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One Defective Tire, $1.5 Million in Medical Bills

Tires keep us safe on the road, and if something goes wrong with them, anything could happen.

One May morning in 2009, Tracey Parker of Florida was driving her Chevy Cobalt down I95. One of her tires came off its rim, and she lost control of her car. Her vehicle flipped three times and landed on the highway median. Parker was 39 years old at the time of the accident, a wife and mother to three young boys. She was not expected to survive her injuries.

Her coma lasted a month, but remarkably, Parker did survive. After 17 operations and more than three months in the hospital, she went home with a $1.5 million medical bill. Even at home, she was in constant pain; some of her broken bones never healed properly. Her whole life was turned inside out, and she will never be the same person she was before the crash. Parker and her husband decided to sue Continental Tire, the fourth largest tire manufacturer worldwide, over the defective tire that contributed to the accident.

At trial, the plaintiffs alleged that the tire on the Cobalt was defective when it left the plant. The tire was four years old, had no inspection sticker and had 20,000 miles of tread remaining on the day of the accident. It was obvious, the Parkers’ lawyer argued, that the tire had missed inspection. The defendant’s attorney suggested that the crash was Tracey Parker’s fault because she had not properly inflated her tires, and that the resulting uneven tires made her lose control of the vehicle. The case may not have gone to trial had the tire company taken the Parkers’ pre-trial offer to settle for $800,000. They declined, and eventually faced a jury award of $10 million.

With such high medical bills, the Parkers would have been left in an extremely difficult financial position as they tried to continue paying their regular and usual expenses. Without applying for a lawsuit loan, few would have access to the funds they would need. Lawsuit loans (also called pre-settlement loans or litigation funding) help plaintiffs cope with their suddenly enormous expenses. Those applying for a lawsuit cash advance need only hire an attorney to represent them and fill out an online application with a litigation funding company (or call them directly for more information).

Approved plaintiffs usually receive their cash advances within 48 hours. The funds are sent directly to the plaintiff’s bank account, and are typically used to pay medical bills and maintain usual expenses. Approval is based on the case’s predicted strength in court. If, for some reason, the plaintiff loses the case, he or she is able to keep the lawsuit loan funds, no strings attached. Litigation funding can help plaintiffs and their families maintain order in their lives as they wait for their case to be resolved.

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