Five years ago, Bob was 20 years old, an exceptional athlete, and he was taking a sports management program at a college. He was in a tournament with his classmates in March 2004. In the early morning, Bob was the passenger in a car travelling on a highway near Port Alberni. The driver of the vehicle lost control and drove off the road, down an embankment, and forcefully collided into a tree. The driver had been drinking and doing drugs and initially tried to pretend that he had not been driving the car. The jaws-of-life were required to remove Bob from the car. The impact had mostly been on Bob’s side of the car. He was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital in critical condition and in a coma.
When Bob’s father came to the firm he had just experienced the worst event of his life. His only son, his hope for the future, had a serious brain injury and was in a coma. Bob was in a coma for three months and did not remember the car accident or the day or night of the accident at all. At first the insurance company tried to say that Bob had been the driver of the car. He was not the driver and the truth was brought out through hard work on the part of Bob’s lawyers.
Bob came out of his coma and underwent extensive rehabilitation, however, he was still very injured. He had had surgery to repair his shattered arm, he had scars on his body, and more seriously he had a traumatic brain injury that left him permanently disabled in many ways. Though Bob looks normal to most people, the accident has left him with permanent double vision, a severe speech impediment, memory problems, organization problems, judgment problems, difficulty with coordination on the right side of his body, problems with learning and math, and extreme fatigue.
The driver’s car was being purchased on a “lease to own” agreement and did not have enough insurance on it to cover the damages arising from the injuries that Bob had sustained in the accident. The leasing company refused to get involved at the initial stages of the proceedings. They did not want to pay anything above the amount of the insurance on the car and the company told us that it was on the verge of bankruptcy. There were further problems in that the insurance company and the leasing company were trying to blame Bob for all of his injuries. They also tried to argue that Bob never would have made anything of his life and that he was perfectly able to work at minimum wage jobs despite what Bob’s doctors said. The amounts they offered initially were inadequate for Bob’s injuries. Bob’s lawyers fought on through two mediations until a satisfactory settlement was reached before trial commenced.
After five years of fighting with the insurance company and the leasing company Bob’s lawyers managed to get Bob a seven figure settlement to cover pain and suffering, past wage loss, future loss of income earning capacity, out of pocket expenses for treatment, future care costs, an in trust amount for his family to cover some of their expenses, management fees, tax gross-up, and legal fees to cover much of the legal fees. Bob and his family are happy that they had us on their side to obtain a full and fair settlement and so they did not have to fight with the insurance company and the leasing company alone.