10 Major Car Accident Settlements and Jury Verdicts

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10 Major Car Accident Settlements and Jury Verdicts

10 Major Car Accident Settlements and Jury Verdicts

Dec 4, 2020

More than 38,000 people die annually in car crashes on U.S. roads and highways. Serious car accidents frequently lead to life-threatening injuries, and victims are entitled to pursue legal action towards compensation for damages and related harm. For car accident victims, the legal system provides an avenue for justice to be served.

When a victim of a car accident suffers an injury due to negligence on the part of another driver, the victim is entitled to pursue “compensatory damages” (also known as “money damages”) for harm. Financial damages are often related to a car accident victim’s medical expenses, lost income, lost future wages, and even compensation for the pain and suffering the victim has endured and/or will endure in the future. And when the accident is particularly severe (i.e. a drunk driver accidentally kills a passenger child), juries can award what’s known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of additional compensation awarded to the victim (or the victim’s family). Such damages designed to “punish” the defendant-that is, to send a message that their actions were particularly heinous, and they therefore must pay beyond traditional damages.

Car Accident Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

Car Accident Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident, the first step to filing a claim is finding a top-rated car accident attorney. After an attorney helps you file you claim, negotiations typically proceed to see if a settlement amount can be reached. If the claim cannot be settled through negotiations, the case will likely proceed to a jury trial. The majority of personal injury claims, however, are actually settled out of court and do not require a trial. Regardless of whether or not a case goes to trial, the amount of compensation that a victim receives for a car accident claim can be substantial.

What is a Car Accident Settlement?

A settlement is a binding agreement between the parties of a legal dispute, effectively ending said dispute. A settlement can be secured either before a lawsuit is filed/ends, or after a claim has been filed. This type of agreement usually involves the defendant paying the plaintiff a dollar amount in exchange for releasing the defendant from any further liability for the plaintiff’s harm.

Car accident settlements usually involve the liable party’s insurance company. For instance, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident may offer or agree to pay the injured victim an amount of money that will free the driver (and thereby the insurance company) from any further liability. Settlement amounts can vary, but an ideal settlement is an amount that both parties feel is fair, and will ensure each avoids further litigation expenses.

It is important to remember that insurance companies have many resources and utilize experienced professionals who settle claims on a daily basis. The insurance companies’ main interest is minimizing their payout when settling claims. Therefore, the initial settlement amount insurance companies offer is often much too low to sufficiently compensate the victim, and proceeding to trial may make the most sense. These decisions and processes can be difficult and require specialized legal knowledge. This is why it’s vital to have a #1 DLG car accident attorney by your side. At Dordulian Law Group, we are experienced trial attorneys, and are never afraid to take any case to court if necessary. Ultimately, we always proceed in the best interest of the client.

If you experienced a car accident injury, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering what sort of compensation is available for your particular claim. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant car accident settlements and verdicts in recent history to better understand how car accident claims ultimately result in financial awards.

10 of The Largest Car Accident Verdicts and Settlements

  1. In 2018, the Texas Estate of McPherson was awarded $247 million in damages by a jury for a car crash. The accident involved a truck and resulted in the death of the victim, so the family brought a wrongful death suit on the victim’s behalf.
  2. Also in Texas that same year, a victim of a car accident was awarded $242 million for expenses and suffering related to a brain injury suffered in a rear-end collision found to be caused by Toyota defective seat backs.
  3. In 2017, Georgia car accident victims (and their families) were awarded approximately $129 million for the wrongful death of one of the passengers. Damages also included pain, suffering, medical expenses, etc. related to another passenger’s accident-caused quadriplegia.
  4. In 2016 in Savannah, Georgia, a truck driver slammed into a line of cars that had stopped due to a previous crash. The driver, who may have been sleeping, never braked. Five nursing students were killed and two more people were seriously injured. The defendant settled with the victims for $80 million.
  5. A victim in Washington was awarded a settlement of $40 million by Airbus Helicopters for a traumatic brain injury and burns endured due to an aviation/car accident.
  6. A California trucking company, “Trucking Co.,” settled with car accident victim “Dominguez” for $30 million after Dominguez suffered a brain injury in a car accident resulting from the negligence of one of the company’s drivers.
  7. Also in California in 2018, Plaintiff “Doe” settled for $30 million with Roe Truck Staffing Co. for the brain injury he sustained after a severe traffic accident that was caused by the trucking company’s driver.
  8. In the case of Seward v. State of Washington et al., a victim who was rendered a quadriplegic after a car accident settled with Washington state for $28 million. The plaintiff victim had sued the state alleging that the accident was caused by their failure to maintain non-dangerous road conditions and government negligence.
  9. A woman named Gloria Aguilar was awarded $27.5 million by a jury in Manhattan, New York after she suffered devastating injuries when hit by a bus in 2005. Aguilar was injured so badly that she had to have her left leg amputated.
  10. Shirley Miller was hit by a pharmacy truck while crossing the street in New York City. The 2008 accident rendered her permanently brain-damaged and caused her other bodily injuries. The jury in the case awarded Miller $22 million in financial restitution.

