A California family has elected to accept a large settlement in a recent case against the trucking company Tesla Motors.
Maria and Santiago Hinojosa and their three children, all of Gustine, California, accepted a settlement of over $160,000 in their claim regarding the personal injuries caused in an accident with Tesla Motors driver Mark Baschke. On December 22, 2009, the Hinojosas were driving east on Interstate 10, between Tucson and Phoenix, when a dust storm hit the area. The storm quickly reduced the area’s visibility to effectively zero, Vehicles pulled over all along the road to stop and wait out the storm, including the car driven by the Hinojosas.
Baschke did not elect to stop, however — he instead kept driving along his established route. Baschke did not notice that traffic in front of him had come to a stop to wait out the storm until he had hit multiple vehicles, including the Hinojosa family car. He came to a stop only after these multiple collisions, according to the case report.
Maria Hinojosa had to be evacuated from the scene via helicopter due to her injuries, being taken to Maricopa Medical Center. Even after treatment and release from the hospital, she suffered from pain, reduced range of motion in her left arm and shoulder, and aggravated tendonitis in her arm as a result of the crash. Treatment for her condition ultimately required painful injections and lengthy physical therapy. The Hinojosa children also suffered soft-tissue bruising for which they required minor treatments.
Due to the nature of the claim and the Hinojosa’s willingness to assert that Tesla Motors was responsible for Baschke’s actions, all parties were able to come to the table and discuss the matter professionally. The legal settlement was reached without needing to go to trial.