Patrick Cotter, Attorney
Personal Injury Case Results
$900,000 — SETTLEMENT
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Our client was driving through the intersection of a twin cities road when she was struck by a motorist who blew through the stop sign at a high rate of speed. As a result, our client suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. The motorist who caused the accident was charged and convicted of careless driving. Shortly after this accident our client started to experience dizziness and vertigo, significant sensitivity to noise, tinnitus, nausea, insomnia, and headache that were debilitating at times. Our client’s injuries cost over $60,000 in medical bills, along with two years of lost wages (not to mention future earning potential) and her personal pain and suffering. After two years of rehabilitation and therapy her conditions improved but she still suffers from headaches that require regular treatment. Attorney Patrick Cotter secured a recovery for his client in the amount of $900,000 combined from three separate insurance policies.
$255,438 — JURY VERDICT
Lis Franc Foot Injury
Our client suffered a severe “Lis Franc” fracture injury to her right foot while walking her dog in the common yard of her apartment complex. The landlord had been made aware of a sinkhole on the property and failed to safely and properly inspect the issue and remedy the problem. It turned out that a varmint had dug numerous underground tunnels. Our client stepped into one of the sinkholes causing her severe injury. She ended up with four separate surgeries and a permanent injury. Our client was offered nothing by the insurer of the property, and we were told we would lose this trial 9.9 times out of 10. We prevailed!
Our client was on his way to work at 5:30 a.m. when a drunk driver approached his vehicle at a high rate of speed causing a collision and our client’s vehicle to roll several times. The other driver’s blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident was over 3x the legal limit. Our client required two surgeries to repair injuries to his left shoulder and arm resulting in lost wages due to a strict restriction on the use of his left arm. Due to the significance of his injuries, we were able to secure a settlement just under the policy limits from the insurance company.
Our client was enjoying a weekend getaway at her in-laws cabin in northern Minnesota. The family was starting a campfire for a cookout and having some trouble getting it lit. A family member decided to pour gasoline on the fire unbeknownst to our client causing flash fire that engulfed her. She immediately stopped, dropped and rolled, however she suffered significant second degree burns to both of her thighs. Our client suffered immense pain and ended up with some minor scarring.
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that crossed the center median and collided head-on with a school bus. The vehicle ignited into flames and our client died at the scene. Our client was a 27-year old mother and wife with a bright future. At the time of her death, she was completing her master’s degree in psychology. We were able to secure a settlement for the policy limits of the driver’s auto insurance and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) benefit.
$129,000 — SETTLEMENT
Our client sustained a fracture and dislocation of his left arm when he was struck by an oncoming motorist who failed to yield the right of way. He endured numerous surgeries and constant pain during his recovery. Even after rehabilitation and treatment, our client’s injury left him with permanent loss of function, strength and mobility in his left arm. We were able to secure a settlement within the policy limits of the other driver’s insurance on behalf of our client.
Neck and Back Injury
Our client was traveling on I-35 when her vehicle was struck by a passing driver on the right side. Her vehicle was traveling at 65 MPH and the other driver was traveling at 90 MPH at the time of the accident. As a result of the accident, our client was knocked unconscious and suffers from constant neck and back pain, requiring therapy for six years. We were able to secure a settlement from the other driver’s auto insurance policy.
$107,000 — SETTLEMENT
Policy Limits of Four Insurance Policies
Our client was a tow truck driver assisting a disabled vehicle on I-94 when his tow truck was struck by a passing vehicle. Our client saw the vehicle coming and dove over the median barrier to avoid the collision. Unfortunately, due to the narrow lanes on that stretch of I-94 our client was struck by two oncoming vehicles and sustained catastrophic injuries. The basic list of his injuries include:
• Head injury with loss of consciousness
• Non-displaced fracture of C2 superior facet
• Left proximal Humerus fracture
• LC2 pelvic fracture
• Left proximal tibia/fibula fracture
• Non-displaced fracture of first rib cage
• Displaced right posterolateral 9th and 10th rib fractures
• Bi-lateral lung contusions
Our client was lucky to be alive and we were able to secure the policy limits from four separate insurance policies on his behalf.
$106,112.55—JURY VERDICT/$75,000 POST-TRIAL SETTLEMENT
Mild TBI/Soft Tissue Cervical Spine Injury
Our client was driving through the intersection of a twin cities road when he was struck by a motorist who went through the stop light at a high rate of speed. As a result, our client suffered a laceration to his scalp, a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that resolved within a couple of weeks and soft tissue injury to his cervical spine. The insurance company denied liability for the accident and refused to recognize the significance of our client’s injury. Our team commenced a lawsuit and Attorney Patrick Cotter tried the case to a jury in Dakota County District Court and secured a verdict in favor of our client in that amount of $106,112.55. The insurance company’s best offer all they way up through trial was $9,500. Shortly after the jury verdict the two sides negotiated a post-trial settlement in the amount of $75,000 and the case was dismissed.
