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RFTM secures $24 million settlement for Bay Area woman paralyzed in automobile crash.

A woman who was left paralyzed by a crash caused by a drunk driver spoke out about her experience. Attorney Timothy G. Tietjen is featured in this CBS San Francisco coverage:

A Walnut Creek woman has settled a personal injury lawsuit for $24 million for injuries she suffered in a highway collision on Cinco De Mayo that involved an impaired driver and a Good Samaritan-turned-vigilante.

The plaintiff, 27-year-old Rebecca Forkey, suffered a spinal cord injury in a rollover accident, triggered by an Acura of Concord employee, who was attempting to track an impaired driver. The accident happened on May 5, 2013 on I-680 in Walnut Creek. The Acura driver was following a woman in a Toyota Highlander who was driving erratically. The Acura driver called 911 to report the impaired driver and (against the advice of police), he decided to shadow the vehicle.

The Acura driver pulled his car between the impaired driver and Forkey. The impaired driver then swerved into the Acura driver's lane, and he swerved into Forkey's lane causing her to lose control, veer up an embankment and flip several times. She is now paralyzed.

Before the accident, Forkey led an active, healthy and busy life working as a medical esthetician. The crash left Forkey with a permanent spinal cord injury which has drastically altered her life. She cannot walk, requires a wheelchair and has lost almost all of her independence. She relies on her family and a caregiver to help with all her activities of daily living.

A settlement was reached with Forkey on August 18th, 2016 to avoid trial.

"Everyone knows about the danger of impaired drivers on the roadway but few think about the danger of those who try and intervene and take on the role of police officers", said Forkey's attorney, Timothy Tietjen a partner with the San Francisco law firm Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn. "Let law enforcement know about the situation in a safe manner. Then stay far away from the impaired driver. Don't try and be a hero as you may cause an accident," advised Tietjen.

While Forkey's life is forever changed by this tragedy, she hopes the outcome of her legal case can help prevent this type of accident from happening to others. "I don't want what happened to me to happen to anyone else and hopefully people will hear the warning and not make the same mistake," said Forkey.

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