Lawlor Winston, LLP Secures $837,500 Settlement for Man Injured in Motorcycle Accident
Fort Lauderdale — August 17, 2010 — On June 2, 2008 on U.S.1 in Hollywood, plaintiff Hector Maldonado, a 59 year old mechanic, was traveling northbound on his motorcycle when a sedan driven by Joel Handelman and leased for his use by his company, Mazel & Company, Inc., abruptly pulled out in front of him. Maldonado claimed he did not have time to sufficiently stop, and his motorcycle fell to the ground. Handelman was arrested on the scene on drunken driving charges; however the charges were eventually dismissed based on the fact the arresting officer on the scene was terminated and arrested for falsifying arrest records in a subsequent, unrelated DUI investigation.
Maldonado sued Handelman and Mazel & Company for motor vehicle negligence, and was granted leave to pursue Punitive Damages against both Handelman and his company, Mazel & Company, Inc., despite the dismissal of the criminal charges. Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff had sufficient time to avoid the defendant’s vehicle, that Handelman was not intoxicated at the time of the accident, and that Handelman’s view of oncoming traffic was obstructed.
The plaintiff was taken from the scene via ambulance. He suffered an L2 burst fracture with 50% body height compromise and 40% canal compromise. Maldonado also had bony retropulsion, epidural edema and an epidural hematoma. Maldonado underwent open reduction and internal fixation from T-12 through L4, and laminectomy at L2-3.
Maldonado remained in the hospital for about one month. He is currently still undergoing outpatient physical therapy. Future surgery may be needed to remove the implanted hardware. Maldonado also visits a pain management physician. Maldonado stated that he is in constant pain and is unable to bend at the waist. The plaintiff said he can no longer engage in favorite activities such as motorcycle riding due to his injuries.
After a mediation, the parties reached an $837,500 settlement, part of which was paid by the Defendants personally. “The Defendants’ lawyers, Carlos Llorente and Ronald Guralnick did an excellent job protecting their clients. This was a good result for everyone,” said Andrew Winston, Maldonado’s attorney.
The law firm of Lawlor Winston provides the very best representation to their clients – ensuring they are represented at the highest and most effective levels, focusing on protecting the rights of individuals and families. Practice areas include Catastrophic Personal Injury including Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Premises Liability, Insurance Bad Faith Disputes, Professional Malpractice, Commercial Litigation, Maritime/Admiralty, Labor & Employment Disputes and ERISA Claims. The firm is headquartered at 2211 Davie Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312. They may be contacted at 954-525-2345. Additional information about Lawlor Winston may be obtained from the Firm’s website at www.lwmcruiseinjurylawyers.com.