How are Settlements Calculated?

A few common questions that victims of car accidents (or their families) ask are: “How much will my case settle for?” and “How are settlement amounts calculated?” While the calculations can vary, the main goal of any settlement is to appropriately compensate the injured victim, and potentially their family, for any losses caused by the accident. Those losses can include medical expenses, property damage (i.e. a totaled car), lost wages, lost ability to earn comparable wages in the future, wrongful death-related losses, as well as general pain and suffering.

Some factors that are used in calculating a settlement can include:

  • The severity and type of injuries caused to the victim
  • The driver’s negligence, recklessness, or lack thereof
  • Whether alcohol/illegal substances were involved
  • The amount of time the victim will require to recover from the injury/injuries

The process of negotiating a settlement amount, even in a straightforward car accident case, can be complicated. To properly negotiate a car accident settlement that will protect your basic rights under the law and ensure you are not taken advantage of, the help and expertise of a leading attorney is paramount.

Some car accident victims search online for a “settlement calculator,” but this is not a substitute for having an experienced and seasoned lawyer by your side during negotiations. Some of the online calculators take the dollar amount of the medical bills and lost wages and multiple it by a random figure-usually between 1 and 5-to arrive at an amount that covers difficult to quantify damages such as pain and suffering.

Then, the calculator adds that amount to the total medical bills and lost wages. This method, however, is often highly inaccurate, and not a practice endorsed by courts. The reality is that there is no exact formula to calculate a total car accident settlement amount. Each case (and each victim) is different, and should be evaluated accordingly with individualized care and attention. Our car accident attorneys can help negotiate a settlement amount that is right for every specific case, attending to the unique details of each victim. A formula or a calculator cannot do the same.

How to Choose the Best Law Firm for Your Car Accident Case

When searching for the best attorney to hire for your car accident case, finding an attorney who values you and your time is vital. Typically, this is clear from the moment you meet a potential attorney. A considerate lawyer will demonstrate an interest in your case and a sincere drive to be your dedicated advocate. A great attorney will also have sympathy for your situation, as well as extensive experience with similar cases, and be able to prove that she or he can achieve optimal results on your behalf.

A qualified car accident attorney can help negotiate a fair settlement figure with an insurance company. Your attorney should have specific experience negotiating the cost of unpaid medical bills (and whether or not those expenses are covered by the settlement). This type of experience is especially important given that the cost of medical procedures can vary dramatically from hospital-to-hospital. Dordulian Law Group’s car accident attorneys are highly skilled and experienced in this area, representing the best option available for your car accident claim.

Dordulian Law Group Can Help You Win Your Car Accident Lawsuit

Dordulian Law Group has extensive experience with all types of car accident cases, as is evinced by our myriad testimonials from satisfied clients. For over 20 years, DLG attorneys have been winning a variety of car accident cases, such as hit-and-runs, rollover accidents, commercial collisions, crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries, and more.

Indeed, many law firms in California handle car accidents, but DLG stands out from them in a number of very important criteria. DLG combines the personalized care, support, and discretion that is expected from smaller “boutique” law firms with the resources and results that can normally only be found from larger “mega firms.” Our attorneys value each client as a member of our firm’s extended family, and we ensure our entire team of experts is always available to our clients anytime, any day.

DLG’s founder and president, Samuel Dordulian, is a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who has successfully handled countless car accident cases, helping clients recover millions of dollars. Our chief investigator, Detective Moses Castillo, recently retired from the LAPD following a decorated 30-year career. Castillo uses his extensive experience as a former detective in the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Central Traffic Division to help our clients obtain justice following a car accident. Over the years, Castillo has successfully investigated and closed hundreds of serious car accidents, including hit-and-runs and wrongful death cases. His investigative prowess is an advantage to each and every DLG car accident client.

At DLG, we care about our clients and work as hard as we can obtain the results they deserve. Each DLG client receives personalized support and attention from our experienced team. Perhaps most importantly, we win for our clients! We have a 98% success rate and have recovered over $100 million through the years.

Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you have come to the right place. DLG is here to help you win your case and recover maximum financial compensation. With DLG, you have access to every available benefit and advantage – vast experience, proven success and results, the resources to ensure you succeed, and the personalized service, care, and attention you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 855-804-9636.

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