Fractured and Displaced Hip
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle when the driver veered off the road to avoid a deer and struck a tree head on. Our client suffered a fractured and displaced hip, as well as a small fracture to his neck as a result of the accident and had to be airlifted to HCMC. The case was settled for the full policy limit of the driver’s insurance.
Our client was injured when she was struck by a passing bicyclist after exiting a city bus. As a result of the accident, our client suffered a broken wrist which required two surgeries to repair. Even after both surgeries, she never regained full strength and mobility in her wrist. We were able to secure a substantial settlement for our client from the bicyclist’s insurance policy.
$100,000 — SETTLEMENT
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle when the driver lost control and crashed into a tree, totaling the vehicle. Our client suffered a concussion, facial fractures, along with several significant lacerations to the left side of her face and left leg that required stiches. Our client was 15-years old at the time of the accident and suffers from permanent scarring to her face and leg. We were able to negotiate a settlement in the amount of $100,000 (policy limit) from the driver’s insurance company.
Our client’s bar and grill burned to the ground resulting in a total loss of the business. After an extensive investigation the insurer denied the claim for the loss of the building, its contents and income, claiming that our client or her employees had engaged in arson and fraud. We commenced suit in federal district court and after intense litigation we settled the matter favorably for our client on confidential basis.
Our client’s home was damaged by two separate fires. The first fire started in the basement from an electrical issue and caused significant smoke damage. The second fire started a few weeks later causing the entire house to be engulfed in flames. The result was a total loss of the property. The insurance company conducted an investigation into the fire and originally denied coverage after accusing our client of intentionally starting the fire. After intense negotiations we were able to secure a settlement to cover our client’s losses.
A young husband and son committed suicide while he was a patient in a psychiatric care facility. The family of this young man hired us to pursue just compensation for this loss. We were able to secure a very positive settlement for both his wife and parents that is kept confidential per the terms of the settlement agreement.
Our client’s home was significantly damaged due to a fire originating in his living room. The cause of the fire was undetermined, but was likely caused from incent candles or a cigar that were left burning. We were able to secure a settlement from his insurance policy in an amount equal to the repair estimate.
Our client went to a local establishment to consume alcohol alone on a cold winter night. He was over served alcohol to the point that he was very visibly intoxicated and struggling to move and stay awake. He decided to leave the bar and walk home, but was stumbling very badly as he exited the establishment. The bartender was warned several times about his condition, but failed to take appropriate action. Our client never made it home and was found unresponsive with a core body temperature under 84-degrees. The causes of his death were a combination hypothermia and acute alcohol levels (.292 BAC).
Soft Tissue neck and back/migraine headaches
Our client was the passenger of a vehicle that was struck by a large SUV after the driver lost control and veered across several lanes of traffic. The collision caused our client to get thrown forward into the passenger airbag and then back into her seat. She suffered a milt traumatic brain injury as well as permanent neck and back injuries. Unfortunately, the other driver did not have auto insurance. The case was settled within the policy limits of the driver of our client’s vehicle auto insurance.
$50,000 — SETTLEMENT
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion
Our client volunteered to assist an EMT class at a local college by acting as a mock victim. Our client was strapped securely to a stretcher that was to be loaded into an ambulance. As the student’s attempted to load our client into the ambulance, they failed to use the wheel release causing our client to fall to the ground and strike his head with no ability to brace for the fall. Our client sustained head injuries that caused him continuous pain for over a year. We were able to negotiate a settlement with the college that adequately covered his medical bills and pain.
Soft Tissue Back Injury
Our Client’s vehicle was stalled on the shoulder of I-394 when a distracted driver rear-ended his vehicle. The other driver had a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit and was also taking Zoloft at the time of the accident. Both vehicle were totaled as a result of the accident. Our client was transported to HCMC to be treated for soft tissue neck and back injuries. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, finding that the other driver was negligent.
Submitted by attorney Patrick Cotter
For more information, review attorney case results for Tom Sieben and Patrick Cotter, or read our attorney reviews and profiles at Super Lawyers: Tom Sieben and Patrick Cotter. The Sieben & Cotter Law office is located in South St. Paul, convenient to Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the Twin Cities metro area, also serving greater Minnesota.