A chiropractic physician, who was visiting Jacksonville with his wife, was driving through the parking lot of his hotel when the couple’s car was struck by another vehicle. The force of the crash jammed the doctor’s knees into the dashboard, leaving him with immediate and ongoing pain in his knees.
At Coker Law, we see insurance companies try to downplay low-speed collisions all the time, but this case highlights just how serious the injuries can be. We’ll review what happened and how we secured a great settlement to help the doctor on his road to recovery.
Parking Lot Accident Leads to Lifelong Pain
What was meant to be an enjoyable stay in Jacksonville, Florida, for a doctor and his wife turned upside down in an instant while they were in their own hotel’s parking lot. As he was driving in the lot, another vehicle backed out suddenly and collided with their vehicle’s front end. The collision sent the doctor’s knees straight into his dashboard, which set off a domino effect of force from his knees, up his spine, and into his neck.
As a chiropractic physician, the doctor knew the right course of action to help his body start to heal after the accident. While he healed his neck and back, his knees were a different matter. The doctor had multiple rounds of injections to help with the pain, but those only provided temporary relief. In the end, he would need arthroscopic surgery on both knees.
Even though the doctor would eventually return to his practice, he endured pain every single day in his knees, and faced a mountain of medical bills from the many treatments he received. Because of the low speed of the collision, both the at-fault driver’s and the doctor’s own insurance company refused to see the crash as anything serious. Neither offered a fair offer to make the doctor whole. Getting the runaround from the insurance companies, the doctor knew he needed an advocate, and sought out Coker Law’s trial attorney team to fight for what he deserved.
Forces at Play: Why Low-impact Collisions Are Still Serious
According to a crash model created by the Department of Physics at Georgia State University, even a low-speed collision can generate several tons of force. Using the model, a 3,500-pound vehicle going 10 mph creates an impact force of more than 2 tons! Those forces are passed through the vehicle and whatever is inside of it, including the occupants. That’s why the doctor’s impact was still so serious, even at the relatively low speeds found in a parking lot. Our experienced accident trial attorneys use crash data like this to help reconstruct what occurred, and tell the story of what happened to their clients.
Coker Law Fights for Full and Fair Compensation
Since neither insurance company was willing to present a fair offer for the doctor’s documented injuries, the Coker Law team, led by Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Shareholder Matthew Posgay, filed suit and proceeded to trial. Despite years of pandemic-related delays, seeing all the facts of the case presented in such a clear-cut manner prompted both insurance companies to agree to pay the full policy limits before the trial started. In the end, our team was able to get the doctor $350,000 for everything he endured.
Matthew describes his experience, “I am grateful for being able to represent Dr. Barnette*. He did all he could to heal himself, but there was nothing more he could do to fix his knees. Although he will endure pain for the remainder of his life, he maintains a positive attitude and continues to love caring for his patients through chiropractic medicine.”
Case Title: *Barnette v. McTague and Southern Owners
Attorneys/Staff involved in case: Shareholder Matthew Posgay
Date of Settlement: January 2022
Amount of Settlement: $350,000
*Name changed to protect privacy.