In 2013, a New York Police Officer was responding to a motor vehicle accident in the Bronx. While standing by her patrol car gathering documents to complete, an uninvolved van stopped uphill just ahead of the accident began rolling backwards. Plaintiff, a single mother, working for the Police Department for over 10 years tried to move out of the way but was pinned between the patrol car as she was struck by the van’s sideview mirror.
She was taken to the scene by ambulance and treated for a right (dominant hand) wrist injury. X-rays were initially negative, but within a week, the swelling had subsided and a radius fracture was diagnosed along with a nerve injury to her hand.
Leav & Steinberg, LLP had represented several members of her family before and been successful for them. However, she was also aware that our firm’s reputation for successfully litigating cases against The New York Police Department for negligence. Wanting a firm that would fight for justice for anyone seriously injured, she contacted partner Edward Steinberg, who came to her home and spent time understanding the details of the case, and limits the injury was going to cause on her career.
During the litigation, we were able to prove that the full fault of the accident was the van driver’s failure to put the vehicle into park as he was about to get up from the driver seat. Partner Daniela Henriques manages the firm’s motion department was able to draft, and argue to the Court that the fault for the accident should not remain an issue in the case. We won that motion and as a result would have been entitled to statutory interest from any judgment we would receive. That pressure, along with the fact that the client ended up having a carpal tunnel surgery to that wrist resulted in the insurance company for the van asking us to resolve the matter.
Though the value in NY Law for carpal tunnel surgeries alone can range from $75,000-200,000.00 for pain and suffering, Leav & Steinberg was able to prove that the limited injury had a profound effect on her ability to work. She followed with her doctors and was ultimately retired by the NYPD with an accidental disability pension.
The trial was scheduled to start in the Bronx County, Supreme Court this week and Ed’s partner Daniel Leav had prepared the file for trial and were ready to go.
The carrier for the van contacted us on Monday and asked for a mediation conference on Friday, October 27th, 2017. Same was held and at that conference, despite having not receive any offer up to that point, we were able to prove that the likelihood of success at trial and the threat of interest entitled our client to a significant award; far in excess of the usual awards for Carpal Tunnel.
The matter resolved with the carrier offering the full $1,000,000.00 limits of their insurance along with an affidavit that they carried no additional insurance. A male individual whose car was involved in the unrelated accident being addressed by the officer, brought a claim for personal injuries alleging he was struck by the van as it passed by as well. His share of the policy was limited to a nominal figure with the rest assigned to our client.
As a result of our work, the Client now has a secure future and resources to help as her hand injury continues to limit her work and life activities.