James Collins of Moorestown, New Jersey, USA, did not enjoy his visit to the South of France. When Jim and his wife were vacationing in Cassis, France, in 2013, Jim was hit by a car backing out of a parking spot, breaking Mr. Collins’ hip.
Mr. Collins was referred to Steven Blader, Esquire, to handle his personal injury claim. The case was challenging not only because it was venued in France. It was governed by French law, which is very different than New Jersey personal injury law. In France, a trial by jury does not ultimately solve personal injury claims. Instead, France has a chart that lists values for every type of injury.
Each side hires a physician expert to evaluate the injury and identify the value of the injury based on the injury chart. If the parties cannot agree which medical expert’s opinion to follow, the Court will appoint a neutral medical expert to render the decision.
After the service of medical expert reports for each side, Mr. Blader hired a French attorney as local counsel to negotiate on behalf of Mr. Collins. The negotiations addressed the issue of the severity of Mr. Collins’ injury, his income loss, and out-of-pocket medical expense. In inimitable French fashion, the negotiation session turned into a four hour lunch, with a nice bottle of Bordeaux. At the conclusion of nearly two months of sharing arguments and information, Mr. Collins was “thrilled” to learn that his case settled for 284,000.00 Euros ($314,000.00). This settlement was achieved without Mr. Collins having to return to France for medical examinations or to provide deposition testimony.
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