van der Veen Wins Maximum For a Permanently Disabled Client
Every personal injury case presents its own special challenges for the attorney representing an injured client. Sometimes it is proving liability or fault. Other times the difficulty is a matter of making sure that a badly injured client secures every available dollar. Such was the case with Brian Winters, a seat belted and blameless passenger who was permanently and catastrophically injured in a horrific multi-vehicle accident.
Brian was a 30-year-old passenger in an SUV being driven on a major highway one frigid December morning. A freezing rain had created dangerous conditions for travel. At the approach of an overpass, a number of drivers failed to appreciate the severity of the conditions. Their vehicles slipped on the black ice, slid all across the highway, and completely blocked the road and breakdown lane. The SUV in which Brian Winters was a passenger was one of those vehicles and also slid to a halt, sideways in the middle of the interstate.
Approaching this clearly visible pile up was a municipal bus, which was driving too fast and began to brake too late. The bus skidded toward their SUV and Brian screamed out for his driver to move their vehicle, but she did not. Brian screamed out again for her to move the SUV, to no avail. Time stood still for Brian as the bus driver failed to properly correct his skid, crashing the bus directly into passenger side of the SUV where Brian was seated.
As a result of the accident, Brian Winters suffered multiple permanent, traumatic injuries. The most serious of which are a severe cognitive brain injury, and a catastrophic head injury that has left Brian partially paralyzed. He requires 24 hour care, and will for the rest of his life.
Brian treated at one of the leading brain injury rehabilitation centers in the country and worked hard to improve his condition. He received the hospital’s Fighting Back Award for his courageous efforts and positive disposition, but Brian’s injuries will never allow him to work again or live an independent life. To help insure that Brian would have the means to pay for the significant support he would require for the rest of his life, Brian’s family turned to attorney, Michael van der Veen.
The first step was to identify all of the responsible parties. In addition to the driver of the SUV in which Brian was a passenger and the municipal bus, there were eight other vehicles involved in this crash. The challenge for attorney van der Veen was not simply to recover damages from a few of the other drivers, but to collect the full insurance policy limits from all of the vehicles involved. This would be the only way to insure that Brian would receive the lifetime care and support he would require.
Attorney van der Veer immediately assembled a full legal team to work on Brian’s case. He filed a lawsuit on Brian’s behalf, conducted detailed depositions of the all other drivers, consulted with countless medical, engineering and financial professionals, and viewed hours and hours of videotape evidence. When he was done, van der Veen’s tireless work produced the result he set out to achieve. He recovered a total of $1.65 million for Brian. This represented every available dollar from the insurance policy of every vehicle involved in the accident. An incredible result, but the only one that van der Veen would accept.
Brian Winters now lives at home with his parents. They are his primary caregivers and help Brian manage to live with his injuries. Thanks to the efforts of attorney Michael van der Veen, Brian and his parents live secure in knowledge that the settlement secured in this case will provide for Brian’s care and support for the rest of his life. They are grateful to van der Veen for his attention to detail, his tenacity and his genuine concern for their well-being. van der Veen didn’t just win the maximum amount available for Brian, but also the respect and admiration of a family.
One of Philadelphia’s foremost personal injury, criminal defense and commercial litigation law firms, van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin combine nearly a century of passion-driven comprehensive law practice and client-centered representation for the full benefit of their clients. Their experience fighting for clients, serving the community and excelling in litigation has earned them the reputation as one of Pennsylvania’s toughest, hardest-working law firms.
* Not his real name.