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Car Accident $350,000

S.R. was a beloved restaurateur with a loyal following at his Italian restaurant. Be it the marinara meatballs, famous homemade pastas, or S.R.’s uncanny knack of personalizing service to each of his customers, his restaurant was one of those special little places Tampa Bay area customers longed to return to. S.R.’s little slice of paradise came crashing down when another driver failed to follow the basic rules of our roads and struck S.R.’s automobile, injuring his dominant side shoulder and neck. S.R.’s treating physician recommend S.R. undergo shoulder surgery. However, S.R was obliged to forego that surgery with the knowledge that the recovery period would force him out of work and likely bankrupt his business, as would the anticipated medical bills. As a result, S.R. opted to postpone surgery and “live with the pain.”

Having exhausted all reasonable efforts to resolve the claim and obtaining an offer from the insurance company of less than $15,000, S.R. and his attorney decided to partner with Mr. Barnes in order to obtain the full available policy limits of $350,000. Knowing that S.R. was reluctant to undergo shoulder surgery, and knowing that S.R.’s out of pocket medical bills totaled less than $18,000, Mr. Barnes was forced to advance a theory of damages other than simple past and future medical bills. To help in the effort, Mr. Barnes secured the services of an expert economist to analyze the net losses to S.R.’s restaurant resulting from his loss of productivity and involvement. Though the analysis was intensive and required review of thousands of pages of business documents, Mr. Barnes was able to establish a significant and ongoing impairment to the profits of S.R.’s restaurant since the automobile accident. Of course, prior to the forensic analysis of S.R.’s business, the insurance company, despite their own record profits, blamed S.R.’s loss of profits on the economy.

As a result, Mr. Barnes was able to secure a recovery for the full limits of $350,000 despite the fact that the plaintiff’s only apparent injury was a nonsurgical shoulder impingement that the insurance company claimed to be an arthritic condition. By rolling up his sleeves, employing good old-fashioned hard work and a little legal creativity, Mr. Barnes was able to secure a recovery of nearly 25 times the settlement offer at the time the case was referred to him. With the little bit of kitchen help he is now able to afford, S.R. continues to serve some of the best pasta dishes found in West Central Florida.