Dwyer Williams Dretke 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 Dretke 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.