Jury Verdict Obtained For Rear Ender Automobile Accident ($1 Million)

An Illinois woman was awarded a $1 million jury verdict after suffering injuries in an automobile accident.

The Case

The plaintiff was hit while stopped at a red light in Orland Park with enough force to push her vehicle into the vehicle in front of her. She was taken away from the scene in an ambulance with complaints of neck, mid-back and shoulder pain. From that date of the accident forward, she received numerous treatments from physical therapists, her regular physician, a chiropractor, orthopedic specialists, and a neurosurgeon. She sustained whiplash, an injury that never fully recovered.

Because the pain was not prominent enough to cause constant discomfort she was not considered a candidate for surgery.

In-Depth Look

“The case was prosecuted very well by Mike Wierzbicki from the beginning,” commented Michael Carter. “The plaintiff only had $49,000 in bills and this case went to trial almost five years after the accident. In addition, she had not had any surgical procedures nor did she have any scheduled.  Thanks to Wierzbicki’s work, over a several year pretrial period and at trial, our client was able to have her day in court and receive a just result.”

Significant to the case was the motion for summary judgment brought by Mike Wierzbicki, which led to the court finding that the defendant was negligent. The past medical bills incurred by the plaintiff as a result of the collision were also judicially determined to be reasonable, necessary and caused by the collision, as a result of a separate motion for summary judgment. These findings eliminated the insurance company’s ability to argue that the accident was not the driver’s fault, or that the driver was only partially responsible.

The findings also eliminated the argument from opposing counsel that the plaintiff’s injuries were the result of an unrelated incident – extremely common defenses, even in rear-end automobile collisions.

Wierzbicki’s motions resulted in the plaintiff being judicially awarded $49,064.32 for past medical bills, and the jury was informed of this determination. “Mike Wierzbicki’s pretrial motion practice before the trial judge was outstanding. He was able to show the judge that our case was strong, our client was injured and our cause was just,” Michael Carter stated.

Wierzbicki credits Michael Carter for proving the severity of the plaintiff’s injury.  Wierzbicki said:  “Most cases of this type are approached by other lawyers as whiplash or muscular injury cases.  Michael Carter dug deeper, evaluating the medical films himself, and determined that the plaintiff not only had whiplash-type injuries but also had a tear in a disc in her neck caused by the crash which had progressed over time due to the body’s natural healing process and was now compressing the client’s spinal cord.  Only a person with a thorough understanding of the anatomy like Michael could figure that out and explain it to the jury in a sensible way. Clearly, the insurance company never understood it.”

The result of Carter’s work was a jury award that covered future medical expenses from surgeries to relieve the compression on the spinal cord.

The plaintiff was able to receive a fair outcome instead of falling victim to an insurance company seeking a low recovery amount for an innocent injured party.

Wierzbicki and Carter fought hard for their client and she recovered $1 million in damages.