Case Results

Settled low seven figures – confidential Karen L., Las Vegas

Karen L. was a passenger in her employer’s large truck. The truck engine malfunctioned and spilled several gallons of oil onto the freeway. Karen was standing waiting for help, when a car hit the oil slick, lost control and hit Karen , pinning her between the car and the truck. Karen was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital emergency room. Emergency surgery was performed on her legs. Karen was off work for nearly 2 years, while she continued with intense medical treatment and recovery. She was paid two thirds of her salary, under her company’s worker’s compensation insurance, while she was recovering.

Apple Law Firm, on behalf of Karen, sued the truck dealership that had repaired the truck just before the accident. The dealership sued the truck manufacturer, which in turn sued the companies that made and distributed the engine part. The multiple defendants and their attorneys complicated the case and prolonged its resolution. Apple Law Firm hired several experts, including a prominent national professional engineer. All of the other parties also hired their own engineers. Our engineer concluded that the engine part that failed was defectively manufactured, and caused the truck to stall in a very dangerous position on the freeway, exposing Karen to injury

The dealership, truck manufacturer and other defendants tried to dodge fault for Karen’s injuries, each claiming the other was at fault. They also argued that the driver who lost control did so, not because of the oil on the freeway, but due to failure to operate his vehicle safely in the rain.

After several years of litigation, numerous court hearings, and the depositions of all the parties’ experts as well as all witnesses, everyone finally agreed to mediation just before the scheduled jury trial. Karen’s case settled at mediation for an amount in the low 7 figures, pursuant to a confidentiality agreement which prohibits disclosure of the actual amount. Under Nevada law, and the contract between Karen’s employer and its Workmen’s Compensation insurance carrier, Karen was obligated to pay back over $350,000 for salary and medical bills. Apple law firm successfully negotiated a reduction of over $190,000, which resulted in a much higher net recovery for Karen.

$775,000 Sharon J., Las Vegas

Sharon, a 39 year old wife and mother of 2 daughters, was at a complete stop in her Dodge Van, turning right onto US 95. Her head, neck and upper body were rotated to her extreme left, because she was watching for oncoming traffic. Her van was rear-ended by a Chevy suburban. The force of the impact caused Sharon’s chest to hit the steering wheel. Her right leg hit the dashboard. Her van was pushed forward approximately one car length. She was in good physical condition, very active and training for a half- marathon. She did not think she was hurt badly enough to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. When she didn’t get better after two months of conservative treatment, her doctor referred her for an MRI of her low back.
The MRI showed a large disc protrusion at L5-S1. Sharon was then seen by a neurosurgeon. He prescribed several epidural steroid injections. When her condition and pain continued to get worse over 7 months after the accident, Sharon elected to have low back surgery, a posterior micro decompression and lumbar spinal fusion at L5 – S1.
Sharon hired Apple law firm shortly after the accident. It appeared this would be a routine minor injury case, due to Sharon’s normal fitness and good health. After she was told she was a surgical candidate, Apple law firm immediately filed a lawsuit against the at fault driver. Cases involving surgery rarely are successfully concluded while dealing with insurance adjusters.
The attorneys for the other driver tried to dispute Sharon’s claim for adequate compensation on two grounds. First, they argued that the damage to the Dodge Van was so small that she could not have been injured so seriously. This argument has no basis in good science and every case is different. Secondly, they contended that her surgeon was motivate by factors other what was in Sharon’s best interest, and they questioned the surgical procedure itself. After they took Sharon’s deposition and reviewed all of the evidence in her favor, including her prior excellent health and no history of back injuries, they quickly backed off and the case was resolved through mediation. The initial offer was $250,000. After vigorous negotiations, the case was settled for the policy limits from the available insurance companies, for $775,000. Sharon’s medical bills totaled $174,000. Fortunately, she had good health insurance through her husband’s company. Almost all such plans require reimbursement when injuries are caused by the fault of a third party. Apple Law Firm negotiated a large discount from the health insurance company , which increased Sharon’s net recovery significantly.

