Car Accident Lawsuit Jury Awards $295,000
JURY DISREGARDS PRE-EXISTING INJURIES
As several insurance companies have done in recent years, GEICO has adopted a policy of going to trial on every case. In this case, our plaintiff was injured in a Suffolk County motor vehicle accident. Though liability in the accident was not in dispute, parties could not agree on the amount of damages.
Citing the plaintiff’s prior back and knee injuries, his history of cardiac disease, and his significant body weight, GEICO offered just $25,000 by virtue of a $25,000-$300,000 “high-low agreement” entered by the parties prior to trial. A high-low agreement sets parameters for a jury verdict. If the jury awarded $0, the plaintiff would still receive $25,000 according to the agreement. On the other hand, if the jury awarded $500,000 (above the “high” agreed amount), the plaintiff would only receive $300,000.
At trial, Senior Counsel Edward J. Nitkewicz aggressively cross-examined the defendants’ examining physicians and caused one to concede that entries to his own resume were erroneous thereby damaging his own credibility as a witness. As a result of the witness error and despite the plaintiff’s pre-existing injuries, the jury rendered an award of $295,000.00.