Accident Case Results

Auto vs. Pedestrian Accident/Wrongful Death [Trial Verdict] - Berman & Riedel, LLP, was retained to represent the parents of a 22- year-old Japanese foreign exchange student who, while living in San Diego California so she could attend Palomar College, was struck by a vehicle and killed. Immediately following the accident, the defendant driver, also a student attending classes at Palomar College, gave a statement to the investigating authorities claiming that she struck the pedes- trian in the street. Based upon this statement and lack of much physical evidence at the accident scene, the investigating authorities determined that the accident occurred in the street, and was caused as a result of the pedestrian walking in the street. In undertaking representation of the parents of the decedent, the attorneys atBerman & Riedel, LLP, retained experts who found witnesses and physical evidence that demonstrated that the decedent was walking on the sidewalk, and not in the street, when she was struck and killed. The case proceeded to trial with disputed liability, the defendant maintaining through trial that the decedent was walking in the public street when the accident occurred. Through the use of scientific forensic evidence, including expert accident reconstruction testimony based upon physical evidence found at the scene, firm Managing Partner William M. Berman was able to convince the trier of fact that the decedent was struck on the sidewalk, and not in the street. In finding that the impact occurred on the sidewalk, defendant was determined to be fully responsible for causing the accident and death of plaintiffs’ daughter, and verdict was rendered in plaintiffs’ favor in the sum total amount of $1,547,445.25.

Auto Accident/Personal Injury - Berman & Riedel, LLP, represented a young man who suffered permanent physical injury when the car he was situated as a restrained passenger flipped and rolled-over after the driver, who was intoxicated and a minor, tried to out-run the police. The boys had been at a "room party" at a Palm Beach, Florida, hotel, where alcohol was knowingly allowed to be served to a large group of minors. The accident happened when several of the minors, including the client, left the hotel with the intent to purchase more alcohol. The client did not know the driver was intoxicated as the driver had just arrived to the party after finishing his late evening work shift. In the roll-over sequence, the client broke his hand in several places and severed multiple fingers, causing extensive tendon and nerve damage and a permanent decreased range of motion. The accident happened in Palm Beach, Florida, and after resolving portion of the case, Berman & Riedel, LLP, brought in the assistance of prominent local Florida firm to help in filing suit and resolving the remaining portions of the case. Eventually, the case settled with several different defendants, including the hotel operator, paying the injured client a sum total of $730,000.00 in settlement.

Automobile Accident/Foot Fracture - A couple was involved in a high-impact automobile accident while traveling down Interstate-5 in Los Angeles, on their way to a mid-day holiday luncheon. When traffic ahead of stopped, the husband applied his brakes and brought his vehicle to a stop. The defendant driver, who was traveling in the adjacent lane of southbound Interstate-5 in a Peterbuilt truck owned by his employer, made an unsafe lane change and failed to notice traffic stopped in front of him until it was too late. Although the defendant attempted to apply his brakes, he was traveling way too fast his vehicle spun out of control, striking the rear of the Toyota behind the plaintiffs' vehicle, which caused the Toyota to thrust forward and strike the plaintiffs' vehicle. In addition to the couple both sustaining minor back sprains/strains, the wife suffered a non-displaced fracture in her right foot (of her first metatarsal/big toe), which required casting and extensive rehabilitation therapy. The clients' total medical specials were $23,000.00. After extensive litigation, and just before trial was ready to start, Berman & Riedel, LLP, was able to obtain a $180,000.00 settlement on behalf of their clients.

Automobile vs. Pedestrian Accident –The firm represented the interests of a 66-year-old man who was struck by a car as he was crossing his street to retrieve mail from his community mailbox. The car that struck him was being operated by a neighbor, who was blinded by the morning sun and could not see the victim. The victim sustained a skull fracture and shoulder injury. Shortly after filing a lawsuit, the firm’s demand for the driver’s insurance policy limits was paid in the amount of $100,000.00. The firm was able to obtain significant reduction of the hospital bills, leaving a much greater recovery for the injured victim.

Auto vs. Truck Accident/Wrongful Death - A 40-year-old husband and father of four was killed while traveling as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a high-impact collision with a big-rig truck. Although the investigating CHP officers issued a report concluding that the accident was caused as the sole result of the reckless conduct of the driver of the vehicle decedent was traveling in at the time of the accident, the firm was able to demonstrate that the accident was caused, in part, due to the inattentiveness of the driver of the big-rig truck who, without signaling, made an abrupt lane change in the direct path of the vehicle in which decedent was traveling. After several months of key eyewitness depositions, the firm was able to settle the case for the family in the amount of $735,000.00.

Automobile vs. Bicycle Accident – A 22-year-old SDSU student riding his bicycle in the college area was injured when the 80-year-old defendant made an unsafe right-hand turn across the designated bike lane in which plaintiff was traveling. Although he immediately slammed on his brakes, plaintiff was unable to stop his bicycle from colliding with defendant’s vehicle. Upon impact plaintiff was thrown to the roadway, suffering a separation to his left shoulder and injury to his left knee. Both injuries required arthroscopic “clean-out” surgery and subsequent physical therapy, with medical bills totaling approximately $22,000.00. Despite the fact that defendant and her insurance company denied liability, attorneys from the firm were able to elicit deposition testimony from defendant’s accident reconstruction expert in which he reluctantly admitted that defendant was at fault for causing the accident.Shortly thereafter, defendant’s insurance company paid plaintiff $150,000.00 in settlement of the case.

Disclaimer: Case results as reported above were derived based upon facts and circumstances specific to each separately reported case and publication of such case results is for informational purposes only and by no means is intended to constitute any representation or guarantee of a similar result for your prospective case.


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Jean’s mother was a victim of neglect while at a skilled nursing facility, resulting in surgery that she did not survive. Berman was there to listen and provide support that the client needed.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

  • Your total financial or economic damages
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The vast majority of cases are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement outside of court. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, but it is more likely if the facts in your case are in dispute, a legal issue is being contested, or you have a high-value case.

An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

Do You Accept Cases Outside of San Diego?

While our law office is located in San Diego, Berman & Riedel, LLP, accepts cases throughout the state of California.


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