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$225,000 Settlement for Quadriplegic Man Who Fell From Public Bus

In California, common carriers must provide reasonable care and vigilance to ensure no harm occurs to the passengers or goods they transport. In this case, a public paratransit bus driver failed to properly set the bus’s hydraulic lift. As a result, a man fell and was pinned between his 300-pound wheelchair and the rough asphalt.

57-year-old William is a spastic quadriplegic with multiple sclerosis. He permanently resides in a skilled nursing facility in Vista, California. The youngest resident in the facility, he regularly watches his neighbors decline in health but is determined to enjoy his life to the best of his abilities. With the help of his power wheelchair and public transportation, he travels to parks, theaters, beaches, and – the event he looks forward to the most – to visit his family every week. To prepare for the 45-mile journey home, William wakes up as early as 3:30am to catch the bus.

William’s traumatic experience occurred in August 2017, during a return trip from one of his weekly family visits. After enjoying a beautiful day with his family, the bus was on time and everything seemed “effortless.” As usual, the bus driver stepped out and assisted William onto the platform. However, the driver neglected to ensure the platform was level. William rolled off, falling four feet and landing face-first onto the ground. Good Samaritans nearby heard his fall and raced to help put him back into his chair.

William was taken to a nearby hospital, concerned he might have suffered a concussion. As doctors tended to his head laceration, he complained of an uncomfortable sensation radiating from his lower extremities. Medical imagery revealed he broke a total of nine bones in both feet. Adding insult to injury, after being released from the hospital, William was stuck at the nursing facility. The fall had rendered his $40,000 chair inoperable. With no mobility, he was robbed of the few things his disease left him with and felt immense sadness over the loss of his dignity, independence, and security - as well as the ability to see his family.

About two weeks after his injury, William’s wife called John Mittelman of the Mittelman Law Firm. John got to know them both and looked to hold the public transit agency accountable for the degrading accident that stripped William of his happiness and freedom of movement. John immediately got to work, and even before filing suit, prevailed in convincing the Defendant’s insurance company to advance the funds needed to repair William's chair.

John looked to mediate the case and needed to find a solution to communicate the human damages that resulted from the accident. He wanted a day-in-the-life video that shared William’s testimony, demonstrating the impact of the Defendant’s carelessness. He contacted DK Global to meet with William, document his daily struggle, and create a persuasive video that would award him the justice and compensation he deserved.

The presentation captured William’s life before the accident. He controlled his chair with his chin and was able to travel as far as Boston to visit family and friends. He expressed his love for his wife and daughters, looking forward to the three days out of the week he saw them. While his physical injuries healed about three months after the accident, William was debilitated by PTSD and lack of trust in the bus system. He was bound to his room and was troubled by the sound of his older neighbors struggling with dementia and incontinence. William was determined to let the Defense know just how badly he was affected and to ensure that this accident never happens to anyone else.

With the day-in-the-life video in hand during mediation, John secured a $225,000 settlement for William, which would be more than enough to cover his vast medical expenses.

John Mittelman is a solo practitioner who dedicates his full attention and energy to each case he takes on. When hired, he handles the entire matter, from intake through settlement or verdict. Mittelman has taken hundreds of medical malpractice and major personal injury cases through to successful settlements, verdicts, and arbitration awards over his career spanning 32 years.

In California, common carriers must provide reasonable care and vigilance to ensure no harm occurs to the[AS1]  passengers or goods they transport[AS2] . In this case, a public paratransit bus driver failed to properly set the bus’s hydraulic lift. As a result, a man fell and was pinned between his 300-pound wheelchair and the rough asphalt.

57-year-old William is a spastic quadriplegic with multiple sclerosis. He permanently resides in a skilled nursing facility in Vista, California. The youngest resident in the facility, he regularly watches his neighbors decline in health but is determined to enjoy his life to the best of his abilities. With the help of his power wheelchair and public transportation, he travels[AS3]  to parks, theaters, beaches, and – the event he looks forward to the most – to visit his family every week. To prepare for the 35-mile journey home William wakes up as early as 3:30 in the morning to catch the bus.

William’s traumatic experience occurred in August 2017, during a return trip from one of his weekly family visits. After enjoying a beautiful day with his family, the bus was on time and everything seemed “effortless.” As usual, the bus driver stepped out and assisted William onto the platform. However, the driver neglected to ensure the platform was level. William rolled off, falling four feet and landing face-first onto the ground. Good Samaritans nearby heard his fall and raced to help put him back into his chair.

William was taken to a nearby hospital, concerned he might have suffered a concussion. As doctors tended to his head laceration, he complained of an uncomfortable sensation radiating from his lower extremities. Medical imagery revealed he broke a total of nine bones in both feet. Adding insult to injury, after being released from the hospital, William was stuck at the nursing facility. The fall had rendered his $40,000 chair inoperable. With no mobility, he was robbed of the few things his disease left him with and felt immense sadness over the loss of his dignity, independence and security, as well as the ability to see his family.

About two weeks after his injury, William’s wife called John Mittelman of the Mittelman Law Firm. John got to know them both and looked to hold the public transit agency accountable for the degrading accident that stripped William of his happiness and freedom of movement. John immediately got to work, and even before filing suit prevailed in convincing the Defendant’s insurance company to advance the funds needed to repair William's chair.

John looked to mediate the case and needed to find a solution to communicate the human damages that resulted from the accident. He wanted a day-in-the-life video that shared William’s testimony, demonstrating the impact of the Defendant’s carelessness. He contacted DK Global to meet with William, document his daily struggle, and create a persuasive video that would award him the justice and compensation he deserved.

The presentation captured William’s life before the accident. He controlled his chair with his chin and was able to travel as far as Boston to visit family and friends. He expressed his love for his wife and daughters, looking forward to the three days out of the week he saw them. While his physical injuries healed about three months after the accident, William was debilitated by PTSD and lack of trust in the bus system. He was bound to his room and was troubled by the sound of his older neighbors struggling with dementia and incontinence.[AS4]  William was determined to let the Defense know just how badly he was affected and to ensure that this accident never happens to anyone else.

With the day-in-the-life video in hand during mediation, John secured a $225,000 settlement for William, about 350x more than his medical expenses.

John Mittelman is a solo practitioner who dedicates his full attention and energy to each case he takes on. When hired, he handles the entire matter, from intake through settlement or verdict. Mittelman has taken hundreds of medical malpractice and major personal injury cases through to successful settlements, verdicts, and arbitration awards over his career spanning 32 years.

 [AS1]Be careful using “any” in place of an article (i.e., “the”, “a”, or “an”).

 [AS2]Be careful with present progressive tense where it isn’t necessary.

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"There is no doubt in my mind that, without the product, without the settlement video, without the presentation that was put together by DK Global, this case would have never settled... you can rest assured I'll be using DK Global again in the future."
John Mittelman - The Mittelman Law Firm




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Although the facts and outcomes presented in this email are intended to be true and accurate, they represent the reporting of a unique matter and do not imply or guarantee any type of result or outcome for matters in which DK Global is involved.
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