Articles Posted in Settlements & Verdicts

101315%282%29.jpgMost accident victims have plenty of questions following a car crash, and many have no idea where to turn to find answers. Some will contact a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix area and of those who do, many will have the same concerns and the same worries. Who is responsible for their damages? How will they pay their bills while they are unable to work? Will they be able to receive all the medical treatment they need?

Among the most common questions that we receive is from victims who want to know how they can maximize the value of their cases. When serious injuries are involved, this can be a significant issue as insurance companies often are unwilling to pay on full value. Victims should know that insurance companies are in the business of making money, which means they must take in more money than they pay out in claims. For this reason, an insurance company will attempt to settle a claim for as little as possible, and in that attempt, often will offer much less than a claim is worth.
Continue reading

5615%282%29.jpgWorking with co-counsel, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a case on behalf of the family of a swimming pool victim for policy limits of $500,000.

The case stemmed from an incident last year in Scottsdale with a rental property pool located in the backyard of a home. That swimming pool was not surrounded by a fence or protected by barrier alarms as required by local ordinances in the area. Because of these code violations, a young child suffered from a swimming pool accident.
Continue reading

photo%204.jpgResidents of Phoenix and the rest of the Valley are known for loving pets, including dogs, leading to a large number of canines in the area. Most of these dogs are contained and properly cared for by their owners, leading to a positive relationship and causing no harm to others.

Unfortunately, though, some owners fail to maintain control of their dogs, leading to a potentially dangerous situation where a dog bite or dog attack can occur. Often, these incidents result in injuries to human victims involved, requiring medical care and treatment that may still lead to permanent damage.

The dog bite lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a claim on behalf of one of their clients, a victim who was bitten by a dog that was running loose. Our client was in a backyard of a friend when a neighbor’s dog entered the area and attacked, leaving our client with a broken wrist and an infection from the bite. Eventually, our client required surgery to drain the infection that occurred in her wrist, requiring additional medical treatment and incurring additional expenses. Though her broken bone healed, our client was left with a permanent scar from the attack by the dog that will likely remain for the rest of her life.

The injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. brought a claim on behalf of our client and against the owner of the attacking dog to provide our client with the financial compensation she deserved. Our legal team engaged in an investigation to determine the legally relevant facts in this case before moving forward to obtain the relief our client deserved. Through their efforts, our attorneys were able to recover a settlement of $112,000 on behalf of the client to enable her to move forward with her life.

The laws in Arizona are clear when it comes to a dog bite or dog attack case: an owner is responsible for his or her dog and the damages caused by that dog and may be held financially liable in addition to any ordinance violations the owner may commit.
Continue reading

image%20%286%29.jpeg The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a motorcycle accident case for $67,000. The case stems from a motorcycle versus car crash that occurred in Phoenix in December. Our client was riding a motorcycle when a car driving in the opposite direction turned left in front of our client, causing a crash.

The impact was significant and sent our client flying over his handlebars, over the car, and caused him to land on the pavement. When the police arrived at the scene, they determined the driver of the car was at fault for the crash and police issued her a citation for failing to yield the right-of-way.

Immediately after the accident, our client was in pain and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital. He underwent tests and was diagnosed with a concussion in addition to multiple abrasions, cuts, and bruises. Our client sought additional treatment at another hospital a few days after the crash and then had follow up treatment with an orthopedic surgeon as well as physical therapy to recover from his sprains and strains.

In this case, the driver who caused the accident had limited insurance available. The attorneys at Abels & Annes sought and recovered the full settlement that was possible of $50,000. In addition, since our client’s claim had a value in excess of that amount, we brought an underinsured claim against the client’s insurance company for additional benefits. From that, we recovered $17,000 for our client as payment for his damages.

While our client recovered, he suffered aches and pains on a regular basis that limited his ability to perform daily tasks, including those required at his job. Now he will be able to move on from the crash after finally receiving compensation for his losses. Our client was lucky that his injuries were not more severe and that he was able to recover. Unfortunately Arizona regularly experiences more than 100 motorcycle-related deaths every year with the majority of these being men. Contrary to popular belief, in many of these fatal accidents, the motorcyclist does nothing wrong but gets killed through the negligence of a driver who drives erratically, fails to yield, or even drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Continue reading

Arizona personal injury attorney Gary Annes has settled a pedestrian accident lawsuit for $600,000. The accident took place in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois back in November, 2008. Liability was contested in the case.

The plaintiff was crossing a four-lane road at an intersection with an unmarked crosswalk. The intersection is near a commuter rail station and train passengers frequently cross the street at the location where the accident occurred.

