Car Crash

A $4,300,000 verdict awarded in a violent car crash case
The Case

Mercedes Benz of Melbourne's employee crashed into the rear of the 43-year-old client on a rural highway in Florida. The car crash destroyed three cars and rendered the client unconscious. Clothes from the luggage in the client's trunk wound up on the front passenger floorboard due to the force of the crash. The rear bumper ended up inches behind the client's ear.

The client lost consciousness and sustained multiple fractures to her arm and ribs, permanent injuries to her shoulder. She suffers from traumatic brain injury (TBI) as evidenced by a positive QEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram), positive SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) imaging, positive PET (positron emission tomography) scan and positive MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans with diffusion tensor imaging. The client continues to suffer cognitive difficulties and lives in severe pain on a daily basis due to headaches and neck injuries. She will never return to "normal."

The Outcome

The defense admitted liability on the first day of the seven-day jury trial but contested causation and damages. It argued that the client does not have traumatic brain injury. The defense presented numerous retained expert witnesses who claimed that the imaging studies were negative despite the client's treating doctors testifying that they were positive. Finally, the defense used more than 52 pages of Facebook postings and 82 hours of surveillance in an unsuccessful attempt to discredit the client. A neuroradiologist, who provides blind reads of images to both plaintiffs and defendants, testified that the client has permanent traumatic brain injury. A physiatrist, testified about more than one million dollars in future medical care and treatment.

After two days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of $4,356,000.00, consisting of past medical bills of $155,401.98, future damages for medical expenses reduced to present value of $1,200,599.02, past pain and suffering of $1,000,000.00 and future pain and suffering in the amount of $2,000,000.00.

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