23-year-old Abby Nichols was struck by an AC Transit bus in November or 2008 while in an Oakland crosswalk. Nichols was trapped under the bus for more than 15 minutes because the bus driver failed to activate a hydraulic device to free her. She suffered a crushed hip and a broken pelvis and femur resulting in nerve damage. She must now walk with a cane.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the agency whose bus struck Nichols, agreed to pay a $10.5 million settlement in the case, just as a jury was being seated. A spokesman for AC Transit admitted the driver of the bus was at fault. The driver has been fired. The question remains why the bus driver failed to operate the hydraulic device that could have freed the victim of the accident.

When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, the injuries can be catastrophic. Such an injury can affect a person’s neurological system, skeletal system, or muscular system. Over the course of a person’s life, medical needs change. People who were injured as children may need to undergo surgery or treatment as an adult due to past injuries.  In addition, there are long-term consequences the entire family will face as a result of the catastrophic injury.

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley work with medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation experts, and financial planners to determine all of the effects of catastrophic injuries.  We have the skill and experience to ensure that individuals and their families receive the financial support necessary to help them move forward with their lives.

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have over 45 years of litigation experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a catastrophic injury and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

(Source: SF Gate)

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