Maple Valley, September 1, 2022 — On November 26, 2018, a Hertz Rental Car employee struck an older male pedestrian with a full-size Dodge Ram crew cab as he was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
The pedestrian was admitted to Harborview Medical Center with a severe traumatic brain injury. He underwent emergency surgery and was put into a medically induced coma. After almost four months in the hospital, he was discharged to a nursing and rehabilitation center, and later to an adult family home. Since being hit, the pedestrian was total dependent level functionally and was non-verbal and non-ambulatory—all suggestive of a minimally conscious state. He eventually succumbed to his injuries and passed away on January 28, 2021.
Hertz argued that the pedestrian should bear the majority of fault because he was jaywalking and suddenly left the curb while wearing dark clothing making it impossible for the employee to stop. Attorney Victor J. Torres successfully demonstrated that the Hertz employee was also negligent. He showed that the Hertz employee perceived a “wave through” as an “all clear” sign without ensuring that the roadway was clear and safe for her to proceed. In addition, Victor showed that the Hertz employee failed to take into account her blindspot. Based on the parties’ relative positions on either side of the street, the beefy driver’s side A-Pillar would have effectively hid the pedestrian.
“It was an honor to represent the Estate and bring some semblance of justice to the surviving family members. Unfortunately, there is no amount of money that could ever replace a loved one,” said Victor. “Knowing that I did the family proud with the faith they entrusted in me to help them navigate the procedural and substantive legal hurdles means a lot. Helping normal people and leveling the playing field against these larger companies and governmental agencies is why I do what I do.”
Victor secured a $1.5 million settlement with the assistance of his co-counsel Pamela Rodriguez of Solier Law Offices, P.S. They were assisted by Victor’s paralegal Angela Holm and associate attorney Autumn E. Smith, and by his law partner Peter D. Haroldson with the guardianship and probate estate.
The Law Offices of Torres & Haroldson is located in Maple Valley providing legal assistance in areas including car & motorcycle accidents, slip & falls, wrongful death, estate planning, family law, and guardianships. For more information, call them at 425-458-3170, or visit their website at www.torresharoldson.com.