Truck Accident Case
We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.
Example Injury Cases
We Take the Hard Cases
At Stephenson Rife, we’re not accustomed to the words, “That case is too hard.” Our law firm takes on cases that other attorneys shrink from.
That’s because we feel strongly that accident victims and their families have a right to compensation after their lives have been shattered by the carelessness and negligence of others.
When gathering evidence, we search high and low for obscure documents, police reports, expert witnesses and medical test results that prove your injury claim and compel defendants to provide financial settlements or face a jury in the courtroom.
You don’t have to go it alone. We’ve helped hundreds of accident victims win cases and receive financial compensation.
Multimillion-Dollar Settlement For Survivors
“M.A.,” a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico.
Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The Stephenson Rife firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased. Stephenson immediately began an aggressive investigation and preparation for trial. The discovery phase of the litigation included successfully petitioning the court to have important documents turned over by the defense. We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Experts from across the country were hired and prepared for trial. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.
Vehicle Accident Cases
Negligent road construction and supervision resulted in a $1.3 million settlement.
Stephenson Rife secured a settlement for $1,300,000 from a paving contractor and engineering company after the paving contractor failed to follow the required contract specifications when repaving a city road. As a result, a large vertical drop off was created where the roadway met the gravel shoulder. About a year after the project, Stephenson Rife’s clients were catastrophically injured when their vehicle was struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle driven by an inexperienced driver who had lost control after encountering the vertical drop off created by the contractor. The clients, a husband and wife, suffered severe injuries which included internal bleeding and lumbar spine injury. The case resolved shortly after the deposition of the paving contractor’s foreman who admitted he did not read the contract specifications for the project because he “didn’t think they were relevant.”
Negligent road construction at intersection.
Stephenson Rife obtained a settlement for $850,000 for the family of an individual involved in a crash at a defectively designed intersection. The client was hit broadside by an out-of-state motorist who failed to stop and yield at the intersection. The motorist claimed he did not see the stop sign at the intersection. The defense alleged the out-of-state motorist was fully responsible for the crash. The team at Stephenson Rife disagreed. Through discovery, the team at Stephenson Rife was able to determine that the contractor responsible for the design of the intersection was previously notified of multiple serious right angle crashes shortly after the intersection was opened and prior to the crash involving our client’s son. The team at Stephenson Rife was able to use this information to show the contractor shared responsibility for the crash.
B.D.’s future job prospects were severely limited.
“B.D.” was 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 Mike 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.
Bicycle Accident Cases
$1.2 million settlement from a national bicycle accessories and components company.
Stephenson Rife secured a settlement for $1,200,000 from a national bicycle accessories and components company for a client who lost control of her bicycle and crashed when a component on the bicycle suffered a catastrophic failure resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The team at Stephenson Rife resolved the case just before trial following a third settlement conference.
D.H. received severe injuries to his face, and received a settlement for $355,000.
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.
Other attorneys had investigated this case and turned it down due to Indiana contributory negligence laws. D.H. retained Stephenson and Rife, who immediately starting performing a detailed investigation into the background of the bridge. Through the investigation, they were able to learn that there were multiple past recommendations to replace the bridge. There were no warning signs for bicyclists or pedestrians about the hazards of the bridge. This case settled for $355,000.
Truck Accident Cases
Our client suffered a leg amputation. Our firm obtained a $15 million settlement for them.
Stephenson Rife obtained a settlement of $20 million Canadian dollars which amounts to approximately $15 million USD in a trucking case which resulted in a leg amputation of our client along with other orthopedic and internal injuries. This result was reached within 10 months of filing suit. The team at Stephenson Rife worked feverishly to hire the appropriate experts to build a strong case on liability, punitive damages and economic damages suffered by our client.
We obtained a settlement of $5.3 million for the family of a father and son who were killed.
Stephenson Rife obtained a settlement of $5,350,000 for the family of a father and son who were killed when their vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer at highway speeds. Stephenson Rife worked quickly to preserve critical evidence, including the download of the semi’s electronic control module the semi driver’s cell phone. Through the collection of this evidence, it was determined that the cruise control for the semi was set to 65mph and no braking or evasive action was taken by the driver of the semi until after impact. The team at Stephenson Rife, along with its experts, were able to utilize the driver’s cell phone activity in the week prior to the crash to establish that the driver had likely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Trucking company tried to defended itself, but ultimately lost to our firm.
