Favorable Jury Verdict For Auto Accident Victim Following Dispute Over Injuries ($1.3 Million)

After about four hours of deliberations, 12 jurors unanimously agreed that Plaintiff’s injuries went far beyond 8 months and set the compensation owed to Plaintiff for her medical bills, pain, suffering, and loss of a normal life at $1.3 million.

The Case

On July 28, 2008, the life of a 37-year-old Philippine woman was forever changed. The Plaintiff was driving with her son to a local home improvement store to purchase stain for the deck she was refinishing when her car was t-boned by a driver who turned out of a retail store parking lot without seeing her.

In-Depth Look

The Plaintiff suffered from burns due to the airbag deployment and was initially diagnosed with cervical strains from the impact of the accident.  With time, the Plaintiff’s pain and problems progressed and medical imaging revealed that her spinal cord was being pressed on by one of her cervical disks.  According to her doctors, the result for the Plaintiff was permanent, chronic pain in the neck necessitating regular doses of pain medication, injections, and recommendation for neck surgery to remove the herniated disc.

Prior to trial, the Court determined that the Defendant was negligent.  The defense admitted negligence but denied that Plaintiff was injured to the extent she claimed.  The defense hired an expert to say that Plaintiff’s pain and problems were not from a herniated disc, but instead were the normal effects of aging.

Chicago injury attorney, Michael T. Wierzbicki, stated, “This wasn’t a battle over who caused the accident, rather what the damages should be set at.”

The defense argued that Plaintiff recovered after 8 months of treatment and thus, should only be compensated for those 8 months.

Attorney Michael Wierzbicki and Michael Carter proved that brief temporary improvements in Mrs. Santos condition were the result of steroid injections providing temporary relief and not an improvement of her underlying problem.  The injuries from the crash will affect the Plaintiff for the rest of her or the rest of her life.

As trial came to a close the defense counsel argued to the jury that they should compensate Plaintiff only for the medical bills incurred for the first 8 months after the crash, an amount of around $38,000 with a nominal amount for pain and suffering.  Attorneys Carter and Wierzbicki argued that the crash caused Plaintiff significant and severe personal injury which resulted in substantial pain, suffering, medical care and loss of her normal life.

David Starshak, a new Chicago injury attorney, participated in his first jury trial. He played a key role in witness presentation and trial preparation.

“The jury saw the injury was more than just a medical diagnosis, rather it impacted every aspect of her life. The wisdom of the jury system prevailed over the whims of an uncaring insurance company,” said attorney David Starshak.

The Plaintiff’s life prior to the crash epitomized the ‘American Dream.’ After spending her early life in the Philippines where she was licensed as a nurse, Plaintiff moved her family to the United States.  Plaintiff worked as a nurse at a hospital (where she lived in a dorm) while her husband stayed at a friend’s apartment with their son.  Eventually they saved enough money to rent an apartment, then get a car, and finally, buy a home.

Attorneys Michael Wierzbicki and Michael Carter are honored to have represented the Plaintiff.