$780,000 Maurice J., Las Vegas

Maurice is an exceptional young man. Age 29, at the time of the accident. He was one of 12 children – from a poor but loving family – rural Louisiana – single Mom. Maurice moved to LV to better himself -became a very popular waiter at Emeril’s Restaurant . Purchased his first home for his young son – Maurice Jr. Life was good.
Then, in a split second- he was almost killed as a passenger in a Ford Escort sedan, driven by his friend Otis . They were on Bonanza Road , near MLK, at 2 A.M. when a semi with a loaded flatbed trailer suddenly backed out of a driveway – directly in front of their car. Otis slammed on his brakes but could not avoid hitting the trailer. There was a large metal box, bolted to the bottom of the trailer. It saved them from being decapitated. Maurice was transported to UMC, where he was hospitalized for over 3 months. Maurice has very serious internal damage to his organs. He was left with significant residual scarring. His hospital bills exceeded $884,000. He had excellent health insurance , and his repayment obligation was negotiated down to $50,000.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigated the accident and cited Otis for drunk driving. No citation was issued to the truck driver that backed into the road, at night, with no person looking for oncoming traffic and no warning signs or devices.
Apple law firm was hired by his sister, while Maurice lay in a coma in the hospital. Apple Law Firm immediately hired a well-known accident reconstruction expert, and conducted an investigation of the facts of the accident. The results were that we Police Department modified its report, and although Otis was legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, issued a citation to the driver of the semi for his negligence in backing onto the street, without a lookout, and with no warning. Apple Law Firm had to file a lawsuit, because the insurance company for the at fault truck driver and his company, disputed liability for the accident.
Faced with the accident reconstruction expert’s report, the revised traffic accident report, and the fact that Maurice was a fault free passenger who had large claims against the truck owner and driver, shortly after Apple law firm filed a lawsuit, the case settled for the insurance policy limits of $780,000. Maurice’ s claim was worth significantly more money, however applicable law only required that owners of small trucking companies have $750,000 in liability insurance on each truck . Before settling for the policy limits, Apple law firm hired an investigator to search for assets owned by the driver- one truck operator, and traveled to his home state in Utah, to determine that there were no assets of any value other than the insurance policy. There were not. The case settled for the insurance policy limits of $780,000.

$882,000 Richard K., Las Vegas

Richard, age 49, was operating his Harley Davidson motorcycle northbound on Boulder Highway, at about 55 mph on a clear dry February morning. Defendant Marie L. stopped her Cadillac sedan at a stop sign, then drove across 3 southbound lanes on Boulder Highway, and T-boned Richard on his motorcycle. She told the investigating police officer that she did not see the motorcycle. She thanked God Richard was alive.
The motorcycle was jammed under the front of the Cadillac, and Richard was pinned underneath the motorcycle. Emergency personnel had to free him from the wreckage. Richard was transported by Flight for Life to UMC trauma center. An orthopedic surgeon performed emergency surgery on Richards badly injured left leg and foot. The doctors considered amputating his foot at one point, but were able to save it . Richard made a slow recovery, but eventually was able to return to work as a meat cutter. Richard had health insurance through his union which paid over $300,000 in medical bills. There were substantial reductions in the actual medical bills paid because of the contract between the health insurance company and the numerous medical providers.
Richard is a very stoic man. After he had recovered and was able to return to work, with a bit of a limp, he purchased another Harley Davidson with a softer suspension, which he rides today . Apple law firm filed a lawsuit and obtained a judgment of $882,000.

$525,000 Glenn W., Las Vegas

Glenn, age 30 and single, was test driving a customer’s motorcycle for his company, when an employee of a local Dodge dealership, driving one of its cars, attempted to cross a major street. He failed to see Glenn, and accelerated into his travel lane. Glenn, an experienced writer, attempted to avoid the collision by swerving to the right. The sedan struck the motorcycle on the left-hand side, causing Glenn to be thrown off the motorcycle about 30 feet through the air. He landed on his back and leg. Glenn’s left leg was badly broken, a tibia fibula fracture, with complex deep lacerations of his left thigh. Glenn was transported to UMC where surgery was performed immediately.

Glenn was initially hospitalized for 5 days. He then developed a serious infection at the wound site on his leg, and was hospitalized for another 7 days. Glenn was off work for 6 months. Since he was on the job, his medical bills and reduced salary were paid by his employer’s workers compensation insurance. Glenn’s medical bills totaled in excess of $148,000.

Apple Law Firm was hired by Glenn shortly after the accident. He was referred by a former client. A lawsuit was promptly filed against the Dodge dealership. A vocational rehabilitation expert was hired to evaluate Glenn’s disabilities, work life expectancy and ability to return to work. An economist was hired to prepare a report regarding Glenn’s projected future lost income as a result of his injuries. The case was scheduled for a jury trial. The Dodge dealership and its attorneys did not contest the liability of its negligent employee.

Just prior to trial, the parties and their attorneys agreed to mediate the case. It was mutually agreed to use a former District Court Judge who had heard in excess of 300 jury trials. A settlement was successfully negotiated by Apple law firm on behalf of Glenn. The settlement was $525,000. Apple law firm also negotiated a discount from the Workmen’s Compensation insurance company, through its attorneys, from $148,000 to $90,000 which increased Glenn’s net settlement by $58,000. Glenn recovered from his injuries and was able to return to work, with a slight limp that was improving.