Stephenson Rife obtained a wrongful death settlement against a trucking company for $3,075,000 when the trucker failed to see stopped traffic in front of him and collided with the rear of our client’s vehicle, causing his death. The case was vigorously defended by the trucking company on the basis of fault and then on damages caused by our client’s death. The defendant’s final offer of settlement to our client’s family was over 3 ½ times the initial offer made to the original attorney handling the case for the estate.
“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.
Drunk Driving Wreck Case
“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.
By Stephenson’s early involvement in the case, he was able to do a thorough investigation and obtain the names of witnesses that were not identified on the police report. These witnesses were able to identify the reckless driving of D.C. long before he ever hit B.K. In addition, other witnesses were able to identify the amount of alcohol that D.C. was served by ABC Restaurant.
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 that resulted in a settlement for a non-disclosed amount shortly after suit was filed.
Allowing Clients to Heal
The team at Stephenson Rife secured a settlement for $4,000,000 in less than 8 months from the date of the crash for an elderly client who was involved in an accident with a semi-tractor trailer. The client and client’s family were adamant that they wanted to attempt a quick resolution to allow the client to focus on healing and getting back to her life. Stephenson Rife’s client received severe orthopedic injuries, degloving injuries and a mild traumatic brain injury, but amazingly survived the incident. The team at Stephenson Rife worked quickly and diligently to build and prove the case by gathering the evidence, hiring the appropriate experts and pushing the case aggressively.
Personal Injury Cases
Loose dog causes motorcycle accident.
Stephenson Rife obtained a settlement of $1 million in a case involving a traumatic brain injury to our client. The matter involved an unrestrained dog that ran into the road, causing our client to lose control and crash his motorcycle. Stephenson Rife uncovered evidence that the dog had a prior history of leaving the property and straying onto the roadway. The settlement amount was the full insurance policy limit covering the defendant homeowner. The resolution of this case was achieved in fewer than 6 months following the crash.
Bar & Grill held accountable for a physical altercation.
Blackford County jury returned a verdict for client for an amount over four times the last offer from the insurance company. Our client, JR, a 40 year old lady, went with friends to Mel’s Keg in Hartford City, Indiana. Mel’s is a small bar and grill near downtown Hartford City. JR and her female friend, KS, met a group of high school friends at Mel’s. Shortly after JR and KS arrived at Mel’s, KS’s stepsister of 25 years, RTB, came into the bar with a group of her friends to celebrate her birthday.
Unfortunately, later that evening KS and her stepsister, RTB, got into a heated argument which eventually turned into a physical altercation. The altercation was broken up by the groups of friends who had come to Mel’s Keg with both women. Immediately after the two women were pulled apart, RTB grabbed a beer mug and threw it across the room at her stepsister but missed and struck our client in the face, severely cutting her upper lip and breaking off a front tooth. The entire argument and physical altercation was captured on surveillance tape.
JR went to the ER but her injury was so severe that she was referred to an oral surgeon for treatment. JR was taken to Indianapolis the following day where the through-and-through laceration of her lip was sutured. She eventually had a root canal and a cap placed on her front tooth. JR has undergone one revision surgery to minimize the scar, and will likely need the cap replaced over the course of her life time. She was left with a noticeable scar on her lip. JR’s medical expense totaled $8,900.
Suit was filed against JR’s stepsister and Mel’s Keg. At mediation and before trial the most offered to settle JR’s claim was $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, assessing 55% of the liability to one stepsister, 35% to the other stepsister, and 10 % to JR, resulting in a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.
Product Liability Cases
$2.25 million secured from a national home kitchen appliance company for burns our client suffered.
