Costa Mesa, Calif. — Managing Partner, Samer Habbas of the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates obtains a $1,250,000 settlement on an auto accident claim. The plaintiff was involved in a lane-change car accident while heading southbound on the SR-73 connecting ramp, from the 405 freeway. The collision left his car totaled, and the plaintiff was immediately rendered unconscious. Paramedics then extracted him from the vehicle and he was taken to the nearest emergency room by ambulance.
Directly from the scene of the accident, our client was admitted to the hospital with a large laceration to the back of his head and multiple bone fractures throughout his body. Under immediate medical examination, he was found to have suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), bilateral pulmonary contusions, and left-sided fractures to his ribs, shoulder, and collarbone. Our client was rushed into emergency surgery and had undergone four different procedures that very same day—a total of eight surgeries in less than a month. Unfortunately, the extent of his injuries caused him to lapse into a coma for two months.
Our client not only missed two months of his life while in a coma, but his lifestyle has forever changed since the accident. He can no longer work to make a living, he now requires lifetime medical care, and he will continue to struggle to live with a TBI.
The police report completed by the California Highway Patrol placed our client completely at fault for the collision. The cause was an unsafe lane change by our client as he allowed his vehicle to veer directly into the lane of the defendant’s vehicle. The insurance carrier for the defendant denied liability and placed our client 100% at fault. Managing Partner, Samer Habbas demanded to inspect the 2019 Lexus operated by the defendant. The Black Box installed in the Lexus was downloaded and it revealed that the Lexus was going 73 mph leading up to the crash, which is 8 mph above the speed limit. An argument was then established that if the defendant had been going 65 mph he would have hit our client at a lower impact speed and an entirely different portion of the vehicle, which may have reduced the severity of the sustained injuries. The case went to mediation. Despite the defense having a strong argument that our client caused an unavoidable collision by turning his vehicle directly in front of the defendant, Habbas was able to convince the insurance carrier that their insured has some comparative liability for the collision. With a relentless approach, Habbas was able to negotiate and secure a $1,250,000 settlement soon after mediation.
This case highlights the importance of obtaining the Electronic Data Module that newer cars are equipped with. The Black Box records the speeds and braking times of a vehicle prior to the crash. Here, the defendant’s vehicle was sold and shipped to Dubai, United Arab Emirates after the collision. Habbas tracked the vehicle and located it at a dock in Dubai. An engineer was then summoned to Dubai to obtain the Black Box and bring it back to the United States for inspection. That data became critical in proving that the defendant was speeding at the time of the crash. Without that data, the plaintiff, who has no recollection of the facts and circumstances of the collision, would have been stuck with the defendant’s contention that he was only going 60 mph. In that circumstance, there may have not been any avenue of recovery, period. Therefore, it is extremely important for plaintiff attorneys to locate and preserve any involved vehicles to obtain crash data, as it is one of the most critical parts of evidence that may be utilized to reconstruct a crash.