$700K Settlement to Boy Injured in Car Crash at a School

The family of a California boy who had a leg amputated after being struck by debris from a nearby car crash while he was playing on a school athletic field has reached a $700,000 settlement in the case.

The boy, Adrian Grajeda, who was 10 years old at the time of the Oct. 23, 2013 incident, was playing in the athletic field of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Palm Desert, Calif., when a car crashed into another car nearby, throwing debris at the boy and severely injuring him, according to a Dec. 8 story in The (Palm Desert) Desert Sun.

His mother, Brandy Grajeda, filed a lawsuit against the driver of the car, Malcolm Paterson, who was 83 at the time of the crash, alleging negligence. Paterson later died in January 2015 before the case could go to trial and his wife, Evelyn, was named as the defendant in the lawsuit, the story reported.

Before he died, Malcolm Paterson was also charged with drunken driving and causing injury in a crash, but the charges were dismissed after his death, according to the story.

The settlement will pay for the boy’s medical bills and artificial limbs as he grows up, the story reported, with a portion of the award being held back until he turns 18 years old. The boy is an active athlete and received support and encouragement from his community after the incident, according to the story.

Malcolm Paterson had told prosecutors that he mistakenly pressed the accelerator pedal rather than the brake pedal as his Chevrolet Cruze automobile traveled south on Portola Avenue while approaching traffic which was stopped at a red light, the story reported.

“Paterson’s car collided with another vehicle, veered onto a sidewalk, crashed into a traffic signal and finally struck the steel perimeter fence of the elementary school on Rutledge Way in Palm Desert,” according to the report. “Debris from the crash struck Adrian, who was airlifted to a hospital, where his right leg was amputated. Other students were outside at the time, but no one else was hurt.”

Malcolm Paterson’s blood-alcohol level was .04 percent after the crash, which was below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, “but investigators said he was still driving impaired,” the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes and a wide range of other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in such an incident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.