Auto Accident Defense Verdict in Palm Beach

January 6, 2023

West Palm Beach Partners Sherry Schwartz and Nicole Kirk obtained a very nominal verdict in a 4-day auto accident jury trial in Palm Beach. The claim arose out an accident wherein the insured driver of a 16-wheeler accidentally made a wide turn and struck the passenger rear side of Plaintiff’s vehicle. Liability was admitted.

Plaintiff contended the accident resulted in neck and back injury requiring 3 surgeries and related treatment totaling $786,000 in past medical bills. The defense maintained that the accident was a low speed, minimal impact collision that could not have resulted in multi-level spinal and lumbar herniations. The defense was able to introduce evidence establishing extensive similar claims and injuries, and other inconsistencies regarding Plaintiff’s reports to her treaters. Additionally, the defense was able to establish the lack of credibility of her doctor’s causation defenses in light of their letters of protection/interest in the lawsuit, inflated bills, and utter lack of knowledge of her pre-accident condition.

During closing, Plaintiff asked the jury to award $3.8 million, which included loss of wages, future care, and pain and suffering. The defense suggested that the jury either award the initial hospital visit as it was reasonable for her to get checked out on the day of the accident, or in the alternative, the amount attributable to the 6 to 8 weeks of treatment that would be relevant to treating a sprain versus of a permanent injury. The jury came back with a total verdict of $2,311, the amount of the initial hospital visit; $0 for pain and suffering or future care; and no finding of a permanent injury.

Sherry Schwartz
sherry.schwartz@csklegal.com
(561) 383-9251
Nicole Kirk
nicole.kirk@csklegal.com
(561) 681-5557

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