Back Injury - Car Accident

The case was set for trial. Stephenson and Rife hired an animation company to prepare a video exhibit to help the jury understand the complexity of the surgery C.M. had to endure. Our attorneys shared the exhibit with State Farm at mediation shortly before trial. State Farm paid $850,000 to settle the case.

our client results

Example Auto Accident Cases

Underinsured Driver Jury Verdict

“In 2007, “D.B.” was working in Chicago as a claims adjuster for State Farm Insurance Company. A former Indiana Mr. Basketball, he had worked for State Farm for 25 years. Nevertheless, when he had to make an underinsured motorist claim under his State Farm policy, the company refused to cooperate in any fashion and forced the injured employee, with the help of lawyer Mike Stephenson, to file suit against it.

The accident occurred when the plaintiff’s vehicle was hit from behind by a driver who had only the state minimum insurance coverage, and it caused significant injury to the client’s left arm, which required repeated physical therapy, steroid injections and arthroscopic surgery. Not only had the defendant insurer been unreasonable during negotiations, they objected during the trial to letting the jury know the medical expert’s report was favorable to the plaintiff.

Attorney Stephenson’s persistence paid off, however, and in December of 2013 the jury returned a verdict against State Farm for $200,000, more than what the plaintiff’s settlement offer had been. Whether in settlement negotiations or jury trials, Mike Stephenson aggressively advocates for the rights of his injured clients and is unafraid to take on a team of corporate lawyers.”

State Farm Fights Paying its Insured for His Low Back Injury

C.M. was hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The impact spun C.M.’s pickup truck around and totaled the truck. As a result, C.M. had an injury to his low back. The driver’s insurance company quickly paid its policy limits of $50,000. C.M. had underinsured motorist coverage with State Farm. Underinsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage that you pay for to cover you in the event that a driver who hits you does not have enough coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries. Your insurance company has to approve any settlement with an underinsured driver in order for that coverage to kick in. State Farm approved C.M.’s settlement with the driver.

Over the next couple of years, C.M. tried conservative treatment with physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and injections. The pain would go away temporarily but always returned. Each time it returned, the pain was worse. C.M. could not drive or even sit in a chair for more than a few minutes because of the intensity of the pain. C.M. ultimately had to have multi-level fusion surgery on his low back. His bills were in excess of $200,000. Even though he had $100,000 medical coverage on his State Farm auto policy, State Farm argued that it did not have to pay for C.M.’s surgery because it was related to a degenerative condition, not to the crash. C.M.’s doctors related the surgery to the crash. State Farm hired its own expert who also related the surgery to the crash. Eventually, State Farm did pay the medical benefits; however, it still refused to pay up to C.M.’s limits on the underinsured motorist claim.

The case was set for trial. Stephenson and Rife hired an animation company to prepare a video exhibit to help the jury understand the complexity of the surgery C.M. had to endure. Our attorneys shared the exhibit with State Farm at mediation shortly before trial. State Farm paid $850,000 to settle the case.

Accident Summary: Blindsided

“B.D.” driving to a local hospital where she worked as a registered nurse in the chemotherapy department. As B.D. was approaching a county road, a semi moved to the left-hand lane of the four-lane road and was making a left turn onto the county road. A pick-up driver could not see around the semi and drove directly into her path, giving her no time to apply her brakes or swerve. B.D. received what was initially felt to be a minor injury to her left foot that resulted in it being placed in a splint. She continued to experience complications with the injuries to her foot that ultimately resulted in surgery.

After Attorney Stephenson’s involvement and communicating extensively with the treating doctors, it was established that the type of injury received by B.D. would prevent her from ever working at a job where she would be required to stand on her feet, as she had done for years. Our client’s injuries were tremendously increased by the fact that she was unable to help those who needed chemotherapy. She was restricted to a desk job and talking on phone. The injuries were difficult to quantify, but were very significant to B.D. The case was eventually settled after mediation for a confidential sum.

Settlement Secured: Head-on Collision

“A.A.” is a 21 year old young lady who was injured in an automobile accident on a county road when a pick-up truck came left of center striking her vehicle head-on. She received a significant compound comminuted fracture of her right femur and tibia fibula. Liability was initially contested by the underinsured carrier. However, after less than 30 days’ involvement by our firm, the driver’s carrier tendered their policy limits of $100,000.

There was underinsured motorist coverage of $1 million and, after filing suit, the matter was settled for $820,000.

Veteran Injured: A Complicated Matter

Stephenson was hired by “B.S.” to pursue a personal injury claim as a result of serious injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Ohio. B.S. had served his country in Vietnam and suffered many complications from his exposure to Agent Orange. The numerous health complications suffered made his injuries much more significant than anticipated. The insurance company initially took the position that his injuries were very minimal as a result of the accident.

After a full investigation of the medical complications and injuries caused from the accident and by the exposure to Agent Orange, Stephenson was able to obtain a confidential settlement.

Attorney Referral Case: Settlement Negotiation

M.A.L. v. Bernhardt & State Farm. Attorney Mike Stephenson was hired less than six months before trial to assist another attorney in final trial preparation and trying the case where the defendant admitted illegally turning in front of M.A.L. The impact of the accident caused M.A.L. to severely jam both thumbs in the steering wheel and to hit her head. M.A.L. suffered severe strains and sprains to her thumbs, a concussion, vertigo, and dizziness.

Shortly before Stephenson’s involvement, the defendant’s carrier, Progressive Insurance Company, offered $14,000 to settle the claim. After reviewing the medical records, Stephenson scheduled the deposition of the plaintiff’s primary treating doctor. At mediation, the underlying carrier tendered its policy limits of $50,000 to settle the claim. State Farm had $50,000 of additional underinsured motorist coverage and, at mediation, offered only to waive the $10,000 medical pay claim. Stephenson then took an additional doctor’s deposition, after which State Farm offered $45,000 of their $50,000 policy limits and agreed to waive all of their $10,000 medical pay claim. The case settled shortly thereafter.

Settlement Secured: Distracted Driving

“L.G.” retained Stephenson to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver a vehicle that
failed to stop at a stop sign and ran directly into her path. Our client received injuries to both her
right and left foot and ankle resulting in numerous surgeries. Stephenson was able to negotiate a
settlement in the amount of $500,000.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Hand the worry over to us and let our resources back you up.

The attorneys of McNeely Stephenson have been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1982. We know how to conduct a thorough investigation into an accident’s causes. Our many decades of representing Hoosiers injured in car crashes has helped us build a network of medical experts, economists and others who can assist in documenting a victim’s injuries and financial losses. Put our Indianapolis distracted driving accidents lawyer on your side.

Aggressive courtroom advocates and tenacious settlement negotiators, our Indiana vehicular accident lawyers will fight for your rights when you have been harmed in a distracted driving accident on Indiana highways. Contact Mike Stephenson at 1-855-206-2555 or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation. McNeely Stephenson. Trusted Advisors. Proven Advocates.


Personal Injury Lawyer
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Accidental deaths have hit an all-time high in the U.S., at least since government agencies have kept records on the causes of death. About 466 people die accidental deaths every day in the U.S. – one every three minutes. It’s clearly bad news that highlights so many challenges Americans are currently facing, including an opioid epidemic and the persistent uptick in the number of vehicle crash-related deaths. You might be wondering what ma...


Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve


The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.


Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.


The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.


The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.


Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states