In this article I will discuss the car accident compensation claim a woman received when her vehicle was struck by another driver who crossed a red light.
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Car Accident Description
A 38 year old female trust officer was driving in her car traveling down an eight lane, two way road when another vehicle struck her driver side door in an intersection. The driver said she was stopped at a red light and then proceeded to cross the wide intersection after the light turned green and the other driver ran the red light.
The driver was taken to an emergency room with complaints of left arm pain resulting from deployment of her driver’s side airbag. Shortly after the accident she began experiencing severe neck pain.
The woman suffered disk herniation at C5-6, requiring halograph procedure and fusion.
Injury Settlement Result
The driver’s surgeon believed that the injured driver would need future surgery. The defense expert witness testified that at most the injured woman had a disc bulge that was the result of a degenerative condition. The defense also claimed that they found no permanent injury.
The jury voted in favor of the injured woman and found the defendant 100% at fault. The jury awarded the driver $436,063 which included:
- $71,063 for past medical costs
- $175,000 for future medical costs
- $40,000 for past pain and suffering
- $150,000 for future pain and suffering
The driver’s husband was also awarded $5,000 for past loss of consortium. The total car accident compensation claim awarded was $441,063.
The defense’s motion for a new trial, additur, remittitur and judgment n.o.v were denied and the defense did not file a notice of appeal.
Accident Compensation Claim Review
Let’s look at why this woman received this 6 figure car accident compensation claim.
So there are a few things to consider when looking at this personal injury settlement. First, the woman was not at fault. The jury found the other driver 100% at fault, which meant there was no comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence basically means your final injury settlement is reduced because your own negligence somehow contributed to your injuries. That was not the case here so the woman received the full potential settlement.
Next this woman’s injuries were serious. The disc herniation, surgery, and recovery procedures showed that she was clearly suffering. In addition to her current pain and suffering, the surgeon believed this woman would need future surgeries to recover from her accident.
This meant her pain and suffering would be long lasting. Her injuries could last for a few months or even be permanent.
Since a long term injury would be considered more serious, the injured woman should be awarded a higher accident compensation claim.
You can see that the other driver’s lawyer tried to lower the injured woman’s injury settlement by questioning the seriousness of her injuries. They argued that her injuries were not that critical. They claimed her injuries were at most a bulging of the disc, something that would not require invasive and continuous medical procedures.
In addition the defense argued that woman’s injuries were not even a result of the accident. They were due to degenerative conditions. Implying that they occurred naturally due to the age of the victim rather than collision.
Ultimately the jury decided to believe the car crash victim . They decided that the other driver was 100% at fault for her accident and injuries. They awarded her a total $246,063 in past and future medical expenses and $190,000 for past and future pain and suffering. She was even awarded a loss of consortium. (A loss of consortium is a claim for damages filed by the spouse of the injured party.)
Word of Caution
One thing you should notice is how the defense challenged this woman’s injuries. They basically didn’t believe her injuries were serious or even due to the accident. You would think that having a medical report and a surgeon’s testimony would make her argument for serious injuries bullet proof. But that’s not always the case.
Insurance companies/lawyers are known to disregard car accident victim’s injuries as being trivial or unrelated to the accident. This makes them less liable and decreases the injured victim’s chance of getting a high accident compensation claim.
So make sure you take precaution against this. Speak with your doctor about all possible side effects of your injuries and have them documented in your medical report. Otherwise you will walk away with a significantly lower injury settlement than you deserve.
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