Case details

Plaintiffs claimed injuries from collision with uninsured driver





Result type

Not present

emotional distress, mental, psychological
On Oct. 23, 2008, plaintiff Andrea Racko, 37, a self-employed consultant, was driving a vehicle with her two children, Alexander, 1, and Sophia, 4, as passengers. As they were slowing down to make a right turn into a residential school zone, near the intersection of Ridge Road and Via Vista in Nevada City, they were rear-ended by an unlicensed and uninsured driver. As a result, the Racko vehicle was sent across the intersection and into a rock wall. Racko claimed head and knee as a result of the collision. Racko, acting individually and as parent to Alexander and Sophia, sued the driver of the vehicle that struck her, as well as that vehicle’s owner. The case (docket number CU10-076868 in Nevada County Superior Court) was ultimately dismissed without prejudice. Racko then sought recovery via the supplementary- uninsured-motorist provision of her own insurance policy, which was administered by Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO). However, she eventually sued GEICO, due to its alleged constant delays in settling the matter with her. Racko subsequently demanded that her insurer submit to binding arbitration. According to plaintiff’s counsel, GEICO had already delayed the resolution of the case by refusing to offer any amount over $7,000 (C.C.P. § 998). Counsel further contended that when he took over the case from prior counsel, GEICO continued to delay in resolving the matter, causing it to last for another two years., Following the accident, Racko and her minor children, Alexander and Sophia, were transported by ambulance to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, where only Alexander was examined. However, Racko was later diagnosed as having sustained soft-tissue to her head, bruising on her body, and a contusion to her left knee. After receiving a neuropsychological work-up, she was diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident. Racko sought recovery of damages for her medical costs and pain and suffering. She also sought recovery of damages for Alexander’s medical costs related to the ambulance trip and emergency room visit, as well for the emotional trauma Alexander and Sophia suffered as a result of being in the accident. Thus, Racko sought recovery of her $100,000 policy limit. Defense counsel contended that neither Racko nor her children were seriously injured in the accident. Counsel also contended that Racko delayed in treating her alleged and that none of the plaintiffs suffered lasting effects from the accident.
Superior Court of Nevada County, Nevada City, CA

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