Motorcycle Accident Client Story
Motorcycle Accident - $3 Million total benefits recovered.
On the morning of July 7, 1993 Rickey Prock was living in bliss.
He had been married for all of three days to Deborah. They were on their honeymoon. Rickey, a roofer who worked as an auto mechanic during the off-season, was on his motorcycle coming back from buying parts for his last job of the day. Then he was going to get off work and spend the rest of the day with his new wife.
While on his way back to work on a Sacramento street he saw a car pull out of a parking lot and come through three lanes of traffic right at him.
"It was a light blue Ford Taurus," Rickey says. "I'll never forget it."
The car came down three lanes and hit him on the side. Rickey went in one direction and his motorcycle in the other. The motorcycle flew over the center median across two traffic lanes and landed in a parking lot. The impact of the crash was so powerful that it sent Rickey sliding 30 feet down the street, his hands scraping the asphalt.
"I landed by the center median, took off my helmet and tried to stand up," Rickey says.
But he couldn't. His foot was almost severed off his leg, only hanging by a tendon. It had got caught in the front license plate of the Taurus and was cut and shattered. Three fingers on each of his hands were fused together because of the heat from the asphalt.
In a heartbeat, the Procks went from feast to famine. Days before Rickey's crash, Debbie, a leukemia patient, had quit her job as an assistant administrator of a hospital's Pathology Department so she could get treatment. They had put in an offer on a house, which was in escrow.
In an instant, it was all gone. They lost the house and had no money to pay for medical bills, rent or even food.
In the hospital room, numerous attorneys courted them, Debbie said.
"But they were all so negative," she said. "They wanted us to sign papers and pay them and then ask how Rickey was feeling."
The Procks hired one, a nationally known motorcycle attorney that they saw on television who promised a quick settlement of their accident claim.
It wasn't long before the Procks were in a panic to make important decisions and get reimbursement for the totaled motorcycle. They tried and tried and couldn't get their attorney to call them back. The last thing he told them was that Ricky's case was only worth $15,000 because of the insurance limits of the negligent driver and advised them to take it.
It was then that Debbie's sister told the Procks about John Bisnar.
"We called and talked to John on the phone. We were surprised when he said, 'this is not right. I'm coming up there, I'll be there on the next plane," Debbie said. "He got on a plane and flew to Sacramento; he was here in a couple hours. I couldn't believe he did that."
From the minute Debbie picked John up from the airport, she says, John has always been there for her and her family.
"All we got every month was $285.90 to live on from workers' compensation," she says. "We didn't quality for social security, disability or medical assistance. We needed food, rent and money for medical bills. John made sure we had what we needed."
Debbie says she is also grateful to John for being honest with her.
"He was very straightforward, he didn't have high hopes at the start," she says. "He told us it was not going to be easy. He gave us a realistic timeline and an idea of what to expect. He told us we would have to go through the trials and tribulations of the legal process. John was right, but he was there with us through it all."
John went to the accident scene that afternoon, Debbie said.
"I could tell upon his return that he had found something, but he didn't say what it was until he checked things out," she said. "What he figured out that afternoon was that the driver of the Taurus was on the job at the time of the accident. He worked for a beer and snack distributor and was making sales calls."
As John explained to the Procks later, since the Taurus driver was on the job, his employer was responsible for the damages he caused.
"We were no longer stuck with a $15,000 insurance maximum recovery," Debbie said. "He went after them in a way no one else could have done for us."
Debbie never felt alone at any time.
"I could call his office any time," she says. "Not only John, but his staff showed the same concern and the same commitment he showed to us."
During the two years the case was in litigation, Rickey went through six surgeries to repair his foot. It took 36 hours of surgeries and 13 neurosurgeons and after that, months and years of physical therapy. They first lived in a dinky trailer and then moved to an apartment not much bigger. Rickey's wheelchair would not fit through the living room door. So Debbie pushed him around the apartment on a car dolly.
"Actually John gave us the money to buy that dolly," Debbie says. John also arranged for a hospital bed to be brought to the apartment so Rickey could rest comfortably, she said.
When they were ready for their settlement conference, Rickey appeared wearing pants held together with safety pins because of his cast.
"John bought him a suit," Debbie says, getting emotional. "He sent his legal assistant, Shannon Barker, ahead of time. She took us out for lunch and made us feel relaxed about the whole thing because we were so stressed and didn't know what to expect."After it was all done, the distributing company settled with the Procks. As a part of the settlement the distributing company paid off the $350,000 medical and workers' compensation lien, paid all of John's attorney's fees and costs, and provided the Procks with money to pay off their debts, buy a home, put money in the bank, pay future medical bills and a comfortable income for life.
"We paid off all our debts," Debbie says. "And we bought a beautiful home in the Sierra Mountains on 10.5 acres."
They gave themselves a 20-year vacation, which will probably end in another five years, Debbie said. But it was the time they needed to heal. Debbie had her cancer to deal with, something she is still dealing with. Rickey was in therapy for the foot and now walks with the help of a special, open-toed boot that helps him control his foot better.
The work he can do is limited. He cannot climb ladders. But he still does some mechanic work and will soon be able to take on some employment, his wife says.
Soon after the settlement, before they got their settlement money, the Procks received a couriered package from John.
"In an envelope were two tickets to an Alaskan cruise, including airline tickets and a check for spending money, it was for the honeymoon we never had," Debbie says. "Now, we've talked to many people who have dealt with attorneys. No one - not one -- has had a positive, rewarding experience like we did. John made us feel very, very special."
And John didn't stop calling, Debbie says.
"I would get a call out of the blue from him asking how we were doing," she says. "He would just think of us and call."
Debbie says she still wonders to this day what they would have done had John not flown into Sacramento that day in July 1993 and took over their case.
"John was like this angel that flew out of the sky from Orange County," she says. "He was the hope that we needed."