Intersections are common locations for road accidents and vehicle collisions. In many of these cases, the accidents were caused by the driver who failed to yield to incoming traffic while turning left at an intersection. The case of Jessica Berrones v. Hailey Andrews and AndrewsAG, Inc. shows that such a mistake is much more serious than other driving infractions—including overspeeding.
Details of the Case
This particular case involved a car crash that occurred on February 28, 2014. Jessica Berrones was traveling west on Franklin as she approached orange, while driving in Hollywood near the Magic Castle’s driveway. The other driver was Hailey Andrews, who was at the opposite left-turn lane to turn left into the Magic Castle driveway.
Andrews turned left while Berrones entered the intersection, and this resulted in a collision between the vehicles they were driving. Berrones suffered disc injuries that required fusions. She filed a suit with car accident lawyers against Andrews for damages, and also named AndrewsAG, Inc. as a defendant as Andrews was driving a car owned by the company.
The main contention of the plaintiff is that Andrews failed to yield to oncoming traffic when she turned left into the driveway. Berrones’s lawyer maintained that under the California Vehicle Code § 21801(a), Andrews was required to yield in such a situation. The suit contends that this failure resulted in the disc herniations that Berrones suffered.
The suit also submitted a medical bill for more than $336,000. The bill is for the conservative treatment course that was first tried before she received spinal fusion surgeries for her injuries. The suit also named the company that owned the car that Andrews was driving as one of the defendants.
The lawyers for the defense, however, shifted the blame on Berrones by contending that she was driving over the speed limit at the time of the collision. Their position was that had she been driving within the speed limit, she would have had enough time to step on the brakes and her injuries would not have been as serious.
In addition, the defense also even argued that her injuries were not actually incurred during the collision. They claimed that her injuries were sustained by a fall that occurred a full year after the car crash. Their argument was that the accident would only have resulted in a sprain or strain at the most.
The defense also challenged the amount of the submitted medical bills, and stated that it should only be a little over $21,000.
All sides of the suit tried to reach a settlement before the start of the trial. The plaintiff asked for $15,000 from Andrews, and the company agreed with the demand. However, Berrones’s lawyer demanded $600,000 which they later lowered to $595,000. The defendant was only willing to pay for $300,000 and so the case was brought to trial.
The jury only took 5 hours to deliberate to deliver a verdict for the plaintiff. The gross verdict included $545,000 for noneconomic losses (such as pain and suffering) and $327,691.09 for economic damages. The plaintiff was able to receive the full amount of $872,691.09 as she was not deemed partially responsible for the mishap.
This case clearly shows that you must take care to yield to incoming traffic when you take a left turn on the road. If you are involved in a similar accident, consult a lawyer with extensive experience in car accident liability cases so that you can receive the damages you deserve.