Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin attorney Steve Wagner obtained a $1,050,000 verdict in New York County on behalf of a 73-year-old client who was struck by an SUV reversing out of a driveway in the Village of Westhampton Beach. As a result of the crash, our client suffered eight rib fractures, a collar bone fracture, shoulder tears, facial fractures, and numbness and tingling in part of his face. Our client claimed permanent pain in his shoulder and face but did not undergo any surgery as a result of his injuries.
Defendants initially contested liability by denying the SUV ever hit the bicyclist. Instead, they claimed, the bicyclist became afraid when he saw the reversing SUV and simply swerved and fell in the roadway. However, the defendants conceded liability immediately before jury selection.
In the resulting trial on the issue of damages, the defendants contested the permanence of our client’s orthopedic injuries and argued that he made an excellent recovery. The defendants denied that the plaintiff suffered an injury to one of his nerves in his face following the facial fractures. Significantly, the defendants argued that the amount of damages should be limited to $150,000, in large part because the client did not undergo any surgery.
Steve called the treating orthopedic surgeon, an expert neurologist, and a biomechanical engineer to testify about the significance and permanence of our client’s injuries. Even though our client never underwent surgery and is back to riding his bicycle on a daily basis, Steve showed how the injuries still cause him chronic pain, interfere with his sleep, and disrupted his marriage.
The defendants’ final offer was $475,000 to settle the case. The plaintiff turned down the settlement offer. The jury awarded $750,000 for past pain and suffering and $300,000 for future pain and suffering. There was no allegation of medical expenses or lost wages.