We recently tried a case for a client who was rear-ended on his way to pick up his grandkids from daycare.
Our client was driving an SUV. The point of impact was at his trailer hitch. There wasn’t very much visible property damage.
Our client sustained injuries to his neck, back and knees in the wreck.
Unfortunately, our client had been in five prior wrecks and had a pretty extensive history of past injuries to his neck, back and knees. He had a lot of the same symptoms before the wreck that he experienced after the wreck.
We argued to the jury that the extent of property damage doesn’t predict damage to people inside a vehicle. We explained when a vehicle gets hit at the trailer hitch the energy transfers through the frame rail. The frame rail is not designed with a crumple zone to absorb the energy of the impact. Having the trailer hitch the point of impact made it a much more jarring wreck with much less visible damage than if the impact had been anywhere else on our client’s vehicle.
We were honest with the jury about our client’s prior injuries. We explained that pre-existing conditions make people easier to hurt and harder to fix.
The insurance carrier’s last offer before trial was $13,325. We tried the case and received a jury verdict of $107,000 for our client.