$20 Million Truck Accident Lawsuit Verdict for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Gregg Hollander | September 9, 2016 | Trucking Accidents
Personal injury lawyers successfully worked to obtain $20 million for their client, who suffered brain injuries as a result of a truck accident. Though they had argued for $25 million in the case, they overcame defense arguments that plaintiff’s costs for past and future care were greatly reduced by the fact that his family had pulled together to help with day-to-day necessities, as opposed to hiring a home health aid.
Defendant truck driver and trucking company in Kahn v. Moore Freight Service Inc. also argued they shouldn’t have to pay as much because they had “accepted responsibility” for the crash.
While it was true the defense had conceded liability, the reality is they didn’t have much choice. The driver reportedly blew a red light, striking plaintiff and his wife, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The evidence of the driver’s negligence – and thus the trucking company’s vicarious liability – was pretty clear.
To argue the defense somehow deserved to pay less in damages for admitting what was already clear is a bit misguided. As plaintiff’s lawyer put it, that would be like a driver striking a car, causing $1,000 in damages, admitting fault and then arguing he should only have to pay $50 because he admitted it. “Is that fair?” the injury attorney asked rhetorically.
Evidence during trial showed plaintiff suffered numerous injuries as a result of the trucking accident, including bleeding throughout his brain and also shearing of the nerves in the brain. This rendered him completely helpless. His neurosurgeon indicated that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being deceased, plaintiff’s brain injury was an 8.
Plaintiff had emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in 2009. His wife and young children were fully dependent on him. Suddenly, they were left to not only support themselves, but care for him as well.
Attorneys sought $24.8 million in damages, which included $15 million for pain and suffering and $4.3 million in medical expenses. Plaintiffs also argued for compensation for loss of consortium for plaintiff’s wife, who effectively lost her husband as she knew him the day of the trucking accident.
Defense lawyers argued that while “the case has value,” $25 million in damages was excessive, and failed to account for the fact that family, rather than home health care professionals, were providing the bulk of his daily care. Defense also argued that damages should be lessened because plaintiff’s life expectancy was lowered by 10 years as a result of the crash.
Plaintiff’s car accident lawyers shot back that jurors should take into account those 10 years lost – 10 years that he might have spent being a grandfather or traveling with his wife or enjoying his children at holidays.
Those years – and all the years of the rest of his life – have been forever altered, and in effect stolen, as a result of this truck driver’s split-second poor choice. He was in a hurry, and it was plaintiff who paid a dear price for that.
As for the fact plaintiff’s family was providing care, plaintiff’s attorneys noted, “If the family decides to provide care for him? God bless them. They should be able to keep the money.”
It seems jurors in this Georgia state court case agreed. According to Courtroom View Network, they reached their verdict in less than four hours.
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BREAKING VERDICT: $20M Award Slams Trucking Co. in Traumatic Brain Injury Trial, Aug. 10, 2016, By Arlin Crisco, CVN