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Automobile Accidents/Cell Phone Distraction

Haggard Law Firm > Automobile Accidents/Cell Phone Distraction
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Haggard Law has successfully litigated and settled hundreds of claims involving all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including pedestrian/auto; bicycle/auto accidents; multiple car crashes and crashes resulting from the defendant being distracted while using a cell phone.

 

The Haggard Law Firm was responsible for obtaining the first verdict in the nation dealing with the issue of cell phone distraction in automobile accidents. In December 2001, our firm won a $21 million verdict in the case of Alicia Bustos, a 78-year-old woman who was a seat-belted passenger in a car that was violently struck at a Miami (Hialeah) intersection by a driver talking on his cell phone. The result was the largest personal injury verdict in Miami-Dade County’s history at that time.

Notable Automobile Accidents/Cell Phone Distraction Cases

BUSTOS v. LEIVA & DYKE INDUSTRIES

$21 Million – Verdict (Hialeah, Florida) – Cell Phone Related Auto Accident

The plaintiff, a 78-year-old woman, was seriously injured when a driver negligently struck the car she was riding in. The driver of the other car which caused the accident was distracted because he was conducting business on his cellular phone while driving. The plaintiff’s attorneys proved the driver was using his cell phone after subpoenaing his cell phone records. This influenced the jury’s decision and as a result, the plaintiff was awarded the largest single personal injury verdict in Miami-Dade County history at the time.

CUQUEJO v. OLARTEGUIQ

$12.5 million – Settlement (Miami, Florida) – Motorcycle Accident/Personal Injury.

Plaintiff Alfredo Cuquejo was traveling on his motorcycle to see his girlfriend when an approaching car made an illegal left-hand turn. Mr. Cuquejo tried to avoid the collision, but there wasn’t room. He hit and flew over a truck and landed across the intersection. He was left physically incapacitated due to a severe brain injury.

OLIVARES v. ECUACAR RENTAL CORP & RUDNITZKY

$6.5 million – Settlement (Miami Beach, Florida) – Pedestrian/Car Accident

The plaintiff, an employee of Brinks Co., was standing behind his opened armored truck preparing a delivery when a tourist driving a rental car suddenly struck him, pinning him to the back of the truck and causing his left leg to be amputated above-the-knee. The plaintiff was able to obtain a settlement far exceeding the $600,000 cap created by the Florida Legislature protecting auto rental companies because of bad faith allegations and because Ecuacar Rent Corp.’s insurer was covering both the car rental company and the driver.

MORENO v. XYZ ELECTRIC CO.

$4 Million – Settlement (Miami, Florida) – Wrongful Death/Auto Accident

auto accident caused by an employee of the electric company. The employee, who was driving his own car but conducting company business at the time of the accident, ran a red light causing the fatal accident. Witnesses at the scene claim that the employee of the electric company was too distracted and made no attempt to break when he saw the light turn red. The victim spent most of his life caring for his daughter with special needs as his wife worked to support the family. The daughter was in the passenger seat when the accident occurred.

EAFORD v. DUNHAM

$1.9 Million – Verdict (Miami, Florida) – Auto Accident

Plaintiff, a 21-year-old Florida State University football player, was nearly killed when struck head-on by a drunk driver. Plaintiff sustained a shattered leg and was in a coma for four days. Plaintiff’s football career was immediately ended.

KING v. XYZ PACKAGE DELIVERY COMPANY

$7.6 Million – Settlement (Daytona Beach, Florida)- Motorcycle Accident

Motorcyclist suffered a severe brain injury when a delivery van violated the motorcyclist’s right of way. Delivery company and the company owning the van and employing the driver were sued for negligent operation of the van for active negligence and as to the delivery company, on a vicarious liability/agency theory. The case settled before trial.

COOPER v. OTTO GENER & BELLA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

$4.25 Million – Settlement (Freeport, Bahamas) Wrongful Death/Auto

Plaintiff, a 45-year-old Bahamian woman and employee of the port of Freeport, was killed when struck head-on when defendant’s delivery truck lost control and crossed the median. She left behind a husband, two adult children and one minor child.

NAVARRO v. FLORIDA AUTO RENTAL, et al

$3.6 Million – Verdict (Miami, Florida)- Wrongful Death/Auto Accident.

Action against rental car agency and defendant driver by deceased plaintiff passenger’s personal representative after hit-and-run automobile accident.

ESTATE OF EVELYN QUINO/JERRY DONGO v. OVER THE TOP LINENS & SAUVAGERE

$3 million – Settlement (Miami Beach, Florida) – Automobile Accident

Ms. Evelyn Quino and her nephew, Jerry Dongo, were leaving work on Jerry’s scooter. Jerry was driving the scooter and Ms. Quino was the rear passenger. As they approached the intersection, Jerry slowed, coming to a complete stop at the red light in front of him. Jerry and Evelyn sat there waiting for the light to change when a commercial vehicle owned by Over the Top, Inc., came barreling up to the

light at around 65 MPH and made absolutely no attempt to stop. The driver of the commercial truck, Guerrier Sauvagere, plowed right through the scooter, violently throwing Evelyn and Jerry’s bodies clear across the intersection. The collision killed Evelyn Quino and severely injured her nephew, Jerry Dongo. The case was settled for policy limits.

Souza  v. CH Global Construction

$1.566 Million – Verdict (Miami, FL) Auto Accident

Following a 5-day civil court trial, a Miami-Dade jury awarded John Souza nearly $1.57 million. The trial stemmed from a lawsuit Souza, an Atlanta resident, filed after suffering injuries to his spine following a car accident on October 20, 2014. Souza and his wife, Anh, were traveling north on Biscayne Boulevard when another driver violated the right-of-way and collided into their car just off NW 35th Street.

The defendants, CH Global Construction who owned the vehicle, admitted the crash was their fault but also said the Souza was traveling too fast for the conditions. Souza, who was in town for a fitness competition, did not seek medical attention until he went back home to Atlanta the next day.

Souza suffered 2 herniated discs in his lumbar spine. The defense argued the herniations were pre-existing. John also suffered from cluster/migraine headaches after the accident despite no objective findings in his cervical spine.  He went through a lumbar discectomy 2 1/2 years after the accident and had also been receiving radio frequency ablation to the cervical spine to help with his headaches. The defendants claimed that all of the treatment was either unnecessary or related to the accident.

A major issue in the case was a plethora of photos on social media where his client could be seen traveling all over the world and enjoying himself with his wife.  In the face of those photos, Haggard Law attorney Douglas McCarron explained to the jury that the medical treatment John was receiving allowed him to live a normal life. “We asked for his past and future medical bills so John can continue to live his life. We also told the jury that if they awarded the medical bills, that the Souzas were not interested in pain and suffering.”

Haggard Law Associate Attorney Pedro Echarte worked with McCarron on the case.

Douglas McCarron’s Bio: http://www.haggardlawfirm.com/douglas-j-mccarron/

Pedro Echarte’s Bio: Click Here

 **Prospective clients may not obtain similar results. Amounts stated within this website are before deductions for fees, cost of attorneys and third party providers such as medical providers.**