The victim in our case was walking after dark from the train station to his car that had been left for the day in a nearby parking lot. He crossed safely halfway and then a car stopped to let him cross the rest of the way. As he continued to cross the street, an elderly driver failed to observe the plaintiff and hit him with his vehicle. Our client was only about a step away from the other curb.

The collision knocked him several feet into the air, and he landed by a vehicle that was parked nearby. He was found a short time later by paramedics in a pool of his own blood, and then taken to a nearby emergency room.

Local police rushed to the scene of the accident. Investigating officers were able to speak with the defendant and an independent witness. The elderly driver said to police that he thought someone threw a rock at his car and that he never saw the plaintiff. He drove about a block down, turned around and came back, and only then realized he had hit a pedestrian.

The plaintiff sustained serious injuries in the incident. When he arrived at the emergency room, medical personnel observed a temporary loss of consciousness and that he was having amnesia. He was repetitive and confused. He had also sustained multiple lacerations all over his body. Doctors used staples to close up his right shoulder and his scalp to stop immediate bleeding.

The severity of his injures was soon realized after diagnostic tests were performed. He had sustained multiple facial fractures, including a right-sided orbital blowout fracture. He also had a pelvic fracture, a right ulna fracture and a cerebral hemorrhage.

The plaintiff had several surgeries in the hospital, including an open reduction and internal fixation of his right ulna, an open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture to his pelvis, and surgery to repair his orbital fractures.

Our client remained in the hospital for days before he was finally transferred to a rehab facility where he then stayed for several weeks for rehabilitation and therapy.
Continue reading

Arizona auto accident attorneys at Abels & Annes recently resolved the case for a Peoria resident. Our office pursued both the negligence claim against the at fault driver and an Arizona underinsured motorist claim against the plaintiff’s own auto insurance policy.

The collision took place on October 18, 2010, at approximately 7:17 p.m. The plaintiff was injured when the vehicle he was driving was rear-ended by another vehicle.

Our client was driving westbound on Peoria Avenue in Peoria, Arizona. The defendant was also driving her vehicle westbound on Peoria Avenue, directly behind the plaintiff. The client stopped for a red light at the intersection of Peoria Avenue and 91st Avenue in Peoria, Arizona. There were several vehicles stopped in front of him at the intersection. The defendant then failed to stop and/or reduce the speed of her vehicle she was driving, and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle in the rear.

The Peoria Police Department responded to the accident scene. After speaking to both parties, the investigating officers placed the defendant at fault for the collision. In the police report, she admitted that she did not see the light was red until it was too late and that she tried to stop her vehicle but it was too late. Furthermore, the investigating officers noted in the police report that the defendant was driving too fast for conditions and was not paying attention.

We alleged the defendant’s insurance carrier that she failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to yield for traffic, failed to stop and/or reduce her speed to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the plaintiff.

Following the collision, our client had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain and headaches.

That same day, he was seen at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center‘s Emergency Department. There, he complained of back pain, neck pain and headaches. A history was taken, he was examined and diagnostic tests were performed, including a cervical spine x-ray. A physical exam revealed tenderness of the lumbar spine and thoracic spine, as well as limited range of motion due to pain. An x-ray of his cervical spine found straightening of the cervical lordosis, intervertebral disc space narrowing at C5-6 and C6-7, cervical spondylosis, and unco-vertebral and facet joint hypertrophic changes in the mid cervical spine. He was initially diagnosed with a back sprain, neck pain, and headaches. He was instructed to follow up with his primary care physician and discharged.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, The client sought follow up medical care at Phoenix Orthopaedic Consultants on October 26, 2010. He complained of mid back pain, lower back pain causing radiating pain down his right leg to his foot with associated tingling and numbness, neck pain, headaches with associated tingling on his face, and right upper extremity weakness. A history was taken and he was examined. A physical exam revealed tenderness of the mid-line and paravertebral thoracic spine with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, right lower lumbosacral junction tenderness with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, increased pain with flexion, hypoesthesia of the right lower extremities and right upper extremities, tenderness to the mid-line of the cervical spine with severe paraspinal muscle spasms, decreased range of motion, and positive Tinel’s sign at the right wrist. His physician diagnosed him with back pain, right lower extremity radiculopathy, neck pain, right upper extremity radiculopathy, thoracic pain, and headaches. He was instructed to go for MRIs of his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and thoracic spine.

Per is physician’s referral, on November 2, 2010, the plaintiff was seen at Valley Radiologists for diagnostic testing, including MRIs of his cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. The MRI of his cervical spine found small degenerative disc bulges in his spine.

