Insurance adjusters can refuse to make large settlement offers to injured victims, especially those not represented by a good personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies can use many excuses that you have to be ready for when you are negotiating. One is to claim that Texas juries do not award substantial damages, so they won’t offer either. However, we are seeing more eye-popping “nuclear verdicts” in personal injury lawsuits. Among other tools and arguments that an experienced personal injury attorney can use are some recent immense awards that can help injured victims get a bigger injury settlement or jury verdict.
$5 Million Verdict Awarded Against President Trump
Yesterday a jury in New York City found President Trump liable for $5 million in a sexual assault and defamation case. His attorneys are appealing the verdict.
$860 Million Given to Family of Woman Killed in Crane Collapse
On April 26th, a jury in Dallas County held that the giant real estate development company Greystar was liable after Kiersten Smith died when a crane that Greystar was using to build a new housing project crashed through her apartment building during a storm. The jury was angry and found that the crane was not properly secured and that the employees were not properly trained.
$7.3 Billion Verdict Decided After Elderly Woman Stabbed to Death
In July last year, a jury in Dallas County awarded $375,000 in compensatory damages and an inconceivable $7 billion in punitive damages to the family of Betty Thomas. A deranged field technician working for Spectrum (formerly Charter Communications) stabbed her to death and stole her credit cards. But Spectrum had failed to conduct a background check on its employee’s terrible job history. The company did know that he was going through severe emotional problems and had stolen other customers’ credit cards and that its employees had committed credit card theft over 2,500 other times. The jury was inflamed.
Greystar and Spectrum have appealed the verdicts and many of the damages may be reduced or reversed. In any lawsuit, the key number is how much money is actually paid to the plaintiff.
Report Shows Nuclear Verdicts Have Skyrocketed
A 2022 report from Marathon Strategies charted the increase in the number and size of nuclear verdicts across the United States in recent years. The study looked at awards in excess of $10 million against corporate defendants, finding that the overall value of these astronomical settlements rose from a total of about $5 billion in 2020 to over $18 billion in 2022. Texas was among the states with the largest nuclear verdicts.
A 2020 report on truck wreck claims by the American Transportation Research Institute revealed that the number of settlements of over $1 million in 18-wheeler collisions has also increased substantially.
Availability of Punitive Damages
These jaw-dropping verdicts are often due to punitive damages. In addition to compensating an injured party for specific losses they have suffered, these damagespenalize egregious behavior by defendants and discourage others from engaging in similar conduct.
However, punitive damages are rarely awarded in Texas. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.003, they can only be awarded where the defendant commits fraud or acts with malice or gross negligence. This does not happen in the average injury case. Further, their amount is severely capped, the jury must award them unanimously, and they are often reduced or eliminated later.
So What Is a Typical Car Wreck Case Worth?
Every case is different. There is no formula like “three times medical bills” or another easy way to answer this question, contrary to what many people believe.
To analyze our client’s claims for damages, we consider 62 variables that influence the settlement or verdict value. We also subscribe to several databases that report jury verdicts in Tarrant County, in Texas, and in the U.S.
If the case goes to court, knowing the amount of money that a jury of 12 men and women will award in the future is impossible. However, the above two Dallas cases show that depending on the facts, jurors in our area are not afraid sometimes to vastly compensate plaintiffs and severely punish corporate defendants.
Here is more information about other large Texas verdict amounts.
The Best Way To Get a Bigger Injury Settlement?
If you have suffered an injury in a vehicle crash, the best way to get a bigger injury settlement or jury verdict is to hire the best injury lawyer.
Berenson Injury Law has successfully represented people who have been injured in collisions for over 42 years. Read our client reviews for more information about our successes.
Contact us today via the form on our website or call 817-885-8000. We will answer your questions in a free initial consultation.