Brown v. Pennicook – South Florida Crash Victim Wins $1.8M in Damages

A Florida driver who suffered serious injuries in a 2009 auto accident in Hollywood was recently awarded $1.8 million in damages against the at-fault driver’s insurer by Broward Circuit Court jury, following a six-day trial. crash5.jpg

In Brown v. Pennicook, defense fought hard against the notion plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the crash. Instead, defense focused intensively on an old work-related shoulder injury, a pre-existing degenerative condition and the assertion by one doctor that crash-related injury was nothing more than a sprain that didn’t even necessitate surgery.

Plaintiff presented expert witness testimony from a radiologist, two pain management doctors and two neurosurgeons. Each contributed to his position that the injuries he sustained were severe, that he required surgery and pain injections in the past and that he was likely to require long-term medical care and pain management.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers know it is not uncommon for defendants in accident cases to try to downplay the extent of a victim’s injuries or the impact such injuries have had on their lives. The goal for the defense is to disprove causation or, in the alternative, reduce the total amount of damages awarded.

It’s our goal to ensure our clients receive just compensation for the injuries and damages they have suffered. As this case reveals, extensive medical records and testimony from expert witnesses can help significantly bolster our position, and directly counter defense claims.

In this case, the 42-year-old plaintiff was driving southbound on 22nd Street when he was struck by another driver, who ran a red light.

Plaintiff did not seek immediate medical treatment. While it’s not uncommon for crash-related injuries to be latent, it’s always a good idea to seek an exam right away – not only for your health, but because it can help support any legal claims you may make later. Here, plaintiff did not experience serious neck pain until the following day, at which point he sought treatment at a local emergency room. At that time, surgeons recommended he undergo two procedures: a disc fusion and a laminoplasty.

As a result of those procedures, he missed nearly six months of work and was forced to take a lesser position that paid him $15 less hourly – causing him significant damages in terms of lost wages, not to mention medical bills.

Initially, the at-fault driver’s insurance company offered plaintiff a settlement of $100,000, which was the maximum amount allowed under the policy. However, plaintiff rejected this offer, arguing it was not enough to cover his damages.

Jurors awarded him $764,000 in past and future medical expenses, $550,000 in past and future earnings losses and $520,000 in past and future pain and suffering.

Plaintiff plans to file another lawsuit against the insurance company for bad faith, on the basis of outstanding medical bills that were submitted to the company four years ago, yet went unpaid despite the company’s concession of liability. If successful in that case, plaintiff stands to be awarded treble damages.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
Longshoreman Wins $1.8 Million for Car Crash Injuries, Jan. 28, 2015, By Julie Kay, Daily Business Review
More Blog Entries:
South Florida Judge: Punitive Damages Ok’d in Paralyzing Crash Case, Jan. 20, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Injury Lawyer Blog