Our Pleasant Hill, Belton, Raymore and Harrisonville, Missouri personal injury law firm represented “Angie Smith” in the above-referenced matter. She presented a claim against an insured for personal injuries she sustained in an automobile accident the insured caused.
On September 14, 2000, Angie was a passenger in an automobile traveling east on 75th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. Our Cass County, Belton & Raymore personal injury attorneys originally met Angie in Harrisonville, Missouri. That day, Angie was traveling to Cass County, Missouri as an automobile passenger. Mr. Long was driving while intoxicated in Johnson County, traveling west on 75th Street in Johnson County. Mr. Long attempted to turn left at the end of an overpass so as to place his car on Interstate 35 headed south toward several Cass County law firms as well. Mr. Long pulled in front of the automobile carrying Miss Smith causing an Johnson County automobile accident. Mr. Long was tested and issued a Johnson County traffic ticket for driving while intoxicated in Johnson County. His Blood Alcohol Content was .143. Mr. Long’s inattention to the traffic laws and safety of others contributed to cause permanent personal injuries to Angie. Mr. Long would bear liability from this car accident. Our Lees Summit personal injury lawyers’ demand was an effort to settle the matter without trial litigation within the insured’s policy limits.
Our Lees Summit car accident lawyers‘ demand was intended to provide the insurance company with the information necessary to fairly evaluate and conclude settlement. The statements made were in the nature of settlement discussions and negotiations. It was the intention of our Lees Summit personal injury attorneys that no portion of the auto accident demand brochure be used in any manner at trial, should the car accident lawsuit proceed to trial, other than for purposes of establishing bad faith.
ANGIE SMITH’S BACKGROUND
“Angie Smith” was born on December 26, 1970 and was 30 years old at the time of her personal injury automobile accident. She had a bachelor’s degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Seoul in Korea. She attended Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas. Prior to the collision, Miss Smith had no medical difficulties and had perfect teeth. She had a boyfriend who was from Harrisonville, Missouri in Cass County.
FACTS OF THE INJURY AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
The insured, Anthony Long, was driving while intoxicated in Johnson County at 1:30 a.m. headed west on 75th Street. It appeared he was headed away from a Cass County, Missouri law firm in Johnson County. Mr. Smith, the driver of the vehicle carrying Miss Smith, was sober and was headed east on 75th Street. They were headed toward a Belton and Raymore, Missouri law office. Mr. Long attempted to turn across 75th Street so as to place his car on I-35 south towards Cass County, MO. Mr. Long had a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. It appears that because of his inattention and driving while intoxicated state, Mr. Long failed to observe the automobile carrying Miss Smith as he pulled in front of it. Mr. Long pulled in front of the other automobile at such a late time that Mr. Smith did not have time to swerve or otherwise avoid the injury auto accident. Miss Smith intended to file a lawsuit against Mr. Long for the car accident injuries he inflicted upon her.
The auto accident caused Angie’s face to collide with the dashboard of the car causing her injury. Her head then struck the windshield, leaving an imprint of her head in shattered glass.
After the automobile accident, Angie slid onto the floorboard and was physically unable to get up. Mr. Smith remembers Angie exclaiming at the terrible pain she was in. Angie repeatedly cried “I’m hurt, I’m hurt” and “I want to go home.” He remembers that Angie had injured her teeth, head, legs, back, neck, shoulders arms, lower ribs right hip, knees and calves.
Angie Smith was transported from the auto accident scene in an ambulance towards Belton, Missouri. She spent over three hours in the emergency room. The insured received a traffic ticket for driving while intoxicated.
BASIS FOR LIABILITY
It was clear to our Lees Summit auto accident personal injury attorneys from these facts that the insured, Anthony D. Long would bear fault for causing Angie Smith’s car accident injuries. Mr. Long received a traffic ticket for driving while intoxicated and tested with a Blood Alcohol Content of .143. The driver of the other automobile would testify in Johnson County Court that Mr. Long pulled in front of him at the last instance, and while he attempted to stop and swerve to avoid the car crash, he had insufficient time to do so.
