A 68-year-old motorcyclist seriously injured when he crashed his bike into an oncoming vehicle has settled his claims for $1.2 million.
Mark Bringardner of Bringardner Injury Law Firm in Charleston said that the plaintiff, Croner Simmons Jr., was traveling south on U.S. Highway 17 near Surfside Beach on Oct. 1, 2019, when defendant Jacques Legare attempted to turn left onto the highway’s northbound lane. Bringardner said that Legare drove through a blinking red light, blocked the intersection, and failed to yield the right of way.
“Mr. Simmons tried to take evasive action to avoid the crash, but was unable to completely avoid Defendant Legare’s vehicle and hit the rear, driver side of the vehicle,” Bringardner wrote in an email to Lawyers Weekly.
Bringardner said that Simmons was active and physically fit before the crash, enjoying kayaking, deep-sea fishing, traveling, and working out. He used physical exercise to keep his mind and body healthy, Bringardner said, and was exceptionally fit for his age.
“He was not your average 68-year-old man,” Bringardner wrote.
The crash left the plaintiff with serious and permanent injuries, Bringardner said, including ruptured tendons in his right ankle and that that required two surgeries and injuries to his lower back and right shoulder.
“Due to the injuries sustained in the crash, Mr. Simmons’ lifestyle has completely changed, and he is unable to live the active lifestyle he once enjoyed, which affects both his physical fitness and mental health,” Bringardner said.
Simmons was also represented by Justin Lovely and Sarah Austin of The Lovely Law Firm in Myrtle Beach. Lovely called the case a “classic biker prejudice case.”
“A Canadian insurance company attempted to reverse the facts and place the blame on the motorcyclist in order to delay and devalue our client’s case,” Lovely said. “We fight for motorcycle riders in our office.”
Legare was represented by Joseph Tierney of Rogers Townsend in Charleston. Tierney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
SETTLEMENT REPORT — MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
Amount: $1.2 million
Injuries alleged: Rupture of right posterior tibialis and pes planus resulting in two surgeries, partial right rotator cuff tear, L5-S1 lumbar radiculopathy, cervical sprain/strain
Case name: Croner Simmons Jr. v. Jacques Legare
Court: Horry County Circuit Court
Case No.: 2020-CP-26-07410
Judge: Richard Hinson
Date of settlement: April 12
Special damages: $204,291.19 in past medicals
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Insurance carrier: SSQ Insurance
Attorneys for plaintiff: Mark Bringardner of Bringardner Injury Law Firm in Charleston and Justin Lovely and Sarah Austin of The Lovely Law Firm in Myrtle Beach
Attorney for defendant: Joe Tierney of Rogers Townsend in Charleston