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PERSONAL INJURY VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

  • Motorcycle Vs. RV
    We obtained a unanimous verdict of $850,000 in federal court for our client who was riding his motorcycle in Lake County and was side-swiped by an RV. The medical bills totaled only $67,000, and there was no wage loss claim, but we were able to convince the jury that the injury was much more serious than reflected by the bills, as he'd suffered a broken knee and a degloving injury to the lower leg. Our client, a 54-year-old handyman and part-time professor of engineering, will eventually need a new knee, and he turned down an offer of $350,000 on the eve of trial.
  • Dog Knock Down
    Our client was an elderly woman who was out for her daily walk when an exuberant puppy came racing over to her from behind, got tangled in her legs, and knocked her over. Our client fell to the asphalt and broke her elbow (the olecranon bone). The dog owner's insurance company wanted to argue that the accident was 50% the fault of our client and 50% the fault of the dog owner. ("There is no evidence that our insured's dog caused your client to fall down." ) We successfully argued that the defendant dog owner had violated the Sonoma County Leash Law, which states: "No person shall cause, permit or allow any dog to run at large upon any public street or other public place, or upon any private property or premises other than those of the owner or other person in control of such dog, nor shall any person cause, permit or allow any dog to be upon any public street or other public place unless such dog is restrained by a substantial leash..." and that the violation would result in a negligence per se instruction to the jury, which basically says, if you find that the defendant violated the ordinance, then you must find negligence. The case settled at mediation for $145,000.
  • Trucking Accident
    $1 million settlement: Our client's mother was killed when she was rear-ended by a big rig on Highway 101 near Windsor, and pushed into an SUV. Both passengers of the SUV also died, so the insurance proceeds had to be divided in a fair manner. We successfully argued that in our client's Pomo culture, it is not unusual for a young man to live at home into his mid-30s, thereby increasing his economic damages and his share of the settlement.
  • Falling Merchandise
    Our client was a 3-year-old girl who went to a local home improvement store with her family to look at shower doors. They were in the area of the store where entire bathrooms are on display and the little girl put her hands on the edge of a sink and pulled herself up on to her tiptoes to be able to look in the mirror behind the sink. Unfortunately, the store's employees had not secured the sink to its pedestal when they built the display, and the sink toppled over onto the child knocking her out and gashing her forehead. The child spent one night in the hospital and was released. She has no scarring. We were able to negotiate a $200,000 structured settlement with the insurance carrier that will pay her $25,000 at age 18, plus $15,000 per year for four years at ages 18 to 21 (for college tuition), plus $1,500 per month at ages 18 to 21 (for living expenses — compounds annually at 5%), and a lump sum of $85,000 at age 25.
  • Dog Bite
    We obtained a $100,000 settlement for a client who was bitten by a dog. The defendant's insurance company claimed our client had provoked the dog, but we proved that the dog was badly treated by its owner, who kept the German Shepherd confined to a small space every day, resulting in its bad temper and behavior. Our client was unemployed, had only $741 in medical bills, and did not need plastic surgery, so the bulk of the settlement was for his pain and suffering.
  • Wrongful Death
    Interesting case: Our client was in the middle of divorce proceedings with her husband when he was killed in a trucking accident. We represented her (and her daughter) in a wrongful death action against both the trucking company that employed the negligent truck driver and the paper company that overloaded the truck, and successfully argued that since California law presumes that a divorcing couple will reconcile, the pending divorce was irrelevant. A settlement of $750,000 was obtained at a two-day mediation on the eve of trial.
  • Drunk Driving Case
    These are always emotional cases for our clients, but this one was particularly hard. Our client was rear-ended in San Rafael, on his way home from work. The impact pushed his sedan into an SUV in front of him, so he felt a second big impact. Then he was rear-ended again, and pushed into the SUV again. Then it happened again, and he was pushed into the SUV again, so he actually felt six (6) separate impacts. At this point, he thought someone was trying to kill him. What was happening was that the drunk driver was trying to disentangle his Mercedes from our client's vehicle so he could get away. He was eventually apprehended by passersby and arrested. He served no jail time, but we obtained a settlement of $560,000, part of which was paid by the drunk driver, part by his insurance carrier. Our client had suffered damage to his knee and had two surgeries to repair the problem.
  • 'No Damage' Auto Accident In Hawaii
    Our client was injured while on vacation in Maui. The bumper on the vehicle she was a passenger in had no damage; the other vehicle had no damage either. However, we successfully argued that she was an "eggshell" plaintiff because she'd had her first ribs removed 20 years prior for a thoracic outlet condition, which led to her vulnerability in the shoulder area. She had two torn rotator cuffs as a result of the accident, which were not discovered right away by her doctors. We obtained a settlement of $185,000 for her, after obtaining a license to practice in the Hawaiian Federal Court.
  • 30 Years of Future Chiropractic Care
    Sometimes, you just have to try the case. When our client came in to our office, she had already tried to settle her case with the insurance company. Even though she had over $10,000 in medical bills, and had been rear-ended by the defendant, they refused to pay her offer of $18,000. We took the case but told her we wanted to make the same offer again, in a more formal way (under CCP §998). She agreed, and we did so. They still refused to pay so we went to trial. The jury awarded our client a total of $68,836, which included 30 years of future chiropractic care. Because we had made the §998 offer, we were also able to collect 10% interest and our costs, which resulted in a better outcome for our client.
  • Slip And Fall, Not Medical Malpractice
    Our client went in to a hospital in San Francisco for neck surgery; this was her 8 th spinal surgery for a longstanding back and neck problem. Three days after the surgery, she was taken downstairs for an MRI because she was still experiencing pain. On the way back to her room, the orderly parked her gurney in the hallway and left her side to talk to a co-worker. For reasons no one could ever explain, the gurney collapsed, catapulting our client into the air. She landed in a sitting position and felt immediate pain like a lightning bolt up her spine. This case came to our office in mid-litigation as the client was frustrated with her attorney's insistence that she settle for a pittance. The case had been filed as a medical malpractice case, but we felt that it was an ordinary negligence case. With our client's consent, we re-filed the case, taking out the medical malpractice allegations. Still, the defendant only offered $17,000 prior to trial. The jury heard testimony from the Chief of Neurosurgery at the hospital that she had not been injured in the fall, but sided with our expert and we obtained a verdict of $185,000 for our client ($35,000 for medical bills, $150,000 for pain and suffering.)

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Attorney Julia Parranto
Located in Santa Rosa, Attorney Julia Parranto is 100% focused on helping injured Northern California residents get the compensation they need and deserve.

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