We were hired to represent a young man seriously injured in a bicycle accident. The crash happened at an intersection. As our client was in the intersection, a car turned left in front of him, violated his right-of-way and caused the crash.
Our client sustained serious injuries in the crash, including several broken bones. He was hospitalized, was operated on twice and even after completing treatment had ongoing problems caused by his injuries. His medical expenses were more than $80,000.
The driver of the car had only $25,000 in liability coverage. So if our client had settled for this he would have been on the hook for more than $50,000 in medical expenses. He also would have recovered nothing for his other losses like future medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disability and lost income. All from a bicycle accident that was the other driver’s fault. Fortunately, we were able to do much better for him.
The driver was in her own personal car and the police accident report contained no indication that she was doing anything other than personal driving.
We conducted a detailed investigation which included reviewing the police report, visiting the crash scene, interviewing witnesses and other steps. Through this investigation, we learned the driver had left her workplace and was taking the company mail to the post office when she was involved in the crash.
Under Kansas law, if a person causes a car accident while they are driving for their job, their employer may in some circumstances be liable for damages resulting from the auto accident. The legal term for this rule is “respondeat superior“. Through investigation we were able to identify the driver’s employer and show that even though she was in her own personal car, she was on an errand for her employer. This was sufficient to show that the requirements under the “respondeat superior” rule were met and hold the driver’s employer and their insurance company responsible to pay for our clients injuries and damages.
The driver’s personal car insurance company paid the $25,000 in liability coverage. The employer’s insurance company paid $350,000. Our client was able to pay all of his medical expenses and receive compensation for permanent disability, pain and suffering and other losses. A case arising from a bad accident which could have financially devastated our client was brought to a successful conclusion.