Ed and Nick Mastrangelo have seen a lot of accidents in the East Bay. For nearly 40 years the Mastrangelo brothers have been serving the needs of injured Californians. Nick Mastrangelo and I obviously talk about accidents a lot.
Nick and I were discussing how speeds have increased and drive times have dropped. Clearly the “Shelter at Home” order from Governor Newsom has changed the traffic pattern. With the higher speeds come bigger accidents though. Rear end accidents are the most preventable and yet they happen daily in the Bay area and East Bay.
When you think of a rear end accident you normally think about stopped traffic. The foggy freeways of central California are another place we see multi car pileups. These big pileups usually start with one rear end accident, and the big ones are on the news.
Nick shared with me an accident that was a little different. He was telling me about a client that was injured in a rear end accident. That accident was worth a $4.25 Million settlement. When he told me the number, I was shocked. I mean, I just couldn’t wrap my head around that number. Mostly because I had been at both ends of these accidents when I was younger. The first time, I was rear ended by an uninsured motorist in my 1984 VW Golf. From the looks of it you would think the car was totaled. Since I was in college and broke, I did not talk to a doctor about my ensuing neck pain. My insurance paid $2500 to fix my car. It was worth $3000 back then.
The next accident involved a woman was making a right turn to merge into high speed traffic. When I looked up, there were no cars coming. When she started to move. I let off the brake and reached down for my cell phone. The next thing I knew, BAM! She was stopped and the back end of her BMW was pretty well done in by my big truck. Thankfully the damages were under $5,000 and she wasn’t injured. It turned out though she was a “pro” at getting rear ended and this was the 15th time that car had been hit. Her boyfriend worked at a body shop and split the money with her. My insurance company gave me my deductible back two years later when the case settled.
More recently I watched a teenager texting on the highway with traffic at a dead stop just in front of them. Two cars were destroyed in that one, and thankfully no one was seriously injured. I share all of this with you because of the value of the settlement that Mr. Mastrangelo shared with me. I just couldn’t get from my two little accidents to add up to $4.25 Million.
The first question I asked was if the plaintiff (the guy in the front of the accident) was injured.
Nick told me that the 49 year old carpenter’s pickup was hit so hard from the back that it threw the truck off the state highway. After being tossed from the highway, the truck rolled several times down the hill. Worse yet, the driver was ejected after his seatbelt let go. The truck finally stopped in a ditch on the side of the road, on top of the driver. Yes this case was a little different.
The carpenter (driving the truck that was hit) suffered multiple injuries which kept him from returning to work for some time. Nick shared with me that “Our client was ejected during the collision and his truck came to rest on top of him. He sustained a crushed pelvis, multiple rib fractures, a collapsed lung, a ruptured bladder, a fractured collarbone, and a torn urethra. He underwent multiple surgeries and was hospitalized for 13 days. He made a gradual recovery but was unable to return to his physically demanding job as a carpenter.”
The other driver, aka the defendant, that hit the carpenter, admitted some fault and liability. The defendant also claimed that at the time of the accident, the carpenter was thrown because he was not wearing his seatbelt. The carpenter testified that he was wearing a seat belt and it failed after his pickup rolled over several times.
Clearly not all accidents are the same.