BBGA attorney Michael Ruppersburg obtained a $110,000 jury verdict for a man who broke his arm in a motorcycle accident, requiring surgery to repair it. Before trial, the defense admitted they were at fault for the wreck and agreed that our client, Mr. D, was entitled to recover his medical bills.

Given this, the only issue for the jury to decide was how much in compensation to award Mr. D for his pain and suffering after the wreck.

THE CHALLENGES

We had two challenges in arguing for the jury to award Mr. D compensation for his pain and suffering.

First, Mr. D thankfully made a great recovery after the surgery and is experiencing almost no problems with his arm. For instance, in each of his three follow up appointments with his doctor he said his arm was doing fine and that he wasn’t having any pain. Second, the case was filed in a conservative county that isn’t known for large jury verdicts. Combined, we had an uphill battle to obtain a jury verdict that included a significant amount of compensation for pain and suffering.

COMBATING THE CHALLENGES

Here’s how we dealt with these challenges:

First, we spent a good deal of time in jury selection asking the jurors about their views on awarding compensation for pain and suffering. While most didn’t have strong opinions about it one way or the other, we did find several that were against awarding compensation for pain and suffering — or would have had a hard time doing so — and we were able to strike them from the jury.

Second, we told the jury that we weren’t looking for a “payday” or to “hit the jackpot,” but that we were only asking for fair and just compensation for Mr. D’s injuries.

Finally, we were very upfront with the jury about how Mr. D was doing. We told them that he had made a great recovery and was doing well. However, we had Mr. D explain to the jury the issues he was still having with his arm: how it just didn’t feel the same since the surgery and would cause him a dull ache and pain when the weather changed or when he was doing normal everyday activities that put weight on his arm, like mowing the lawn or lifting heavy objects around the house.

We also called Mr. D’s supervisor at work and one of his friends to talk about his recovery from the surgery and how his arm was doing now. Mr. D’s supervisor and friend also helped explain to the jury how Mr. D tried not to let any of his injuries get him down, how he returned to work about a week after the wreck and how he had minimized everything that had happened to him rather than tried to make a big deal out of it.

THE VERDICT

After a day and a half trial, the jury awarded Mr. D $57,000 in medical bills and $53,000 in pain and suffering for a total verdict of $110,000.  We are proud to represent Mr. D in his trial and to help him obtain fair compensation for his injuries.

 

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