

Interestingly, in this case the dog’s owner assumed responsibility for the accident right away yet she adamantly refused to turn the matter over to her insurance company. As our client’s expert dog bite attorneys we obtained copies of all documents related to the injuries sustained by our client and disseminated them to all interested parties. These documents included the girl’s medical records, the bills that her family incurred during her treatment, and the report our client filed with Animal Control.

The case settled for a generous sum after determined communication with the dog owner. We urged that she turn over the claim to her insurer several times, both in writing and on the telephone, to no avail until we threatened a personal lawsuit. The matter was then quickly resolved by the insurance company. Our client received a favorable settlement that covered her medical bills and compensated her for the pain and suffering that she endured as the victim of a dog owner’s negligence.

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