A terrible motor vehicle accident that occurred in 2009 was finally resolved this week. According to an article in The Palm Beach Post, Leslie Opper, the victim in the accident who suffered severe injuries, was awarded a $9.3 million verdict by an Indian River County civil court jury.
Our Palm Beach County personal injury attorney understands that several factors are taken into consideration when a jury determines the amount of compensation that should be given to the injured party in his/her recovery. For example, whether the injuries are permanent and whether the victim is unable to work due to the nature of the injuries sustained are a few of many different critical factors that the jury must consider in making its determination. While verdicts of this size garner headlines, it is important to remember that each case is decided on very specific individual factors.
The accident in this particular case occurred on April 11, 2009 at approximately 9:20 p.m. A ninety-four year old local man was driving to Walgreens in his Ford sedan when he failed to see Opper, who was traveling on a motor scooter. Consequently, the man failed to yield to Opper and forcefully hit him head-on, causing Opper to sustain severe injuries from the waist down. The force of the collision was so severe that Opper was thrown into the windshield of the vehicle. In his pre-trial statements, senior driver described the impact to the windshield as an explosion.
Fortunately, there was an off-duty paramedic in the parking lot who called for a helicopter. There was also an ambulance passing by at the time of the collision. If it had not been for these rescuers who happened to be at the right place at the right time, it is unlikely that Opper would have survived. Even with the miraculous aid of these rescuers, Opper still had a very slim chance of survival. According to the expert testimony of doctors from Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Opper had less than a 16% chance of living. He had sustained injuries to vital parts of his body – the spine, pelvis and femur.
Since the accident, Opper has undergone more than twelve surgeries, and he is expected to go through several more procedures in order to lessen the intensity of his pain. The injuries sustained are permanent and it is unlikely that Opper will ever go back to work.
Our Palm Beach injury lawyer knows that under such circumstances, lost wages and the permanent factor of the injuries must be considered in calculating the compensation that the victim is entitled to in his/her recovery. Due to the fact that injured parties such as Opper will never be able to work again, lost wages must be accounted for in order for such victims to fully account for the losses they suffered as a result of the accident.
Unfortunately, in situations such as these, drivers have poor judgment and fail to exercise safe driving habits, creating a hazard for themselves as well as others around them. Such situations can cause serious injuries and deaths. Our personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman has experience in helping injured individuals in all types of accidents. Please contact our office for a free consultation if you or a loved one is ever in this situation.
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