Family Torn Apart by Multiple Accidents Gets $1.5 Million Verdict

The car that pulled in front of Paul Richmond while he was driving his motorcycle

Paul Richmond was driving his motorcycle at night on a country road when a driver who failed to notice his headlight pulled out from a side road directly into his path. Paul never had a chance. His motorcycle collided with the side of the car, and he suffered severe brain damage. The rest of his life was a struggle to learn to walk and talk, with his therapy sessions periodically interrupted by more surgery. We settled his case for the full amount of available insurance, $500,000.

As he was being taken by his wife to a therapy session, they were hit head-on by a young driver who wandered into their lane while trying to pick something up off the floor of his car. Mr. Richmond suffered two neck fractures, a broken right leg, a left hip dislocation, and impairment of his cognitive and speech abilities. Jana Richmond suffered injuries to her left leg and right hip, along with multiple cuts and abrasions. She has had numerous complications in her recovery.

The teenager who hit the Richmonds only had a $100,000 in insurance coverage. Liberty Mutual admitted that the accident was the sole fault of the teenage driver but delayed, stalled and failed to pay benefits.

Because the insurer was not paying the Richmonds’ medical bills (as required by statute), the Richmonds in their severely injured state were getting extremely stressed because their medical bills were going unpaid. The Richmonds ended up having to file approximately 32 appeals of their benefit denials due to Liberty Mutual’s failure to pay medical bills.

Our firm prepared a settlement videotape that contained statements by the Richmonds and a videotape showing the changes in their life due to the accident.

As lawyers for the Richmonds, we regularly called the insurance company. The adjuster complained about his workload and continuously indicated he was almost done processing the claim. Finally, the adjuster was written and asked that the claims be wrapped up within 10 days.

When the deadline was not met our firm sued Liberty Mutual, recovered all benefits available under the million-dollar policy, and obtained attorney fees for having had to sue Liberty Mutual. Their claims eventually were settled for the full policy limits of $1.1 million.

While these settlements helped ease the burden on the Richmond family, Paul’s heroic struggle to reclaim his former life ended prematurely when, several years after the initial accident, he died during one of several brain surgeries.