Our client was 83 years of age; he lived alone and was very active. Our client was struck by a Signature Furniture’s delivery truck when he was crossing a street in Philadelphia. There are no “painted” crosswalks nor are there any traffic control devices at this intersection which has seven lanes at this location: two parking lanes, two bicycle lanes, two travel lanes, and a center lane which serves as a median.
The insurance carrier for the delivery truck company vigorously contested it’s driver’s responsibility. Baratta, Russell & Barattas’ (BRB) ability to prove the case was hindered by our client’s death due to unrelated causes before the arbitration and before his testimony could be preserved for trial purposes.
Although it was uncontested that our client was struck by the truck when he was about 15 feet into the roadway after stepping off of the curb, the defense alleged that our client stepped out in traffic and was not walking in the crosswalk. However, BRB was able to establish through the use of Police AID photos and expert accident reconstruction that our client’s blood & handkerchief were in the location where he was hit and that location was within the crosswalk area, albeit “unpainted”.
The delivery truck failed to stop and tried to drive around our client but, in the process, our client was hit in the head by the side view mirror of defendant’s truck knocking him to the ground. Through the efforts of BRB in carefully obtaining all possible available facts, and arguing that our client was in the de facto, albeit unmarked, crosswalk, the defense allegations were refuted and Plaintiff awarded all of the coverage available.
This case is just one more of the hundreds of examples of under-coverage tragedies. Signature Furniture did not have enough coverage and our client carried no underinsured coverage.
Our client suffered a fracture of his tibia & fibula, lacerations to the face and a brain hemorrhage. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where surgery was performed on his leg with a plate and screws used to reduce the fracture. He remained in the hospital for about a month and then spent three months in rehab. He was subsequently discharged to his home where this independent, spirited man spent his final year of life in pain and dependent upon others for the first time in his life for shopping, cleaning, and taking care of many activities of daily living.
Our client died from unrelated causes approximately one year after the accident.
The parties agreed to submit the case for Arbitration.
An Arbitrator, Steve Negro, Esq., found in favor of our client and rejected the defense argument that he caused this incident. There was an award in favor of our client for the entire amount ($100,000) of Signature Furniture’s insurance policy.
Attorney: Andrew DiPiero of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta