When looking for an attorney to deal with a possible personal injury, experience counts. Personal injury law defines as legal methods and defenses against wrongful conduct by someone else other than the person injured. Tried in the civil courts, it does not always involve a physical injury, but includes such things as emotional distress or loss of earning capacity.

Civil courts require only a preponderance of evidence to make an evaluation. Based on the legal idea of negligence, cases process by establishing liability and what a reasonable person would do if put in the same position. The most common cases in the courts today have classified as personal injury list as car accidents. Most of these lawsuits involve insurance and become settled before a trial ensues. If settlement negotiations do not resolve the issue, the cases go to trial. In the Miami-Dade County area, a wrong-way crash trial resulted in the victim receiving $4.67 million.

The Accident

On Interstate 95 on 2012, both vehicles were within the speed limit when the accident happened. A vehicle going the wrong-way encountered a vehicle who had the right-of-way. Fortunately, drivers and passengers in the vehicles had their seatbelts on. All parties survived the accident, but with serious injuries. The vehicle with the right-of-way burst into flames shortly after impact. In this case who became assigned fault remained obvious. Truly an accident, no criminal charges became filed, but civil lawsuits arose.

The Lawsuits

Due to the trauma of the accident the plaintiff (the name for a person who brings a civil action to a court of law) chose to not testify during the trial. Early on this case, it settled against the defendant quickly as the negligent party, but not on the amount for damages. As the passenger, in the vehicle, the plaintiff stated she remembers feeling the impact. Upon waking she saw the driver, her friend, draped across the steering wheel not knowing if her friend was dead. Then the vehicle burst into flames. Designated as an “empty chair” plaintiff the lawyers chose to try the case. The defendant fully admitted liability, but would not consent to the amount for damages. The case pivoted on the amount the plaintiff should receive for pain and suffering.

Medical Facts

A combination of factors helped all the parties to survive. The evidence showed the crash had all the traits of a fatal collision. The plaintiff never fully recovered. Intestines tore, a broken jaw and fractured vertebrate meant a lifetime of pain and adapting to a new norm. From statements from lawyers, the psychological damage was real. Estimates of a lifetime of medical care reached the $600,000 range.


The jurors after hearing the facts awarded $4.67 million to the plaintiff.