Jury Trial Results in $335,000 Recovery for Victim of Serious Car Crash
In January 2018, our client was driving her car on a highway in Pickens County when another car turned left into the front of her vehicle.
The impact of the collision was so severe that it not only caused our client’s airbags to deploy, but also sent our client’s car flying off the road and down into a ravine. Our client lost consciousness at the scene and could not remember the facts of the crash when EMS arrived. She was disoriented and unable to remember what happened, and her confusion continued during her transport to the hospital. She also had rib, neck, and chest pain.
After being treated at the hospital and discharged to her home, our client’s injury symptoms worsened. She sought additional treatment at Piedmont Mountainside ER the next day, complaining of worsening headaches and memory problems. The hospital ran a CT scan on her head and neck, prescribed her medication for the pain, and again discharged her to her home.
After those two ER visits, our client sought treatment with various medical providers, as well as her primary care doctor. She went to physical therapy, saw a neurologist for post-concussion symptoms and tinnitus (ringing in her ears), went to a pain management doctor, and entered into mental counseling for PTSD and anxiety. She was put on antidepressant medications in an attempt to help alleviate the mental effects of the accident. An MRI of her neck in 2020 showed a bulging disc at the C5-6 level. In total, our client completed over 130 medical visits to various medical providers for her injuries.
In 2022, our client returned to see her original pain management doctor. A repeat MRI showed that she still had a bulging disc in her spine at the C5-6 level and that this was a permanent injury caused by the accident. She also suffered ongoing mild cognitive impairment, which affected her attention span, lowered her executive functioning, and created difficulties with multi-tasking.
In total, our client’s medical bills came out to $54,000.
After discovery ended, the parties attended a mediation, where the highest offer from the Defendant’s insurer was $115,000. The defense argued that a Cherokee County jury would not return a verdict above that amount because it is a traditionally conservative venue for jury verdicts.
However, our client turned down the offer and elected to proceed to trial. In preparing for trial, one of the challenges we had was that the other driver was in his 80s when the wreck happened, and he subsequently died of unrelated causes the year after the wreck. As a result, we had to file the lawsuit against his estate, and his surviving wife was the representative of the estate. There was a high risk that a jury would be sympathetic to the Defendant.
Another challenge we faced was that our client had very conservative treatment that did not really reflect the magnitude of her injuries. She never had any surgeries or injections (other than one trigger point injection). There were also extended periods when our client did not receive treatment.
Even so, when the case went to trial in March 2023, a jury in the State Court of Cherokee County returned a verdict for $204,969.46 in favor of our client. This reflected our client’s medical bills, plus $150,000 for pain and suffering.
In 2022, we sent the defense an offer of settlement pursuant to O.C.G.A. sec. 9-11-68 for $135,000. Because we got more than 125% of the amount demanded in our offer of settlement, the defense had to pay our attorney’s fees and costs from the date the offer expired through judgment.
After trial, we filed a motion to amend the judgment to add $126,752.94 in fees and expenses. The trial court granted our motion and added that amount to the judgment.
With post-judgment interest, the total amount the Defendant’s insurer, State Farm, had to pay was $334,919.62.
About The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C.
If you or someone you know has experienced an injury as a result of a car accident, contact The Champion Firm today for a free case consultation. Our contingency fee structure means you only pay for our services if and when we win your case. To date, The Champion Firm team has secured over $100 million for our clients.