A federal jury awarded a 71 year-old semi-retired produce worker $450,000 for injuries and damages stemming from a wreck on I-95 in September 2010 that left the Vietnam veteran and father of four unable to work, with a torn right rotator cuff and neck injury.
Attorney Albert Lechner tried the case in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida as co-counsel with attorney Paul Boone.
The injured man was a passenger in a refrigeration produce truck on I-95 in Port Lucie County, when it was run off the road by another vehicle, flipping the truck on its side. The driver who ran the truck off the road fled. The man had shoulder surgery, months of physical therapy and injections for an injured neck.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
“That’s where Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage kicks in as a safety net,” said attorney Albert Lechner. It covers injuries, property damage and other damages when you are hit by an underinsured or uninsured driver; or in this case, by an unidentified driver who fled the scene.
The driver of the produce truck in which the client was a passenger was insured by State Farm and had a $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) policy limit. However, in this case, it took a trial to get the client justice for his injuries.
State Farm offered the client $90,000 for his injuries. When fair compensation could not be reached through settlement negotiations, the case was taken to court, where a jury found the insurance company responsible for significantly more that its initial offer. The jury’s verdict — of $450,000 — was in excess of the UM policy; it included $89,000 in medical expenses and $360,000 in non-economic damages, plus a potential additional post-verdict relief of $100,000.
“We are pleased with the verdict; it will help this man on his road to recovery from his injuries,” Lechner said. Under cross-examination in court testimony, the physician State Farm chose to evaluate their insured admitted that he found against the injured consumers 99% of the time.
Consumers buy Uninsured Motorist (UM) policies for the protection they offer; when insurance companies lowball them, we seek justice for our clients in court.
Auto accidents in Jacksonville occur every day and can range from minor inconveniences to collisions resulting in major injury and death. At Terrell Hogan, we represent the injured as they seek justice. We want to help make sure that if you or your loved ones are involved in an automobile accident your rights are protected.