Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Results From Truck Driver’s Negligence, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Both plaintiff’s and the defendants’ vocational rehabilitation experts agreed that Tailman’s earning capacity after the incident was approximately $37,000 per year. As a result of a 2005 incident, Tailman did not have a consistent unimpaired earnings history. In addition, in 2003, Tailman had a medical complication, which left him unable to work in 2003 and caused him to file for bankruptcy. In the 2003 filing, Tailman identified that he earned approximately $35,000 per year in 2001, 2002 and less in 2003. The only unimpaired earning year he had in the five years prior to the incident was 2004. In that year, Tailman contended that he earned $214,000. Also, in early 2008, his clients submitted signed declarations confirming that Tailman was going to train them for an indefinite period of time, multiple times a week, at $200 an hour. Tailman contended that he had returned to his 2004 earning capacity immediately before the incident. Plaintiff’s economist determined the present value of Tailman’s past and future loss of earnings to be around $2 million.

Defense counsel contended that Tailman’s injuries were preexisting from a 2005 motorcycle accident where he sustained injuries to his right rotator cuff. Counsel argued that most, if not all, of Tailman’s symptomatology was a result of the prior incident.

Tailman contended that he fully recovered from the 2005 incident, which is evidenced by his winning a level 5.5 tennis tournament at the end of 2007.

The defense orthopedist conducted a nearly two-hour medical examination and reviewed all of Tailman’s available medical records and films. Based upon MRI studies taken after the 2008 incident, the orthopedist concluded that Tailman’s rotator cuff tears were present prior to the incident. He further opined that Tailman repeatedly exaggerated and misrepresented his medical conditions in the past and, therefore, cannot be believed now. The expert also opined that all of Tailman’s limitations in range of motion existed before the 2008 incident.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The defendants contended that the orthopedist’s questioning of Tailman’s credibility was highlighted by Tailman’s filing for bankruptcy. In the 2005 motorcycle incident, which was the subject of a lawsuit and settlement, Tailman produced earning history spreadsheets for 2001 and 2002 reflecting earnings of more than $100,000 per year. The bankruptcy filing stated under penalty of perjury that he earned $35,000 for each of those years. The defendants further question whether Tailman ever earned six figures in any given year. Even the 2004 earnings which Tailman relied upon for his earnings history was based upon spreadsheets prepared by him rather than tax filings, W-2s or 1099s. Therefore, the information provided was unreliable, especially in light of the disparities between the 2001 and 2002 spreadsheet and the bankruptcy filings. Relying solely on documented earnings, such as bank statements, 1099s, W-2s, the defendants contended that Tailman’s earnings history was around $35,000 per year. His earning capacity post-incident remained unaffected by the incident.

RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $2,000,000

The case resolved three court days before trial for $2 million.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Contact Information