In 2015, our client drove home towards Salinas on Highway 101 North. At the same time, a long-haul truck driver was driving southbound. Suddenly, the truck driver crossed over the center median strip of Highway 101 and into oncoming traffic. His big-rig flipped over on top of our client’s small passenger car, flattening it. Amazingly, our client was not killed, but was rendered a quadriplegic.

From the start, the defendant driver and his trucking company employer claimed that an unforeseeable and sudden medical emergency had incapacitated the truck driver, thus absolving them of all liability. Our attorneys conducted extensive research and consulted many eminent experts, thereby determining that such a defense was inapplicable to the given situation. The driver was smoking a cigarette, talking on a cell phone, and operating his tractor-trailer rig in the fast lane at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit. Our review of the driver’s medical records and documents produced by the trucking company revealed that the driver felt dizzy earlier in the day, but still chose to drive.

These circumstances, coupled with the driver’s 40-year history of uncontrolled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, extremely poor diet, and smoking, led us to determine that no jury would find this event “unforeseeable.” In search of the true picture behind the driver’s health history, our office traveled on two occasions to the east coast to take the depositions of the trucking company employees charged with overseeing the driver’s behavior and also the depositions of the many doctors and medical personnel who had treated the driver over a 15 year span.

In addition to the above, we had our client evaluated by a well-respected rehabilitation medicine doctor who determined the type of treatment and care our client would need for the remainder of his life. That proscription was transmitted to a certified life care planner who costed out the plan and an expert economist who translated the costs to present value.

Based on that research and preparation, we were adamant that the defendant should pay for the medical care our client needed for the rest of his life, and for the severe emotional trauma he suffered. Due to the truck driver’s reckless actions, our client required lifelong medical assistance and equipment. In addition, our client’s ability to physically interact with his children and live the life he had before the accident was taken away from him. When the matter was brought to mediation, our lawyers convinced the defense counsel and their insurers that they had no choice but to settle, as we were prepared to win a substantial verdict should the case go in front of a jury. Based on our arguments and the likelihood they would lose at a jury trial, the trucking company agreed to settle with our client for $11 million.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle, give our office a call. We accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis. Our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a monetary judgment or accept a settlement. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Successful DUI Defense

In May 2016, our client attended an evening business meeting at a restaurant in Monterey. At the time, he was a local resident with no criminal record, and took great care to monitor his alcohol intake that night such that he would not be inebriated when driving home.

At approximately 9 p.m., he left the meeting and began driving home. As he entered the highway, he went to press the Bluetooth button on his cell phone. This momentary distraction caused his car to drift a foot to the right over the lane divider. Having seen this, a California Highway Patrol vehicle quickly came up behind him and initiated a traffic stop.

The CHP officers conducted several standard field sobriety tests. Our client generally did very well on his field sobriety tests. For example, on the Romberg balance test, he estimated 30 seconds, while 31 seconds had elapsed. He successfully completed the finger count test. The CHP also gave our client two blood alcohol tests at the scene. Both tests results showed that our client’s blood alcohol content was under the legal limit with a 0.07% blood alcohol content.

Despite these tests results and our client’s clear alertness, the CHP officers still decided to arrest him for driving under the influence. He was taken to the local police department, and later charged with charged in a criminal complaint by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office with driving under the influence.

From the offset, our attorneys felt law enforcement had improperly arrested our client and that the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office was wrong in filing the criminal complaint against him. We urged to the District Attorney to dismiss the case because our client:

• Had a blood alcohol level that was under .08%
• Was driving safely with only one minor, explainable exception
• Performed well on the field sobriety tests
• Had no criminal history and a clean driving record

The District Attorney made several offers which we considered unreasonable and not compatible with the facts of the case. Our efforts ultimately paid off, as the District Attorney’s Office agreed to offer our client an infraction (basically a traffic ticket) for his momentary, unlawful swerve.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence, please contact our attorneys at the Biegel Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your options.

$8.6 Million Verdict in Motorcycle Injury

Just past midnight on September 23, 2003, six wild boar lay dead or dying BOARin the middle of Highway 1, about a quarter mile south of the Carmel River Bridge. They had been hit by motorists earlier in the evening.

