Motorcycle Accident in Cobb County
RM’s love for riding motorcycles started years ago overseas where he lived for most of his life. When RM moved to the United States and settled in Georgia, he brought with him his passion to ride motorcycles. As a Fulton County resident, one of RM’s favorite pastimes was riding his 2012 Yamaha XT1200Z around the state.
On September 27, 2017, RM was driving his motorcycle on Johnson Ferry Road toward Lower Roswell Road in Cobb County, when he collided with another vehicle. RM was struck by a 2012 Volvo XC60 that had pulled out directly in front of RM. RM never saw the Volvo coming and had no time to react. Several eyewitnesses watched RM fly off his motorcycle. One witness later recalled that RM flew at least 15 feet in the air before RM landed on the road, injured and immobile. (See portions of redacted Complaint below. To view the full Complaint, click here).
Shattered Pelvis and Fractured Wrist
Although several eyewitnesses immediately called 911, RM lay on the road motionless for about 20 minutes before the EMS came. The paramedics carefully placed RM on a stretcher and transported RM to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta. RM remained hospitalized for three weeks.
RM sustained severe personal injuries including: 1) a dislocated pelvis; 2) a dislocation of the right sacroiliac joint (what connects the public bones); 3) a mesenteric contusion (deep bruising and trauma to the abdomen); 4) an open tibial fracture (tibia fracture breaking the surface of the skin); 5) a severely comminuted right distal radius fracture (shattered bones in the wrist); and 6) a left metacarpal fracture (multiple breakings in his finger). (A medical illustration is on the right.)
Surgeries and Treatment
RM’s recovery was long and painful. Over the course of several months, RM had to have multiple operations. Surgeons from Resurgens Orthopaedics operated on RM’s leg, wrist, hand, and pelvis.
One of his surgeons was Dr. Douglas Lundy. Dr. Lundy had operated on RM’s back and pelvis. When asked about the severity of RM’s wounds, Dr. Lundy shared: “how often do you have all of these injuries at once? These injuries can and do kill people.” Dr. Lundy explained that out of all of RM’s injuries, his broken pelvis was the most serious. RM’s pelvic injury was “life-threatening, and the surgery to correct it was exceptionally complex.” (A x-ray after surgery showing RM’s pelvis with the hardware is on the right.)
A few days later, Dr. Anuj Netto, another orthopedist at Resurgens Orthopaedics and whose specialty is the hand, operated on RM’s wrist and hand. This surgery lasted four and half hours. Dr. Netto testified that “the degree of trauma, especially to his [RM’s] right wrist, was fairly significant, requiring an extensive amount of time to try and piece it [all the bones] back together.” Dr. Netto had to put RM’s bones together using a combination of plates, screws, rods, and wires. (A x-ray after the surgery of RM’s wrist is on the right.)
After RM was released from the hospital, he spent months treating with occupational and physical therapists. Both Dr. Lundy and Dr. Netto testified that RM will likely develop traumatic arthritis as well as other medical issues. Nevertheless, both surgeons agreed that RM was making remarkable progress and were confident that RM would recover from his extensive injuries.
Butler Tobin Steps In
Like many of the cases our firm works on, RM was referred to us by another lawyer. The first thing our team did was visit RM while he was still in the hospital.
Our next step after meeting our new client was to track down the witnesses. We sent open records requests to the Cobb County Police Department, and listened to 911 recordings to find the witnesses. The at-fault-driver, an older gentleman who was visiting from out of state, was driving the Volvo with his wife and two grandchildren when the collision occurred.
When questioned in his deposition, the at-fault driver admitted that he took some responsibility for the accident, but he tried to blame RM for speeding. Through the help of witnesses, we were able to establish that RM was not speeding, and that RM had the right-of-way. One eyewitness in particular met us at the crash site and walked us step by step through what happened in the minutes and seconds leading up to the crash. That witnesses’ testimony was invaluable.
In addition to investigating, our team ordered and read all of RM’s medical records. After we had a handle on the medicine, we met with RM’s treating physicians and surgeons. Through the course of litigation, we were able to find a fourth insurance policy.
After several depositions were taken in the case, and as our team began preparing the case for trial, the three insurance companies met the terms of our settlement demands and paid the full policy limits under each insurance policy. The case resolved short of trial for $1,450,000. The settlement thankfully covered all of RM’s medical bills, and RM took him a check for almost seven figures.
After undergoing three successful surgeries and enduring months of physical and occupational therapy, RM has made significant improvement. RM continues to work hard with the goal of getting back on his Yamaha motorcycle.