There was no design or manufacturing product defect for Johnson County in either vehicle. Accordingly, the defense of defective product design or a manufacturing defect attorney was not available.
The aforementioned facts and circumstances showed auto accident liability. There was no question to our Belton, Raymore, Harrisonville, Missouri personal injury attorneys that a jury would find fault against the insured at trial. We contacted the Lees Summit personal injury lawyers at www.lees-summit-attorney.com and they agreed.
“Angie Smith” was transported to the St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Room for medical treatment. This hospital was closer to give her treatment for her auto accident injuries in Johnson County than a facility in Cass County, Missouri, such as Research Belton hospital. From the automobile accident, Miss Smith was required to seek dental surgery for the Johnson County personal injuries to her mouth. She underwent dental surgery at Oral & Facial Surgery Associates, P.A.. She was placed under general anesthesia and a ruptured front tooth was surgically removed. Three months later, she was again placed under general anesthesia and an endosseous implant was put into her jaw. Ms. Smith underwent a third dental surgery at the offices of Robert Lewis, D.D.S. where partial upper staples (temporary crowns) were placed in her front teeth. After each surgery, Ms. Smith had to bear a painful recovery process.
Miss Smith continued to experience sharp pains in her upper chest and dull pains in her arms from her Lees Summit auto accident injury. Her knee got a tingling pain and occasionally went numb when she sat. She had difficulty biting down and could no longer eat certain foods. Also, her voice had changed. Her face appeared different because the Johnson County auto accident injuries to her upper jaw caused it to protrude out slightly. Photos taken near Belton, Missouri confirmed this personal injury to her mouth.
In spite of all of this, Miss Smith continued to tolerate the pain and has continued on with her school work. Due to the severity of the personal injuries to her front teeth, her lawyers and Belton and Cass County, Missouri dentists anticipated she would continue to experience teeth pain throughout her life. She would need to have the implant and the crowns replaced periodically for the remainder of her life.
Past Medical Expenses
A summary of the personal injury medical expenses that Angie Smith had incurred are listed below:
St. Luke’s Medical Center
Emergency Room Care $159.00
CT Scan $1,323.00
Emergency Room Care $159.00
Oral and Facial Surgery Associates, P.A.
Surgery to Remove Ruptured Tooth $130.00
Placement of Implant $1,100.00
Robert Lewis, D.D.S.
Dental Examination $35.00
Dental Examination $35.00
Interim Partial Upper Staple $400.00
Interim Partial Upper Staple $400.00
Place crowns and an implant attachment on 8/20/01 $2,750.00
TOTAL PAST MEDICAL EXPENSES $7,082.00
Scheduled Future Medical Expenses
Replace porcelain crowns on teeth 8 and 9 on 8/20/11 $1,750.00
Replace porcelain crowns on teeth 8 and 9 on 8/20/21 $1,750.00
Replace porcelain crowns on teeth 8 and 9 on 8/20/31 $1,750.00
Replace porcelain crowns on teeth 8 and 9 on 8/20/41 $1,750.00
Replace porcelain crowns on teeth 8 and 9 on 8/20/51 $1,750.00
Replace Dental Implant one to two times $1,650.00
TOTAL FUTURE SPECIAL DAMAGES $13,150.00
TOTAL SPECIAL DAMAGES $17,482.00
Non-Economic Personal Injury Damages – Physical Pain
Angie Smith had three broken teeth in the front of her mouth. Tooth # 9 was ruptured below the gum line. An implant resembling a nail was implanted where the tooth’s root once was. That implant caused her pain on a daily basis. She experienced pain when laughing, talking, and especially when drinking or eating. At times, her front teeth, gums and jaw hurt spontaneously. Following the Jackson County, Missouri injury auto accident, Angie could not move for several days because of the pain. She lost sixteen pounds, dropping to a weight of ninety-six pounds. She could not eat and had great trouble drinking because of her missing teeth. She had trouble talking and walking. She had pain in her head from breaking the windshield the vehicle. She had pain in her legs, back, neck, shoulders arms, lower ribs, right hip, knees and calves and blood in her urine for between four and six months.
