A longshoreman, had stopped on the 405 Freeway to assist a downed vehicle that was stopped between the HOV and #1 lanes. While he was talking with one of the occupants, another vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed hit the downed vehicle, pushing the car into the longshoreman, where it impacted his knee. As a result of the collision, the longshoreman underwent one knee replacement surgery, and was told he needed another, in his other knee. These injuries left the longshoreman with a pronounced limp, and greatly interfered with his ability to do his work, as well as other tasks around the house.
After securing payment of the underlying policy limits of the driver who caused the collision, KTL focused its attention on the longshoreman’s’ own underinsured motorist coverage, based on the severity of his injuries.
Unfortunately, the insurance carrier did not value the case the same way, and thought that the longshoreman’s injuries were all pre-existing. Indeed, the longshoreman had a history of prior knee issues, including arthritis, and had been undergoing steroid injections prior to the crash. After the longshoreman’s insurance offered $200,000, KTL stood strong and did not accept, not wanting to undervalue his damages. KTL made clear to the insurance carrier that the medical records showed a change in the level and type of pain and symptoms the longshoreman experienced from pre- to post-crash, making him a classic “eggshell plaintiff”. At mediation, the case settled, for a total settlement of $430,000.