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Good Reasons To Wear Your Seat Belt | Orlando Car Accident Attorney

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attorney representing quadriplegic accident victims or spinal cord injury accident victimsI’ve pasted below an excerpt from a summary of a verdict that resulted from a Florida (Vero Beach) car accident case.  As you can see, the plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic and the jury awarded her a little over 6.3 million in damages.  As an aside, although many people often complain about high verdicts obtained in injury cases, as you can hopefully see, a significant amount of those damages go toward necessary medical care.  And certainly roughly half that amount for pain and suffering as a result of an accident that left someone totally disabled for life is justified.  The jury awarded her several categories of permissible damages in Florida, including past medical expenses, past lost earnings, future medical expenses, future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering.

But the tragic, final and unalterable result in this case was that the 27 year old female plaintiff was rendered a quadriplegic.  Regarding her legal case, although the accident was not her fault, the jury attributed 35% of the blame for her injuries on the plaintiff because she was not wearing her seat belt.

RESULT: $ 6,336,160.50 for the Plaintiff. (verdict)

($ 361,665 — past medical expenses; $ 21,243 — past lost earnings; $ 2,438,955.50 — future medical expenses; $ 654,297 — future lost earnings; $ 160,000 — past pain and suffering; $ 2,700,000 — future pain and suffering).

Plaintiff’s Negligence: 35%; Defendant Jena Hoelke’s Negligence: 65%; Defendant Stephen McCulloch’s Negligence: 0%

STATE: Florida

COUNTY: Indian River

JUDGE: Paul B. Kanarek

PLAINTIFF PROFILE: Age: 27

Sex: Female

Cause Of Injury: On February 6, 2008, Plaintiff Egline Henry was permanently paralyzed from the waist down as the result of an automobile accident at the intersection of State Road 60 and 40th Avenue in Vero Beach, Indian River County.

Plaintiff said that she was the unrestrained driver of a vehicle traveling east on Route 60. Defendant Hoelke was the driver of a vehicle traveling west on Route 60 and was turning left through the median at 40th Avenue and intending to travel south onto 40th Avenue. Defendant McCulloch was the driver of a vehicle traveling north on 40th Avenue intending to turn left to proceed west on State Road 60. Defendant Hoelke allegedly struck Plaintiff’s vehicle while making her left turn, causing Plaintiff’s vehicle to spin counterclockwise and roll over, coming to rest on its driver’s side.

catastrophic or serious car, truck or motorcycle accident lawyer orlando floridaPlaintiff alleged negligence against both Defendants in the operation of their vehicles which caused her injuries. The court found Defendant Hoelke was negligent in the cause of the accident. Defendant Hoelke alleged that Defendant McCulloch was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that Plaintiff was comparatively negligent for failure to wear a seat belt. Defendant McCulloch alleged that Defendant Hoelke was negligent in the operation of her vehicle which was a legal cause of the accident.

Nature Of Injury: Plaintiff was paralyzed from the waist down as the result of injuries to her spinal cord. Plaintiff claimed past economic damages of $ 382,435 and future economic damages of $ 3,947,792. Past and future non-economic damages were for the jury to determine.

Note: The six-day trial began on June 9, 2009. The jury was composed of four women and two men. Plaintiff’s counsel moved for a directed verdict on the seat belt defense which the court denied.

Plaintiff’s motion to tax costs is pending. Plaintiff’s renewed motion for directed verdict and/or motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is pending.

If You Need An Orlando Car Accident Attorney Who Will Spend As Much Time As You Need Helping With Your Case, Call My Cell Phone Now & Let’s Discuss What Happened.  (407) 383-7290

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About the Author:

Tina Willis is a Florida & Georgia personal injury & wrongful death attorney. This includes auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, products & premises liability cases, as well as medical malpractice cases. Ms. Willis operates a boutique law firm from Orlando, Florida, focused on maintaining a reasonable case load so that she can provide personalized service to each and every one of her clients. She spends a tremendous amount of time helping her clients understand how they can help increase the value of their cases, sometimes significantly. After graduating second in her class from Florida State University College of Law in 1995, Ms. Willis worked as an attorney for two large Atlanta defense firms, where she practiced employment and excess insurer defense. Ms. Willis also worked as a professor of Civil Procedure & Advanced Legal Writing at Barry University in Orlando, Florida. Ms. Willis has a "superb" AVVO rating, and was selected by the National Trial Lawyers, as a "Top 100 Trial Lawyer." She now devotes her passion and compassion to her unwavering goal of helping her clients fully achieve the justice they deserve, in the form of maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. Before you hire another law firm, you owe it to yourself to hear what Ms. Willis has to say. Consultations and representation never cost you a penny until she wins your case.
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