The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position after a jury trial verdict for plaintiff. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in a personal injury case present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this auto accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
In Randolph v. Budget Rent-A-Car (C.D. Cal. 1995) 878 F.Supp.162 (reversed on other grounds in Randolph v. Budget Rent-A-Car (9th Cir. 1996) 97 F.3d 319), the court (following a court trial) determined plaintiff’s damages arising from an auto accident. (Id. at pp. 163-164.) The court described the plaintiff’s injuries as follows:
As a proximate result of the automobile accident John Randolph has suffered extensive orthopedic injuries. His left knee has a fractured tibial plateau and a tear of its anterior cruciate ligament; his pelvis was fractured resulting in the separation of his pubic rami; his pelvic region suffered a severe hematoma, resulting in a major rectus muscle injury; and the third and fourth metacarpal of his left hand were also fractured. In an effort to alleviate some of the pain John Randolph has been suffering, he must undergo two future surgeries. The first is to remove metal fragments from his left knee; the second is to replace the knee with an artificial knee implant. Further, it is quite possible that a second knee replacement operation will be needed if the first replacement does not work. (Id. at pp. 164-165.)
While the plaintiff in Randolph also suffered impotence as a result of his injuries, he was separately compensated for this by the court. (Id. at p. 166.) For his total past and future pain and suffering arising from the injuries described above, however, the court awarded him a total of $500,000. (Ibid.) The court explicitly based its determination on a survey of compensation for similar injuries in this and other jurisdictions. (Ibid.)
The plaintiff in Randolph suffered injuries which were very comparable to the knee, back, and neck injuries suffered by Mr. Ward. But the court awarded the plaintiff in Randolph less than ten percent of the non-economic damages which the jury awarded Mr. Ward. (See Part 11 of 14.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.