Wrongful Death Client Story
Traffic Accident - Debris on Freeway - Wrongful Death - $1 Million
Alvin Austin was glad he had that lunch with his wife, Beverly, the afternoon of July 31, 2006.
That was the last meal he would share with his wife of 23 years. The last chitchat he would have with the mother of his two children and the 20 foster children they raised together.
That afternoon, Alvin headed out to a doctor's appointment after lunch and Beverly set out to get some chores done.
She was headed back home west on the 91 Freeway. A truck bearing aluminum signs was heading east on the diamond lane.
Before anyone knew it, about five of the lightweight signs, loosely stacked in the truck, flew off and on to the roadway. One of them crashed right through the windshield of Beverly's 2002 Toyota Sienna van. It hit her on the face, crushed her jaw and left cheek bone causing a traumatic and what turned out to be a fatal injury. And then the sign pierced through the rear windshield of Beverly's van where it came to rest.
When paramedics found Beverly, the van had stopped on the lane where she was traveling, her right foot still firmly planted on the brake. Beverly was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, Alvin had finished his doctor's appointment, wondering why his wife hadn't called him at least four times to find out if he made the appointment and what the doctor had said.
"But I thought maybe she was taking a nap or something," he said. "I still thought it was strange she never called because she always called."
The news, when it came, devastated Alvin. It was as if someone had dropped a bomb on his happy home.
Alvin was grief-struck, but he was also angry at the negligence of the truck driver who didn't take the time to secure those signs.
"That sign went through her windshield like a bullet," he said. "You could see it the way the glass was smashed in."
Alvin knew that he had to take legal action against the company.
A relative referred him to Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys.
"The thing that caught my attention right away was that this person said that the lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys were very prompt at getting back to you," Alvin said.
At the time, he needed someone who would listen, someone who would empathize with him and go after the truck company.
"Given the situation I was in, it wasn't the best thing for me to do, to go after those guys," he said.
Alvin found the help and sympathy he really needed at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys.
"The attorney was able to get all the details about the trucking company within two hours," he said. "I was really surprised."
Alvin said he was impressed with the way the attorneys aggressively went after the company and got $1 million for him and his children.
"I was very impressed," he said. "The money won't replace my wife. She was one of a kind - a good woman and a good mother. But it'll help me take care of my kids and secure their future, take care of their education."
Alvin says the help and emotional support he got from Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys was invaluable.
"I didn't have to move a finger," he said. "They took care of the foot work, the paperwork, everything. I could count on them for anything. And that's exactly what I needed at the time. They took a big load off of my shoulders."
What he went through was more painful than words can describe. But Alvin now says he has his children to live for.
"I have to go on with my life for their sake," he says. "I know my wife would want me to carry on."
The money he was able to get from the trucking company will help Alvin put his kids through school, he said.
Alvin says he feels grateful for what the attorneys at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have done for him.
"I dealt the most with Shannon Barker and John Bisnar," he said. "I'd call Shannon and she would call me back even when she was really busy."
Honestly, says Alvin, it wasn't the service he expected from an attorney's office.
"I just didn't think that's how it would be with an attorney," he said.
Alvin didn't expect to get the money this early either.
"I haven't even got my wife's final death certificates yet," he said. "I definitely didn't expect the legal aspect of it to get sorted out this quickly."
For John Bisnar, the case was a real tragedy, one he and his staff members struggled to make sense of. John says he feels helpless, angry and frustrated in these cases.
"It makes me mad that someone's simple negligent act, failing to tie down a sign properly, would lead to such a horrific injury and ultimate death as well as the impact on a family and extended family for generations to come," he says
"And there isn't anything I can do to undo the harm. All I can do is get them financial compensation, council them and guide them through the legal morass."
John says he admires Alvin for his goodness and his selflessness and recalls how Alvin even counseled attorneys from an emotional standpoint and really made it easy for the law firm to secure the best possible results from a legal and financial perspective.
The emotional aspect of these cases makes his team more aggressive, passionate and efficient, John says.
"The thoroughness of our pre-litigation team, the strength and implied threat of our litigation team, our reputation with the insurance company and their attorneys, puts us in a position to get to the best outcome for the clients," he says. "And we do it without any additional emotional strain on the family, relatively quickly with a minimum of incurred costs."
As for Alvin, he says his whole experience with Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys was extremely positive.
"They are good people and very professional," he said. "They really know how to take care of business."