A Duval County jury sided with my client, a 49-year-old immigration attorney, awarding him a $1.43 million verdict after the pickup truck in which he was a passenger was rear-ended and he was left with permanent neck injuries. The verdict is 11 times more than Geico’s final offer to settle the case.

Rear-ended

In 2011, my client was a passenger in a pickup truck that was stopped in the left-hand lane on Atlantic Boulevard as the car in front of it was making a left-hand turn onto a street. The driver behind him was distracted and plowed into the truck. The driver was cited for careless driving.

As a result of the accident, my client was left with permanent neck pain and headaches. He is being treated by a pain management physician and has a herniated disk in his neck causing chronic pain and related headaches. Due to his neck pain, he can no longer jog, which was his passion. In court testimony, my client said running was his religion, it was his therapy. It’s where he thought about life and this important outlet has been taken away from him.

The Verdict

In personal injury cases, we not only seek compensation for economic damages such as lost wages and medical bills, but also non-economic damages that include permanent lifestyle changes, disability and stress caused by the injury or accident. In this case, not being able to run anymore – which was my client’s catharsis – was a devastating loss to him.

After settling with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for its small policy value, we pursued a recovery from the driver’s insurance company, Geico, for underinsured motorist coverage. The jury awarded my client $519,640 for past and future medical bills and $911,000 for pain and suffering.

During the trial, Geico’s attorneys unsuccessfully tried to portray my client, an attorney, as a legal insider who was trying to take advantage of the system to get the fullest recovery possible. The insurance company’s lawyers cited my client’s international travel as examples of his not being in pain. The jury didn’t believe those arguments and sided with my client.

Auto accidents happen every day and range from minor fender benders to crashes involving major injury or death. At Terrell Hogan, we represent the injured as they seek justice.