Stephenson Rife secured a settlement for $2,250,000 from a national home kitchen appliance company for a client who suffered scald burns to her body because of a defective product. At the first settlement conference, the defense claimed it would never pay Stephenson Rife’s client anywhere close to $1,000,000. After meticulously combing through over 200,000 documents produced by the company and conducting depositions in six different states, the team at Stephenson Rife was able to establish that key upper management knew about the defective nature of the product causing the same type of scald injuries to other consumers at least two years before the incident involving Stephenson Rife’s client. The team at Stephenson Rife resolved the case a week before trial for more than double what the defense claimed it would never pay their client.
A large chain tire retailer sold an “almost new” eight year old tire to an unsuspecting buyer in Nevada.
As the young man was driving his Ford Bronco along a two-lane state road, the tire failed causing him to lose control and go left of center striking a motorcycle killing “J.M.” and his wife.
Stephenson was hired and went to Nevada to examine the wreck and the tire. The family had been advised initially that the age of the tire would prevent the successful prosecution of a wrongful death action against the manufacturer. Thorough research and the employment of national experts led to the conclusion that the original assessment was incorrect. A thorough expert analysis of the tire, along with a trip to the tire manufacturing facility and obtaining the factory specifications for the tire, allowed Stephenson to produce objective evidence that the tire had been improperly manufactured by the manufacturer’s own standards. Stephenson, with the assistance of highly specialized computer animation, put together a state-of-the-art visual presentation that showed objectively how the tire failed to meet the manufacturer’s own standards. This technology demonstrated clearly the magnitude of defects in the tire and how easy it would be to show a jury the reason for the tire failure.
The case settled after the presentation of the computer animation.
Faulty Crane Design Causes Significant Injury
Our client was critically injured when the main lift arm of a man lift attached to a large piece of mine machinery broke as our client was being transported from nearly 20’’ in the air to the ground. After a thorough investigation, we were able to establish that the support arm failed to meet design requirements. Our client received a confidential settlement.
Workplace Accident Cases
Stephenson was hired by an attorney in Indianapolis to assist in pursuing a claim on behalf of “R.K.” against Aldi Foods. R.K. was a delivery truck driver who had made a delivery to an Aldi store during the middle of the night. While making the delivery, he was pushing a pallet jack through a freezer door when he received an electrical shock from an exposed wire and a threshold that had been missing for some period of time.
The defendant denied liability and initially claimed that our client was malingering or grossly exaggerating any injuries he may have received. Before Stephenson’s involvement in the case, the defendants had offered a nuisance value settlement. After a thorough investigation and hiring the proper expert, Stephenson was able to establish that R.K. would never return to his job as a truck driver. Further, Stephenson was able to establish through expert testimony that the injuries and complaints of pain and suffering were very real and legitimate. After a second round of mediation, our client received a confidential settlement.
MH receives $3.25M after suffering severe injuries when beam collapses
MH was raising steel beams with a large crane for the expansion of a metal manufacturing facility in southern Indiana. After setting a massive steel beam in place, the general contractor allowed a steel beam to detach and collapse onto MH sitting in his crane cab. MH’s cab was crushed. MH survived but received injuries to his head, left arm, fractured ribs and internal organs.
After multiple depositions, the general contractor finally admitted fault for the incident. By retaining the proper experts on MH’s injuries and damages, and equipped with a life-like animation of the beam collapse, the team of Stephenson Rife was able to resolve MH’s claims for $3.25 million.
Medical Malpractice Cases
Stephenson was hired by the Estate of “D.P.” to pursue a medical malpractice claim against Community Hospital in Indianapolis, as well as a claim against a surgeon who failed to timely identify a small bowel obstruction. Our client had gone to the Community Hospital emergency room on three separate occasions within a five day period of time complaining of stomach pain. On her third trip to the hospital, a KUB series of films were ordered by the emergency room doctor. For reasons unknown, after the films were interpreted by a radiologist in the hospital showing the life-threatening condition of a small bowel obstruction, the radiologist’s interpretation was not given to the treating surgeon.
The matter went to trial, and a jury returned a verdict in favor of the estate for $8.5 million.
Pedestrian Injury Cases
M.A. was walking on the sidewalk along a bridge on his way home from work one evening when he was struck by a bicyclist who was riding his bicycle on the bridge in violation of local ordinance. M.A. was knocked into the path of oncoming traffic and was run over by at least one car and nearly died as a result of his injuries.