In the world of personal injury law, some cases stand out not only for their complexity but also for the resilience of the individuals involved. This case study sheds light on the journey of two sisters who in the prime of their life, suffered severe and permanent injuries after a harrowing car accident fueled by needless recklessness. Attorney Mark Joye alongside Case Manager Shawn Legg took on the responsibility of seeking justice and compensation for the life-altering injuries suffered by these two young women.
A Charleston Joyride Turns Tragic
On a seemingly ordinary day in September of 2018, two sisters, aged 18 and 20, were riding as passengers in a brand-new Tesla. The vehicle carried a total of five passengers and was careening along the streets of Charleston. As the driver navigated the curve of Fishburne Street, close to the Joe Riley Baseball Park, he continued to accelerate while approaching an almost 90-degree turn. The consequences were catastrophic. The driver lost control of the car, ran off the road, and struck a tree. The car continued to slide, coming to an abrupt stop as it crashed into another tree. A witness in the car said that the driver was traveling at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, far exceeding the legal and safe speed posted for this road. The driver of the Tesla was found at fault in the crash, and he was charged with driving too fast for conditions.
Injuries and Permanent Damage to Passengers
Immediately after the accident, both sisters were transported to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) by EMS. Their injuries were extensive and required several days of in-patient care. The younger sister’s injuries included a fractured pelvis, concussion, and whiplash. She also had hardware in her spine due to scoliosis, which was broken due to the force of the crash, this resulted in immense pain and necessitated reconstructive surgery. The older sister’s injuries were also serious and included seven broken teeth, fractures to her sternum, pelvis, and sacrum along with a concussion and low back pain.
Both of the young women went through surgeries, physical therapy, and had to rely on walkers and wheelchairs for several months. These injuries were not transient; both sisters were left with permanent damage, necessitating extensive future medical care estimated to be between $1.5 to $2 M. Atty. Joye factored these future medical needs into settlement demands on top of the almost half a million dollars in existing medical bills directly resulting from the wreck.
Navigating Negotiations on a Long Road to Justice
The negotiations in this case were far from straightforward. Cincinnati Insurance Company, who represented the defendant, played various games to reduce the settlement amount. They initially claimed there was $3 million in insurance coverage, only to backtrack later and state it was just $2 million. Where some attorneys may have taken them at their word, Atty. Joye painstakingly reviewed the insurance contracts and determined there was, in fact, $3 million available in compensation. “The tricks that the insurance company and defense attorneys played in this case were some of the worst I’ve experienced in 33 years,” says Atty. Joye.
Determined to get the best possible result, the sisters’ case went through two mediations and was in litigation for two long years before finally reaching a settlement, which came just before going to trial. Ultimately, the defendant’s insurance company agreed to $2,417,500 for the sisters, with an additional $100,000 going to two other passengers in the car with less severe injuries.
Expertise Matters in Cases Involving Significant Injuries
This case underscores the importance of having a dedicated and knowledgeable legal team when dealing with personal injury cases, particularly those involving complex negotiations and ruthless insurance companies. “You cannot rely on what the insurance company verbally tells you; you have to have someone trained in this to review written documentation,” explains Atty. Joye, a board-certified Trial Advocate and past-president of the South Carolina Association for Justice.
Now that the legal battle is over, our clients can continue to heal and look toward their futures. One of the sisters plans to finish her training to become an aesthetician. The other has decided to pursue a career in nursing after being inspired by those who cared for her during her time of need.
Our clients’ story is one of resilience and triumph. They overcame immense challenges, and with the support of the Joye Law Firm, they received the compensation they deserved after enduring such tremendous injuries. It is a testament to the power of perseverance and the role that experienced legal representation plays in securing justice for those in need.
Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future outcomes.