Based on the MRI findings, our client sought follow up treatment with his doctor on November 12, 2010. At that time, he complained of neck pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, and headaches. The physician reviewed the MRIs of his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and thoracic spine. Based on the his review of the MRI results, he prescribed pain medication and instructed him to begin physical therapy.

On December 21, 2010, the client returned for follow up treatment. A physical exam was performed, which revealed paravertebral spasms throughout the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine and decreased range of motion due to pain. The physician prescribed pain medication and instructed him to continue physical therapy.

On February 18, 2011, the plaintiff returned for follow up treatment. There, he complained of continued back pain. A physical exam was performed, which revealed paravertebral tenderness in the thoracolumbar spine with muscle spasms and decreased range of motion.

Our client started a course of physical therapy at Physiotherapy Associates on November 18, 2010. His treatment consisted of therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, neuromuscular rehabilitation, manual therapy, mobilization, and spinal mobilization. He attended twelve (12) sessions of physical therapy at Physiotherapy Associates, which ended on February 22, 2011.

The at fault driver in the accident only carried auto insurance in the amount of $15,000, the Arizona required minimum. After our office collected that amount, we pursuing an underinsured motorist claim against the plaintiff’s own auto insurance policy and collected an additional $8,000, bringing the plaintiff’s total up to $23,000.
Continue reading

Arizona slip and fall attorney Gary Annes has settled a case on behalf of a woman who slipped and fell on a sheet of ice in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The incident occurred after a man hosed down his back porch in an attempt to clean up dog poop. He did this in freezing conditions which caused a sheet of ice to form. He then allowed the plaintiff to go out on the back porch to throw away some garbage and failed to advise her of the dangerous condition. She slipped and fell on the ice, landing on her right hand and for head.

Gary Annes settled the case
for the homeowner’s $100,000 insurance policy limits. The case was resolved without having to file a lawsuit, saving our client the cost of litigation.

Shortly after the accident, the defendant told our client he had been using his gated patio behind his townhouse as a small dog run. He admitted that the day before he had sprayed down the concrete slab patio to try to clean up dog excrement. Due to freezing temperatures the water turned to ice, and the ice was then hidden by a light snow. The homeowner also stated he intended to salt the area and forgot to do so.

After falling, our client had extreme right wrist pain and head pain. She was transported immediately after the accident to an emergency room. At the ER, she was examined and x-rays were taken. In addition to her wrist and head pain, she was dizzy and nauseous. Emergency room doctors noted a large contusion on her forehead and a deformity on her right wrist with tenderness.

X-rays showed she sustained a severely fractured wrist. She was also diagnosed with a closed head injury and post concussion syndrome. Doctors put her wrist in an immobilizer and she was prescribed medications for pain, and referred to a surgeon.

The next day she went to treatment at an orthopedic group where a physician reviewed her x-rays and examined her wrist. The surgeon observed a wrist deformity and significant swelling, and sent her back to the hospital for a CT scan.

Based on the CT results, an open reduction internal fixation surgical procedure was recommended. The surgery took place short time later at a different area hospital. A plate and screws were used to secure the fracture during surgery.

After the surgery, the plaintiff followed up with her physician on a regular basis for several months. A month after surgery her cast and staples were taken out and she was put into a splint.

She had limitations under doctors orders for a period of time, such as no heavy lifting. Her surgeon instructed her to do a home program that included exercises and stretching.

Even after she was done treating with her doctors, she still had pain in her wrist. The plaintiff’s pain is very noticeable when the weather changes, like when it is damp or cold, and she also experiences pain when lifting objects.

Due to the accident our client had in the area of $30,000 in medical bills, and she also has a scar on her right wrist.
Continue reading

The $3.2 million settlement of a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic church made news nationwide last week. Plaintiff lawyers at Abels & Annes P.C. and Hilfman & Martin, P.C. announced the settlement of the claim against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago. The case involved the sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack. $300,000 of the settlement is to be placed in escrow for services. The identity of the plaintiff and his family are confidential.

As the Washington Post reports, the case involved the sexual abuse of a boy by former Roman Catholic Priest Daniel McCormack.

The preteen victim in this case was one of five victims McCormack admitted to abusing when he pleaded guilty in 2007. He served half of a 5-year prison sentence and remains in a mental health facility under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act. The suit claimed church failed to keep McCormack away from children despite knowing he had sexually abused minors.

As we reported on our Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Hilfman and Martin and Abels & Annes were the only law firms in McCormack litigation that took the depositions of many senior Archdiocese officials, including priests, seminary leaders and other key Archdiocese personnel.

The firms were able to reach the favorable settlement on behalf of the victim shortly before trial.

