Articles Posted in Car Accidents

backpainlowOne verdicts and settlements database found that the median plaintiff’s verdict award for motor vehicle cases that involved back injuries is $212,500. For all car, truck, and motorcycle accident injury cases in the database that earned a plaintiff’s verdict, the median award is $300,000.

 Sample Verdicts and Settlements in Back Injury Cases

New York City
Jury Verdict Research’s recent study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing nationwide median is $34,550.

New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and midsized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering. Only permanent injuries cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to fewer lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.

Legal writingThis is a sample demand letter in a relatively small case with approximately $8,000 in medical bills.  But this case settled for a lot more than any kind of simple multiplier of medical bills.   This times special damages math is dangerous when it causes plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers (and victims) to substantially undervalue a claim.

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uber-logoAfter a night on the town, a taxi is no longer you’re only option to get back home. Uber, and other “ride-sharing” companies, have given the taxi companies a run for their money by offering cheap(er) and easier transportation. The idea is great: link drivers and those in need of a ride via smartphone app, allow them to communicate with the tap of a finger, and get rid of on-the-spot payment.

Riders are happy because they can get from A to B cheaper and faster.  Driver are happy because they can earn a living (or extra money) as a cab driver without dealing with the logistics of a cab company which have been historically some of America’s worst run businesses.  Of course, Uber is happy too because they make so much profit by brokering the transaction that their company may be worth as much as $40 billion.

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The family of an Ohio woman was awarded nearly $4 million dollars in a wrongful death suit filed against the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Awful story here. On December 26, 2008, a husband and wife and their two kids were returning home after visiting with family for the Christmas holiday. Traveling in two separate vehicles, the husband and daughter arrived at home. When his wife and son did not return, he retraced his route only to find his wife’s car off the road, against a fence. A tree had fallen on the car and medics were already on the scene. While the son was taken to a local hospital, the wife was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suit filed against ODOT claimed that they knew that the bank along that stretch of road was eroding, and that trees had been uprooted in the area. The tree that had fallen on the wife’s car had been leaning over the road, creating a hazard. The suit further claimed that ODOT had breached its duty to maintain the road and attend to any potentially dangerous situations.

Business Week reports that State Farm, the largest U.S. home and car insurer, had quadrupled its profits in 2012, earning $3.2 billion in income. Allstate, the second-largest home and auto insurer, did not do quite as well, only tripling their profits. Allstate earned $2.31 billion in 2012.

It is all good, I don’t begrudge these people making money. What I do expect, though, is that they get off their high horse as the lobby state legislature’s around the country saying that the anti-insurance sentiment is making it impossible for them to be profitable. Because that is, to be charitable, silly.

You can read the Business Week article here.

Last week, after a three day trial, a jury awarded a Vancouver man $1.3 million dollars for injuries suffered in a Hillsboro traffic crash in 2011.

The defendant driver was driving a commercial truck toward the plaintiff when he turned left at a flashing yellow traffic light that gave the plaintiff the right of way. The Plaintiff sustained a broken leg, fractured knee, strained neck, and sprained shoulder. The most serious of the injuries was the knee injury and plaintiff will eventually require a knee replacement.

The award included $300,000 for economic damages, including past and future medical costs and job retraining, and $1,000,000 for non-economic damages. The suit originally sought $2.8 million in damages.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pushing for a rule that would have an impact on the evidence that car accident lawyers can utilize in making their cases at trial: a requirement that car makers install “black boxes” in all new cars to record accident data.

You know this car was not in a big rig truck accident

You know this car was not in a big rig truck accident because it is one piece

Maybe. The reality is that most everyone already has a black box in their car. The problem is that the feds don’t propose who owns and has access to the data. Certainly, the federal government realizes the privacy implications of this and that every state has different laws in this regard. But there is a simple solution: let the car’s owner own the data. This would protect privacy and still give plaintiffs’ lawyers the ability to seek the records in discovery.

Lindsay Lohan was taken this morning to her home away from home: jail.

Actually that’s not fair. Her home jail is Los Angeles. This is an away game for Lohan.

Apparently, she struck a pedestrian in his knee with her Porsche this morning, but couldn’t be bothered to stay around. The accident occurred at 2:30 a.m. which confirms my long held theory that nothing good ever happens after 1:00 a.m.

She’s traveling with a crew. Would it kill her to hire a designated driver?

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One thing I think we can all universally agree on it that there are just too many pedestrian accidents and deaths. Clearly, Chicago is not an exception. A report of pedestrian and vehicle crashes released by Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) in 2011, focused on this problem and the types of crashes involving pedestrians. The authors of the study reviewed pedestrian accident data from police reports in the Chicago metropolitan area to determine how each incident occurred.

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