Maryland Transit Administration Bus Accident Victim Wins $170,000 At Trial
Our firm recently represented a woman who was a victim of injustice by an insurance company. Not only was she injured, but she was blamed for her own injuries. In the end, we took the wrongdoers to trial and made them pay. And, as importantly, the wrongdoer was rebuked for blaming our client, lessening the chances that this will happen to other victims.
Injured While Boarding A Maryland Transit Administration Bus
Our Client, a woman with a physical challenge, was getting on a Maryland Transit Administration bus when it took off abruptly. This caused her to fall. After she fell, the negligent bus driver didn't even bother help her up. Instead they tried to hide the fact that they were at fault and blamed her.
She came to our law firm for help with her case.
As is often the case, the insurance company behind the Transit Administration decided to play legal games with our client's case and future. The sad fact is that many negligent actors, together with their insurance companies, play a game of legal chicken. They know that many attorneys take cases to see if they can collect easy money. Trials are not easy. They are expensive and time consuming for law firms to pursue. Law firm's risk losing their time and money at trial. They pass up other business during trials. The sacrifice personal and family time, because jury trials are all-consuming. Unfortunately, this means that when the rubber meets the road, some personal injury attorneys run for cover, or metaphorically throw their clients under a bus to get some quick cash and then move on to the next client.
We see this game being played regularly, and we never give into it. Our clients deserve better, and it's our duty to fight for them until justice is won. This case was no different.
Despite our strong belief in our client and her case, the Maryland Transit Administration offered her no settlement before the trial date. Instead, they claimed that they shouldn't pay a dime. They claimed that it was her fault. They claimed that she should have held on when the bus took off. They claimed that her fall, and her injuries, were caused by our client tripping on herself.
Needless to say, this got us mad. We were determined to get justice and compensation for our client, and to make the arrogant people who said it was her fault pay. This would not only help our client, but, we hoped, would also make the Maryland Transit Administration think twice before it hired, or continued to employ, bus drivers who would act so callously. This accident could have been more serious, or even fatal, and if the Transit Administration was allowed to get away with it, then more people would be in danger.
The Bus Accident Trial Against The Maryland Transit Administration
At trial, the Transit Administration presented several witnesses, including:
- The bus driver;
- The MTA claims adjuster that took a statement from our Client after the accident;
- The responding MTA police officer; and
- A corporate designee.
We vigorously crossed examined each witness, exposing their misstatements, inconsistencies, and lies. The cross examinations, combined with our Client's truthful testimony, showed the great lengths that the Maryland Transit Administration went to try to make this look like it was our client's fault.
The jury didn't believe the Maryland Transit Administration. They understood the truth and sided with our client.
We believe in the jury system, and in complete preparration in all of our cases. We come armed with the facts. Had our client had a law firm that was afraid to go to trial, a jury never would have heard the truth of what happened.
This jury found in favor of our client.
The Maryland Transit Administration Continued To Fight After The Trial
Despite the jury's clear verdict, the Transit Administration refused to give up and pay our client the money they owed. Instead, they filed a motion for a new trial. Lawyers for insurance companies often do this as a stall tactic, and to gain leverage to try to negotiate a payment lower than the jury's verdict.
Just like some lawyers are afraid of trial, or don't have the resources to weather a trial, some lawyers are not well suited for fighting post-trial motions and appeals. It's a numbers game for the insurance companies, and it makes economic sense for them to file these motions because some lawyers fold, and some settle. And even when they don't, the insurance company gets to hang on to their money for a longer period of time, and that looks good on their books.
So, even though the jury had told them that they were responsible for paying our client, and even though the jury didn't buy their blame-game, they filed a motion for a new trial. The lawyers for the insurance companies typically bill hourly, and they continue to make money while stalling as well. On the other hand, they know that firms like ours, who take cases on contingency fees and advance all expenses to our clients, don't get paid a dime for all of the extra work. That fact may make some attorneys give up, but it never works on us.
We don't quit. Ever. And so we defended their motion for a new trial, and we won for our client.
In the end, the Maryland Transit Administration had to pay the whole $170,000.00 that our client was awarded at trial, plus interest for the time that the MTA refused to pay (this is called post-judgment interest).
It's cases like this, where our client was offered literally nothing except misplaced blame, that get us fired up every day to come to the office and to go into court to fight for our clients.
Practice area(s): Personal Injury