Non-Economic Personal Injury Damages – Disfigurement
Angie Smith was missing all or part of three teeth in the front of her mouth. The photographs of Angie before and after the collision clearly showed the impact the insured’s automobile accident negligence had on her appearance. Our Cass County, Raymore, Belton and Harrisonville, Missouri personal injury attorneys could see from a distance, even as of the date of the correspondence, that Miss Smith had a serious disfiguring injury to her mouth. Young ladies are, of course, greatly concerned about their physical appearance. The implants were noticeably darker, stuck out and looked different than normal teeth. Because it was an implant, Angie would be able to show the Johnson County jury how she cleaned the implant simply by removing it and putting back into place. Angie Smith permanently lost the attractive smile that she once had because of the automobile accident.
PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT DEMAND
In evaluating this case, our Cass County, Raymore and Belton injury attorneys took into consideration the extent and nature of the personal injuries that Miss Smith had incurred, and the pain, discomfort and inconvenience she had endured as a result of her injuries. The carelessness of the insured driver in the car accident resulted in permanent personal injuries to Miss Smith that had so far, required over one year of treatment. In spite of her efforts to recover from her personal injury, she continued to experience regular pain, discomfort, suffering and embarrassment.
These problems took a toll on her personal life and plans in the future, all of which were created by the careless driving of the insured in the injury automobile accident. Our law firm in Pleasant Hill, Missouri evaluated this personal injury claim for compensation. Our auto accident attorneys felt confident that a Johnson County jury, like a Cass County, Missouri jury, would respond favorably to an attractive young woman whose body was painfully personally injured and whose front teeth were broken and ruptured below the gum line by the driving while intoxicated negligence of Anthony Long.
In view of these facts, and in consideration of the special damages, permanency of personal injuries, and unquestionable auto accident liability, as well as the future expense of dental surgery, our Cass County, Pleasant Hill and Raymore injury lawyers believed this case has a value of $200,000.00. Angi Smith offered to settle her car accident claims against Anthony Long and Guide One Insurance Company for the sum of $200,000.00, assuming it was within the limits of the liability insurance.
Our Harrisonville, Missouri personal injury attorneys’ offer to settle provided an opportunity for Guide One Insurance Company to protect the interests of Anthony Long and to settle this auto accident lawsuit. It also provided Guide One Specialty with an opportunity to avoid its own liability for extra-contractual damages for its bad faith and for a payment of the entirety of the judgment Miss Smith will receive at trial in Johnson County.
Our Cass County law firm posted its calendar for fifteen (15) days from the date of the personal injury demand letter to give the insurer sufficient time to consider our attorneys’ demand. After that date, the offer would be withdrawn. Thereafter, our personal injury lawyers would recommend to Miss Smith to immediately file suit and begin litigation.
 See Dr. Lewis’ letter of April 21, 2001, Miss Smith had dental surgery on August 20, 2001, a crown was placed on tooth #8, an implant attachment placed on tooth # 9 and a crown on tooth #9.
 See Dr. Lewis’ letter of April 21, 2001, $750.00 for the crown on tooth #8, $1,000.00 for the crown and the implant attachment on tooth #9. Crowns need to be replaced periodically. Dr. Lewis correctly states that insurance policies allow for crowns to be replaced every 5-7 years. With good care, some crowns may last as long as 20 years. It is reasonable to estimate a crown replacement every ten (10) years.
 Mi Kyeong Smith, who is thirty years of age, has a life expectancy of an additional 50 years. See National Vital Statistics Report from the Center for Disease Control (December 24, 1998).
 See Letter from Oral & Facial Surgery Associates, P.A. of May 1, 2001, setting out that she will need the implant replaced one to two times at a present cost of $1,100 per implant. It also estimates that the cost of replacement will rise. It is reasonable to estimate that the cost will be $1,650.00.