Colman Law Group attorney Michele Levinson represented a client who was involved in a relatively minor sideswipe car accident in Beverly Hills in 2013. The defendant’s vehicle was traveling at less than three mph through an intersection when it contacted the plaintiff’s car. The collision caused just over $300 in damages to the defendant’s car.
Despite the minor impact, the plaintiff accumulated more than $15,000 in medical specials, including over $7,400 in chiropractic bills. Plaintiff’s counsel advised that his client was planning on having surgery and had scheduled a surgical consultation.
She had also been in a collision the year before, and had hired the same attorney and chiropractor. In both collisions, she was recommended to have epidural injections for pain but did not receive them. Her car required roughly $3,000 worth of repairs.
A six-figure demand
The plaintiff demanded a six-figure settlement and even served a $100,000 demand on the eve of the trial. The defense offered $20,000, which was rejected.
As the plaintiff’s alleged injuries from the collision were unlikely, the defense brought in a team to investigate. An accident reconstruction expert evaluated the loss and an orthopedic surgeon examined the plaintiff to assess the reasonableness and necessity of her treatment.
Preparing for trial
The Colman team served a demand for the plaintiff to designate their experts, with a deadline 50 days before trial. The plaintiff only listed treating doctors as “experts” and well past the statutory deadline. The plaintiff served the same demand and CM answered on time, identifying the experts set to testify.
The defense moved to exclude all of the plaintiff’s treating providers from testifying, due to failure to comply with the code.
In July 2016, counsel from both sides appeared, ready for trial, before the Honorable James Kaddo in Van Nuys. After lengthy arguments the first day, the court determined that Colman Law Group’s position was correct—none of the plaintiff’s medical providers could testify.
A reasonable settlement
Based on the court’s decision, the plaintiff elected to resolve the suit immediately and accepted $20,000, the same amount that was offered in April.
The matter, expected to require a five-day trial, was resolved that afternoon.