$320,000 David B., Pahrump, NV

David, age 45 and single, worked as a casual day laborer for $10 an hour cash. He was seriously injured in a large two-story home under construction in Pahrump, Nevada. David lived in a small trailer on the property – as a night watchman. On his day off, David was on the second floor and fell through a large hole in the floor – an opening for a staircase. It was daylight, the area was well lit, and David knew the hole was there. His story was that he forgot about the hole, as he was walking and looking at the ceiling. David fell 12 feet to the concrete floor below and landed on his feet, with his left foot taking the brunt of the impact.

David was transported in the back of a pickup to the local hospital. He was then moved to UMC in Las Vegas. He had his first surgery on his left foot 9 days after the fall. When the hardware failed, he had to have a second surgery. Hardware and screws were put in his leg and foot. David had 3 more surgeries over the next 2 years because of further complications. He moved to California to live with his mother because he was unable to work. David initially hired a California attorney to represent him. The California attorney attempted to settle David’s case. The highest offer the insurance company for the homeowner ever made was $73,000.

David was referred to Apple Law Firm by another Nevada attorney. Apple Law Firm was hired shortly before the 2 year statute of limitations was to expire, and immediately filed a lawsuit against the homeowner. The homeowner’s insurance company took the position that the accident was largely the fault of David, for not watching where he was going. Meanwhile, David’s medical bills continued to grow, and reached a total o f $156,000. David had no health insurance. He qualified for Social Security disability and a small portion of his bills were paid by Medicare, which had to be reimbursed. After suing the homeowner, Apple Law Firm hired an expert safety consultant with 30 years experience. His report stated that there were no warning signs, guard rails, barricades or other safety mechanisms in place to protect workers and others while the house was under construction. Safety standards required that there be a platform and guard rail system to prevent falls through the stairway opening.

The parties and their attorneys agreed to mediation to see if they could resolve the case. David and Apple Law Firm had to recognize that he indeed was partly at fault for his fall. In Nevada, this is called comparative negligence. The rule is that if the injured person’s negligence exceeds 50%, his claim fails and there is no compensation.

At the daylong mediation, Apple Law Firm negotiated vigorously on behalf of David and was able to increase the insurance companies initial offer of $73,000 to a settlement of $320,000. In addition, Apple Law Firm negotiated a discount with the hospital, which agreed to reduce its lien from $139,000 down to $75,000, a reduction of $64,000. David’s California attorney also had a lien against the file which initially was one-third of the recovery. Apple Law Firm negotiated it down to $10,000. The experienced mediator’s opinion was that a jury probably would find David 50% at fault. If a jury found him more than more than 50% at fault, David would have recovered nothing. The settlement would have been about double if David had not been largely at fault.

$100,000 Steve A., Las Vegas

Steve, a 31-year-old customer service representative for a home builder, was on his way to a job in his own pickup truck. Breanna B. failed to yield the right-of-way while making a left hand turn directly in front of Steve’s truck. She was in a Jeep. Both vehicles sustained major damage and had be towed from the accident scene. Steve was taken by Henderson Fire Department to Desert Springs hospital. He had multiple contusions and lacerations to his head, chest and right knee. After he was released, he continued having pain and problems in his right knee. His first orthopedic surgeon, after reviewing an MRI of the knee, and several months of treatment, concluded that Steve did not need surgery, although he was still in pain. Steve obtained a second opinion from second orthopedic surgeon, who gave him injected his knee and fitted him with a brace. 10 months after the accident Steve was no better. He was having a lot of pain while working. Injections were tried again but failed.

The second orthopedic surgeon concluded that there may be a false negative on the MRI of the knee, which said the knee was normal. Surgery was performed on the knee 11 months after the accident, consisting of an arthroscopic partial medial meniscus procedure. Within 3 months, Steve appeared to be improving. Then, his condition began to decline. His workers compensation case had been closed, and after fighting to have it reopened, Steve was evaluated by a third orthopedic surgeon. After further testing, he concluded that another knee surgery was required. More than a year and a half after the accident, Steve had his second surgery, consisting of a diagnostic arthroscopic medial meniscus surgery, which disclosed a tear that had apparently been there since the accident. Steve began improving, and was attending physical therapy, when, 23 months after his first accident, he was involved in another motor vehicle accident which re- injured his right knee.

Steve had total medical bills of $24,000. A portion of the bills were paid by the workers compensation insurance company and a portion were paid from Steve’s settlement. Apple Law Firm was hired about a year after the accident, and filed a lawsuit when the at fault driver’s insurance company argued that the accident was not the cause of Steve’s complicated medical issues. They claimed that most of his problems were “pre-existing”. After another year of fighting for Steve, the case was settled for the other drivers insurance policy limits of $100,000.

