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A man hit by a car is awarded $19.1 million

Patrick Hennesy lost his leg as a result of a 2009 accident in which he was struck by a car while he and his friend were pushing their vehicle to the side of the road following a rear-end collision that had just occurred.

According to the lawsuit, Hennessy was a passenger in a car being driven by his friend, Ryan Caruso, at approximately 2:00 in the morning on July 26, 2009, when their vehicle rear-ended another vehicle traveling northbound on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Caruso’s car wouldn’t start as a result of rear-ending the other vehicle, so he and Hennessy  began pushing their disabled car to the side of the road, with the driver of the other car they struck following behind them with his flashers on for safety, police records state.

It was at this point that Shawn Robertson, Jr. drove into the car that Caruso and Hennessy had struck, causing a domino effect that launched that car into Hennessy, according to Hennessy.

Hennessy, who was 24 years old at the time, sustained severe injuries that eventually led to him having to undergo an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg.

At trial, the jurors found that the negligent actions of both Caruso (Hennessy’s driver and friend), as well as Robertson, the driver who hit Hennessy, ultimately led to Hennessy’s injuries.

Ultimately, Allstate Insurance, Caruso’s insurance carrier, will be responsible for paying the entire award due to the fact that Robertson had no automobile insurance at the time of the accident.  By-the-way, that is a strong argument for California’s requirement for all drivers to have insurance.

Most accidents happen because someone was careless. The basic rule is: If one person involved in an accident was less careful than another, the less careful one must pay for at least a portion of the damages suffered by the more careful one.

Legal liability for almost all accidents is determined by this rule of carelessness, and by one or more of the following simple propositions:

If the injured person was where he was not supposed to be, or somewhere he should have expected the kind of activity which caused the accident, the person who caused the accident might not be liable because that person had no “duty” to be careful toward the injured person.

If the injured person was also careless, his or her compensation may be reduced by the extent such carelessness was also responsible for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence.

If you have been injured in an car accident due to the negligence of another person, please call California Personal Injury Attorney, Todd M. Friedman for a free consultation.