Our client, a national kickboxing champion, was , traveling north on Highway 1 toward the Carmel River Bridge. He headed to his home Monterey, and to his wonderful wife and two children; all of whom were involved in martial arts and in the community. The family had no way of knowing that their lives were about to be changed forever.

As he came to the bottom of the Ribera Road hill, our client suddenly collided with one of the six pigs  strewn across the highway. He was thrown from his motorcycle and, although he was wearing a helmet, suffered severe and irreversible brain damage as a result of the collision. He remained in a coma for six months after the accident.

As a result of the accident, he suffered from permanent brain damage; he lost most of his fine motor movement, much of his speech, a great deal of his memory and required 24 hour care. Most of all, our client lost the quality of life that he so enjoyed before that fateful evening. Compounding his own tragedy, his wife lost a part of her husband – certainly the quality of life she had with him prior to the accident evaporated with the injuries he sustained. Finally, of course, the two children lost the leadership and the ever present love and affection of their father, to which they had become so accustomed prior to this tragedy.

At trial, our attorneys argued that highway planning by the State of California had enticed boars to cross the road, and thereby created a dangerous condition on public property. We provided documentation and witness testimony which showed that the state had repeatedly ignored local residents who expressed serious concern over the boars that were causing high-risk traffic hazards. While the attorneys for the defense focused on our client’s contested blood alcohol level, we proved that any person in our client’s position would have suffered the same accident. Our firm hired a renown forensic expert in photogrammetry who produced an HD video to show the jury what our client saw at the point of impact.  This expert replicated the accident, even going so far as to use a recently killed wild boar mounted on a dolly to approximate the actual accident.  When the jurors saw this dramatic presentation, the news reports indicated that many in the jury audibly gasped at the reproduction.   As a result, the jury awarded our client 8.6 million dollars in one of the largest verdicts in Monterey County history. That money was used by our client to hire the finest healthcare professionals as he worked towards his goal of one day walking again.  It is this type of attention to detail, including the use of forensic experts, which contributed to the ultimate result.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in California, contact us today to speak with an experienced injury lawyer. We accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis. You do not have to pay any upfront costs for taking your case to court. Our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a monetary judgment. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule your free case evaluation.

In 2011, our clientdangerous-roadway and his family were driving along a main road in Stanislaus County to get dinner for his birthday, when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and collided into the side of their Ford Expedition driven by our client’s father. The impact caused the Expedition to slam into a large palm tree. Our client’s mother, father, and fourteen-year-old brother died instantly. A third-year law student, our client was left paralyzed from the chest down, without the movement of his arms, and lost many of his vital bodily functions.

Five years prior to this accident, one hundred and thirty-four members of the neighborhood petitioned Stanislaus County to install a four way stop sign at the intersection where the accident would eventually occur. Community residents often avoided the intersection because of the lack of visibility; one had to pull nearly into the oncoming traffic for enough visibility to make a right or left turn onto the main road or to cross that roadway with farm vehicles. After receiving the petition, the County deemed the intersection dangerous for motorists, but avoided installing any traffic lights, stop signs, or other safety measures for six years. The accident which caused the death of our client’s family occurred at this intersection during the six-year interim after the intersection was deemed dangerous and before a traffic light was eventually installed.

The Biegel Law firm represented this young man in securing monetary damages from Stanislaus County that would help him to pay for the medical care he needed for the rest of his life. We also demanded compensation for the emotional trauma of the wrongful deaths of his mother, father, and younger brother. In addition, our firm sued the County on behalf  of our client’s wife for her loss consortium. When the matter was brought to mediation, our expert lawyers convinced the defense counsel and their insurers  that they had no choice but to settle, as we were prepared to win a substantial verdict should the case go in front of a jury. Due to these efforts, our client and Stanislaus County settled for $8.25 million.

This case represented the second time in five years that the Biegel Law Firm won a jury trial or settled a case against a public entity  for dangerous condition of governmental property.

If you have been involved in a car accident in California, contact us today to speak with an experienced injury lawyer. We accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis. You do not have to pay any upfront costs for taking your case to court. Our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a monetary judgment or accept a settlement. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule your free case evaluation.

