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Case Study: Jury Returns a Verdict 12 Times the Value of the Insurance Company’s Top Offer

judge holding gavel on desk

The top offer from an insurance company is not always an appropriate or fair compensation for injuries from an accident, and taking the case to court can provide opportunities to demonstrate evidence that a jury will reward at a much higher value than that top offer. A previous case involving a sixteen-year-old girl and her automobile accident on her way home from basketball practice is one clear example of this.

Our client was stopped along a construction zone for about thirty seconds when she heard screeching of tires from behind before a vehicle traveling at over 60 mph collided into the back of her vehicle. She lost consciousness and suffered a concussion from the accident. The insurance company acknowledged fault and said they would compensate her for the concussion. However, as our client got over her concussion symptoms and returned to sports for softball season, she discovered a problem with her left knee that prevented proper lateral movement.

Her doctor told her she had a meniscus tear in her left knee, which would require surgery. We told the insurance company about the additional injuries to our client’s knee resulting from the crash, but the insurance company said they wouldn’t pay for those injuries, arguing that they were unrelated because the knee problems did not seem to appear until months after the accident.

The insurance company hired their own doctor, who never met our client, and this doctor reviewed our client’s medical records before concluding that the knee injury was unrelated. The insurance company then put forth a very poor offer in an effort to close the case. We discussed the options with our client, and we decided to take the case to trial. We obtained the testimony of her surgeon, who testified it was his opinion that the knee injury was related to the accident, and that it did not become symptomatic until she engaged in athletic activity months later.

The jury returned with a verdict that was over 12 times the offer from the insurance company. The choice to work with an experienced personal injury attorney willing to take a case through court and all the way to verdict made a huge difference in the level of compensation our client received. The top offer from the insurance company is not necessarily the most compensation you can receive for your injuries. Watch the video to learn more.

If you have additional questions about your own personal injury case, I want you to call me at (888) 487-8546. I welcome your call. Visit our educational website at for more videos and media content from our law firm.

Video Transcript

Colin O'Dawe:

The insurance company made their top offer, but a jury came back with a verdict 12 times that amount. Hi, I'm Colin O'Dawe. I'm a trial attorney with Kalfus & Nachman. I handle personal injury cases all across Virginia and North Carolina. Today, I want to talk to you about that case, and how we were able to obtain that verdict for our client.

My client was a 16 year old girl on her way home from basketball practice. She got onto the interstate to go home and she came upon a construction zone. She stopped her vehicle. She was stopped for about 30 seconds when all of a sudden from behind her, she heard tires screeching and she was hit from behind, at over 60 miles per hour. She was hit so hard at the back of her vehicle, folded up like an accordion. She was hit so hard that she lost consciousness. She was in fact hits so hard that her basketball shoes, which were tied up above our ankles, not only came off her feet, but ended up 30 feet down the road, and she sustained a concussion in that accident.

And the insurance company said, “;We're responsible for that concussion. We're going to pay you for that.” But as my client got better and got over her concussion symptoms, she started to try to get back to sports. Except at this time it was a few months later, and it was softball season. She tried to start playing softball again, she tried to start moving laterally, and she just felt that something was not right. Something was not right with her left knee.

So she went and got it checked out, and her doctor told her, “You have a meniscus tear in your left knee.” And she will ultimately had to have surgery for that meniscus tear. So we went to the insurance company and we said, there's other injuries in this case. Her knee is injured as well. And the insurance company said, “No way, we're not paying you for that knee injury. That didn't show up until months after the accident.”

They even hired a doctor, a doctor who my client had never met, who was serving as an expert witness for the defense. He reviewed her medical records and came up with an opinion that the knee injury was in fact, not related to the accident, and they made her a very poor offer. Rather than take that small offer, my client and I decided to take the case to trial. In doing so, we obtained the testimony of her surgeon, and her surgeon testified that it was his opinion that the knee injury was in fact related to the accident. It just didn't become symptomatic until months later, when she's tried to get back into sports.

We presented all this evidence to the jury. The jury deliberated, and it came back with a verdict over 12 times what the insurance company had initially offered to settle her case. You might be wondering why I'm telling you this. I'm telling you this because you need an experienced trial attorney, who's not only going to take your case to court, but is going to see it all the way through to verdict. And you probably have questions about this, and these are questions that I answer every single day. So pick up the phone and call me, Colin O'Dawe, at (888) 847-8546, and thank you for watching.

Kalfus & Nachman

Offices in Norfolk, Newport News and Roanoke, Virginia.

Also Serving Northeastern North Carolina.



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