“Representing child victims of sexual abuse in cases against religious institutions, school districts, day care centers and other organizations that interface with children implicates complex and sensitive issues and requires a unique approach given the ages of our clients,” said David Abels, a partner at Abels & Annes. ” We are proud to work every day on their behalves to represent their interests and maximize rewards that, we feel, are deserved.”

The two firms continue to work with plaintiffs in other civil cases against the Chicago Archdiocese and the Cardinal. Those cases also involve the failure of church officials to timely remove McCormack from duties that provided him with access to children.

Click here to read the story as reported by the Sacramento Bee and the Chicago Tribune.
Continue reading

Phoenix injury lawyer Gary Annes has resolved a truck vs. pedestrian accident case for $95,000 for a plaintiff who was negligently struck by a truck as he walked in a marked crosswalk.

On June 18, 2009, the victim was walking in a quiet residential neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois when he began to cross a side street at the designated pedestrian crosswalk. When he was nearly across, a truck driver who was stopped at the intersection suddenly accelerated and struck the man with the front of his vehicle. The victim was hit in the right side of his body and thrown to the pavement, at which point he immediately complained of back, neck, and shoulder pain. He was then transported by ambulance to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

The driver pleaded guilty to the traffic tickets he received for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and failing to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. There was good visibility at the time of the accident, as there was sufficient light available and the street was straight and flat.

The x-rays taken at the hospital showed some loss of disc height in the lumbar spine and straightening of the lordotic curve of the cervical spine. The victim was diagnosed with lumbar and cervical strain, instructed to temporarily take off work, prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain medication, and instructed to seek follow up care. Unfortunately, the victim’s condition worsened over the next couple days when his back pain began to radiate into his right leg and cause discomfort.

A week later, the man began therapy for his neck and back pain, which was radiating down his entire right leg. The pain was particularly bad when he was sitting or doing everyday activities such as putting on his shoes and socks. A course of therapy was determined by the doctor and the man was treated over the next several months. Despite these treatments, however, he did not experience any significant relief of his injuries and was forced to seek further medical attention.

An MRI revealed that he had suffered herniated/bulging disks which were pressing against nerve roots. Due to the nature and extent of this injury, he was referred to a pain specialist and ordered to continue therapy. A pain specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital performed an epidural steroid injection on July 21, 2009, which only relieved his symptoms for a short time. The low back pain radiating into his right leg soon flared up again and required a visit to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s emergency department where another epidural injection was performed.

The injection improved his condition for a short period of time, but his therapy ended and the pain flared up once again. The pain was diagnosed as chronic and episodic in nature, and he was ordered to undergo another course of physical therapy and begin use of a home electro-muscle stimulation unit. Epidural steroid injections were also administered on 3 separate occasions during February and March of 2010, which improved his condition.

As a result of his injuries, the victim was unable to engage in the leisurely and every day activities for a period of time at a level he was accustomed to.

A lawsuit was filed in the case so the victim would be able to receive the maximum compensation for his injuries. After commencing with the discovery phase of the lawsuit, both sides agreed to participate in non-binding mediation where the lawyers at Abels & Annes were able to negotiate a $95,000 settlement with the defendant’s insurance carrier.

If you are a pedestrian in Arizona that has been hurt as a result of a collision with an automobile, contact us online or call (866) 99-ABELS for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and there is no attorney’s fee unless a recovery is made on your behalf.

Arizona injury lawyer Gary Annes recently received a $35,000 jury verdict in a case pending in Cook County, Illinois. The lawsuit involved a car versus motorscooter collision took place in June, 2008 in Chicago.

The accident occurred when our client was stopped in traffic on westbound Lawrence Avenue. The plaintiff was behind another car waiting to make a left turn.

At that time an automobile driver who was also westbound, traveling in a Buick Century, failed to observe our client in time and rear-ended him, knocking him to the ground. The plaintiff landed on his back, directly striking the pavement.

Immediately after the crash our client had neck, back, head and left foot pain. Over the next 24 hours his pain increased and he had difficulty sleeping.

The next day the plaintiff was seen at a local trauma center. X-rays were negative for fractures.

The client’s pain remained constant over the next week and he soon sought treatment with a neurologist. The pain was most significant in his low back. The physician ordered a course of physical therapy and an MRI. The MRI was negative.

A lawsuit was filed by our firm due to the fact that defendants auto insurance company was only offering $5000 to settle. The choice to litigate the case paid off for the client, as the verdict was seven times greater than the insurance carrier’s settlement offer.

If you have been injured in a Phoenix area auto accident, contact the Arizona personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call 866-99-ABELS to speak directly to an attorney now.