In 2007 our client, a 61 year old woman, was invited to visit a pJEEPrivate ranch. Upon arrival, the owner of the ranch offered to take her and other guests on a tour of the property in a Jeep. While traveling, the owner caused the Jeep to stall and could not move it forward. Our client, along with the other passengers, got out of the Jeep and moved to a safe distance away from the car on the side of the road.

Suddenly, the ranch proprietor lost control of the Jeep and it careened backwards, skidding off the road and striking our client. As a result of the impact, her right, dominant arm was literally sheared off at the shoulder. It was only through the valiant efforts of the other guests and arriving paramedics that she did not die from blood loss. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the trauma surgeons, medical personnel were unable to reattach her right arm.

There was no question of the total and complete liability of the defendant driver and ranch owner in this case. The driver’s negligence in the operation of the Jeep vehicle was the sole cause of the accident. The driver was a co-owner of the ranch and her negligence was attributed to the other owner.  Our client was prudent in moving to to a place of apparent safety when trouble was encountered. For her significant damages, she was entitled to a full recovery to the maximum extent possible.

After extensive negotiations, our attorneys met with the ranch owners’ insurers at mediation. We successfully convinced them that they had an absolute obligation to pay the entirety of the $1.7 million of available coverage. With these funds on-hand, the burden on our client was eased through future necessary medical care and at least partial payment for her pain and suffering.  This case is a good example of how, no matter how much money can be recovered to an injured client, no amount can compensate for such a profound injury and loss.

As with the case above, our firm accepts personal injury cases on a contingency basis. You do not have to pay any upfront costs for taking your case to court, and our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a money judgment or settlement. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule a free case evaluation.

An innocent person may be charged with a domestic violence offense, even if they are innocent.  An angry spouse might falsely allege abuse, or a simple accident could cause law enforcement officials to make an incorrect assumption. In addition, it has also been found that those who commit lawful acts of self-defense are often
charged with domestic violence when the real aggressor portrays themselves as the victim.

Such was the case wheCOURT HALLWAYn our client was assaulted by his wife in January of 2015. After a heated argument, our client attempted to peacefully exit his home, but was physically stopped by his wife and her family. After breaking free, our client wisely removed himself from the hostile situation. He was soon arrested by the police, based on dishonest allegations by his spouse and her family members that he instigated the altercation.

As a recent immigrant to the United States, our client was aware of the potential for deportation should he be found guilty at trial. Despite this risk, he entrusted our firm to clear his name in open court. At a jury trial, our firm successfully argued that our client had every right to act with reasonable force in his attempt to escape from his wife’s bodily attack. We convinced every member of the jury that the prosecution had not met their burden of proof, and that our client was absolutely innocent. After the Not Guilty verdict was announced, a number of the jurors waited in the hallway to meet our client and express their sympathies for the hardship which he was forced to endure.

 Our attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience defending clients accused of domestic violence. If you or someone you know has been charged with this crime, give our office a call at (831) 373-3700 to learn more about your legal options.

Car CrashIn May of 2015, our clients were driving in Gilroy, California, when their vehicle was suddenly struck by an automobile which had failed to stop at a red traffic signal. The force of the collision was so intense that the driver and passenger airbags were deployed; one of the passengers was trapped in the car and had to be extricated by first responders utilizing the Jaws of Life.

Thankfully, both passengers survived the horrific accident. Yet the significant damages they sustained, both in medical costs and emotional trauma, greatly surpassed the minimal insurance of the at-fault driver. Our attorneys worked with the clients to prepare a comprehensive demand package to their insurer, which clearly stated why they deserved the entirety of their six-figure uninsured/under-insured policy. We guaranteed the insurance company knew that our office was fully prepared to litigate the matter, to ensure that our clients received what they were entitled to. This effort resulted in the full payment of the policy, which has greatly improved the comfort and well-being of the injured family.

If you have been a victim of a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you deserve to be compensated. Contact us today to speak with an experienced injury lawyer. We accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis. You do not have to pay any upfront costs for taking your case to court. Our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a monetary judgment. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule your free case evaluation.