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Vehicular Negligence: Auto v. Auto – $725,000 Settlement Following Court-Ordered Settlement Conference

In a Napa Superior Court action, Joseph Nicholson negotiated a settlement of $725,000 for a young woman injured in an auto versus auto collision on a busy section of Trancas Street in Napa. The defendant, an elderly woman driving her daughter’s vehicle, attempted a left turn across oncoming traffic into a Safeway parking lot.  Plaintiff’s airbag deployed while she was honking her horn, shattering both the radial and ulnar shafts of her forearm near the wrist.

Though traffic in the oncoming center (No. 1) lane was backed up to the parking lot entrance from Jefferson Street, the oncoming No. 2 and 3 lanes had a green light and the queue from the stopped turn lanes did not impact their flow. Defendant, seeing the car in the backed-up oncoming No. 1 lane stop to allow access to the parking lot, started making her turn. Proceeding in the No. 2 lane, plaintiff’s view of the defendant’s vehicle was blocked by cars stopped in the No. 1 lane. When defendant’s vehicle came into view crossing in front of her, it was too late for plaintiff to stop and prevent a collision. Plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon, who installed fixation hardware to rebuild the forearm, described hers as one of the worst wrist injuries he had ever seen. The defendant denied liability in her deposition and continued to do so through a court-ordered settlement conference. The case ultimately settled for the limits of the defendant’s $250,000 auto policy and $475,000 from the umbrella policy of the vehicle’s owner.

 

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