When a victim is injured in a car accident in Colorado, injuries can be catastrophic. Most people who get into their cars do not think they might end up paralyzed as a result of a collision the same day. Sometimes, however, exactly that happens. Four years ago, Mendy Brockman and her husband were driving southbound on Interstate highway 25 just south of Castle Rock. Another car crossed their land abruptly to make a U-turn at an emergency median crossing and struck Brockman’s car. The vehicle rolled several times and Mendy was left with catastrophic injuries including permanent paralysis in her legs and substantial loss of use in her hands.
Mendy Brockman, through her Denver personal injury lawyer, sued the driver, the manufacturer of the seat belts in her car, and the windshield maker of her Honda car. The seatbelt and windshield in Mendy’s vehicle malfunctioned, which contributed to her massive injuries.
When a personal injury case goes to trial, juries have to decide which parties are at fault and what percent of fault each party has. In Mendy’s case, the jury had to decide who was more responsible for her injuries: the driver who pulled out in front of her to make a U-turn on the highway or the manufacturer that put a faulty windshield in her car, causing Mendy’s injuries to rise from severe to catastrophic.
Mendy’s case went to trial almost four years after her car accident. In that time, Mendy sought medical care and hired an attorney to help her with the painful process of working with the other party’s insurance company. When Mendy’s doctors told her she was as close to cured as she would get, her attorneys sent a demand for the cost of her medical treatment and the emotional trauma she suffered during treatment for her injuries. Eventually, her case went to trial before a jury.
The jury in Mendy’s case attributed 50 percent fault to the defendant driver, who swerved unpredictably in front of her car, and 50 percent to Honda Motor Co. and the windshield company that made the windshield in her Honda. The jury took almost 9 hours to award Mendy Brockman $52 million in medical and pain and suffering damages. This settlement is the largest personal injury award in Colorado’s history and includes payment for Mendy’s medical treatment, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical costs.
When victims suffer massive injuries as a result of another party’s negligent or careless actions, oftentimes the victims do not see their full and fair compensation. So much depends on the opinions of the jury and much depends on the state where the victim was injured. For example, in the state of Colorado, there is a cap of $468,000.00 on pain and suffering damages for a party’s negligent conduct.
In Mendy’s case, the jury awarded $5 million for pain and suffering damages. On other portions of personal injury awards, there are fewer caps, but Denver personal injury lawyers are the best source for information on likely awards and the amounts injured victims can hope to recover for their injuries.