A MINOR ACCIDENT WITH MAJOR CONSEQUENCES
This is a personal injury case study involving our client, Jane Smith, a middle-aged woman, who was in a car accident, and whose injuries dramatically changed her life. This case study uses information from the settlement brief as well as direct comments from our client, who provided most of them in the form of a testimonial: the client's comments are provided in italics.
* Please note, all names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.
In March of 2000, our client Jane Smith was involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injuries that caused permanent damage to her life. Our client was unexpectedly hit from the rear end by another car. There was no body contact sustained and there was no loss of consciousness. Part of the seat back broke as a result of the accident and immediately within the first minute, she was aware of pain in her neck, but was able to exit the vehicle independently and walk about. Following the accident, she began to suffer multiple injuries and severe pain in the neck and back. About a year of so thereafter, she retained Sharpe Beresh and Gnyś to assist her in the matter.
My car accident was not catastrophic in the full sense, but the permanent pain that it has caused me and my family to suffer, not only physically but mentally, will last a lifetime and has changed my life completely. Until I met Ashley Gnyś and all the kind people that work for the ﬁrm of Sharpe, Beresh and Gnyś, I honestly thought that my life was going to be a total disaster that couldn't be ﬁxed. However, I was wrong, they showed me that I was not going to be the victim of an insurance company that treats their insurers unfairly, but rather works with them to make sure their clients receive the compensation they deserve.
DETAILS OF ACCIDENT
The accident occurred when Jane was driving home from work and her car was stopped at the entrance ramp of a highway. Another vehicle hit her from behind as she was waiting at the stop sign. The car that hit her from behind was completely crushed in the front. She was looking over her left side for oncoming traffic, rotating and twisting her shoulders and was restrained with a 3-point seatbelt. She had her right foot on the brake and both hands on the steering wheel. After the police arrived at the scene of the accident, Jane was driven to the emergency room.
I remember the sound of my car seat snapping, causing my disc herniation and severe whiplash. I was sent home from the hospital but deep down inside I knew that the issue was much more serious and that I was not going to be ok. On August 30, my entire body felt like it had been shocked, as if I was being electrocuted and I was completely unable to move my body from the waist down. Despite the excruciating pain that I was in, I managed to salvage enough strength so that I could call for help. I was rushed to the hospital, who eventually just sent me home, claiming that the best thing for me to do was to go home and exercise.
IMPACT OF INJURIES
The physical and psychological injuries Jane suffered greatly impacted her life and her ability to be employed and take care of her home and family. Over time our client was not able to walk anymore, or perform the essential home maintenance tasks and daily routines that she once was able to do before the accident.
My entire life began to truly fall apart. The doctors realized that the damage was much worse than they had thought. I had a very severe disc herniation and I immediately saw a specialist who diagnosed me with a serious and rare neurological condition. I underwent surgery and never truly recovered because of how much nerve damage had already been done.
With the help of Sharpe, Beresh and Gnyś, Jane was able to start making a slow recovery and fight for the compensation she deserved. The insurance companies involved in this matter put up repeated challenges and road blocks over a period of more than 11 years that her tort and accident benefits files were active. But Ashley Gnyś, Jane's personal injury lawyer, did not give up on her. Mr. Gnys continued the fight till she received a reasonable and beneficial settlement of approximately $400,000.
As time went by, I was eventually able to walk again, and that was all that really mattered to me. The firm lead me through the entire process with the utmost conﬁdence and support. They knew deep down inside that what had happened to me was undeniably going to affect me deeply for the rest of my life. I would've never been able to make it this far without Mr. Gnyś and his firm. I was truly lucky to have you as a lawyer and I will certainly never forget everything that you have done for me!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the amazing work you did. I truly don't believe that any other lawyer would have taken as much time and put as much care and effort into fighting, and eventually winning my case, as you did.
Disclaimer - These cases have been selected to show the variance of processes and the nature of compensation claims that we deal with. They do not reflect what happens in every circumstance nor what may happen with other legal providers. We have used our experiences to outline likely scenarios that may occur when making a claim.