$75,000 Kelli R., Las Vegas

Kelli, a 35 year old mother of 2 boys, was in her front yard, getting ready for a family picnic. Suddenly, her next door neighbor’s 3 German Shepherd dogs were in her yard, chasing her. Her German Shepherd, Jack, was right next to her. While trying to get away from the three growling German shepherds, Kelli grabbed Jack by his collar and fell against her garage door. She dropped to the ground and heard a popping sound in her right knee as she went down. It all happened so quickly that Kelli could not remember all the details. She does not think that there was any contact between Jack and the neighbor’s three dogs. She might have fallen over her dog. The neighbor’s dogs never touched her. The owner of the house next door heard Kelli’s screams and retrieved his dogs. He helped Kelli get up and carried her into her house. Two months prior, the same three dogs came on to Kelli’s property, rushed into her house when the door was opened, and got into a fight with Jack. Kelli and her husband complained to the next-door neighbor – who apologized.
Kelli ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee. The orthopedic surgeons who examined her eight days after the accident told her that she needed surgery. She incurred medical bills totaling $6400. The estimate for surgery was $18,500. She had no health insurance and the homeowner’s insurance company for the next-door neighbor denied her claim. It took the incredible position that Kelli was careless and should have watched where she was going.
Kelli responded to a TV lawyer ad, met with a “legal assistant”, and hired the law firm. She never actually met with the TV lawyer, or any lawyer. When the law firm received a letter from the neighbor’s insurance company denying the claim, the law firm quickly sent Kelli a letter telling her that TV lawyer would not represent her any longer. Commonly called a “kiss-off” letter.
Kelli then hired Apple Law Firm which immediately recognized that Kelli had a righteous claim, and that the insurance company was taking a ridiculous position. A lawsuit was immediately filed against the next-door neighbor. Still, the insurance company and its attorneys attempted to defeat Kelli’s claim. One of their arguments was that if Kelli really needed surgery, she would have found a way to pay for it. Kelli was in a difficult position. She could not take the time off work – several weeks – to recover from surgery. The family depended on her income. Her husband was self employed and they had no health insurance. So she kept working and tolerated the pain as best she could.
After a round of depositions, Apple Law Firm was able to settle the case, with the help of a skilled mediator. The mediator was chosen, in part, because he used to do work for the insurance company, and “spoke their language”. Apple Law Firm also knew that the mediator, in his private sessions with the insurance company representatives, would be persuasive as to the foolishness of their position. Kelli, who was a highly credible witness, attended the mediation and impressed everyone. She might have been awarded more money if the case had gone to a jury trial. However, the settlement allowed her to have surgery and money in the bank to get through the recovery period. And she avoided a possible appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, a favorite stalling tactic of some insurance companies.

$490,000 Larry G., Las Vegas

Larry, age 29, was a heavy equipment diesel mechanic, working for a large contractor. He was injured while on his way to pick up parts. Larry was driving his open Jeep CJ5, when a tractor with 2 trailers full of gravel turned left in front of him. Larry slammed on his brakes but could not avoid hitting the right front end of the tractor, which threw him out of his Jeep onto the truck. Larry is a big guy, 6’4”, and fractured his left acetabulum, the largest joint in the human body, the big socket where the femoral head or top of the femur fits. Larry was transported to UMC were surgery was performed, including placement of a plate and 11 screws to hold the joint in place.

Larry’s case initially had two problems. Problem one arose when his employer’s workers compensation insurance company claimed that, because Larry stopped to grab a sandwich, while on his way to pick up parts, he was technically not on the job and not covered by workers compensation. The second problem was that the large construction company that owned the gravel truck denied that its driver caused the accident based on the driver’s statement that he had a green left hand turn arrow and the right-of-way.

Apple Law Firm was hired shortly after the accident. Faced with these two problems, a lawsuit was immediately filed against the owner of the gravel truck. The workers compensation insurance company eventually backed off and agreed that Larry was covered and his medical bills and lost income were paid. The second fight was not resolved until after the depositions of Larry, the truck driver, his doctors and traffic engineers were taken. Testimony from 2 Clark County traffic engineers established that the accident could not have happened as claimed by the truck driver. It became clear that he was lying. Another issue was that there were no witnesses to the accident other than the two drivers.

Before Larry fully recovered, it was discovered that, during surgery to repair his hip joint, one of the screws holding the strap in place was rubbing against his sciatic nerve, causing him ongoing and constant pain. After several visits to the original surgeon, who kept telling him nothing was wrong, Apple Law Firm assisted Larry in obtaining a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon who quickly discovered the offending screw that was the source of his pain. During a surgical procedure the screw was removed and Larry’s pain went away.

After resolving these issues, the case was submitted to mediation using an experienced attorney- mediator. Larry’s case was finally settled at mediation for $490,000, $100,000 of which was paid to him in cash, and the balance, after reimbursing the workers compensation system, and paying his attorneys fees and costs, was placed into a structured settlement, with payments to be made periodically over the next 15 years.