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Top 4 Largest Personal Injury Settlements on Record

Personal injury cases are no joke. Some people who survive these injuries never regain the quality of life they had before, and many people don’t survive long enough to see a settlement. If money is indicative of wrongdoing, then the damages these plaintiffs earned on personal injury cases show just how difficult their lives became. Though money can’t right the wrongs of a personal injury case, at least the legal system did not fail these plaintiffs. $150 Billion: Robbie Middleton In an astoundingly large personal injury settlement, a Texas jury gave $150 billion to the family of a boy who was badly burned. Robert Middleton, known by the nickname Robbie, was sexually assaulted, then burned by the same person a few weeks later. This happened in 1998, when Robbie was just 8 years old. Twelve years later, after extensive skin treatments because of the third-degree burns over his body, Robbie Middleton died from skin cancer. His family pursued justice, partly to get the county to admit that Robbie was sexually assaulted and to charge the assailant. $4.9 Billion: The Anderson Family In 1993, a Chevy Malibu exploded after being rear-ended. Two adults and four children were in the car when it started to burn. Though the adults escaped, the children were badly injured. One was burned over 70 percent of her body. The family sued GM, and though the award amount was reduced, they walked away with billions. At the time this case was settled in 1999, it was the biggest personal injury award in the country that year. The case lasted for years, though, with initial filing starting...

Settlement Money: Lump Sum or Payments?

Personal injury cases are typically settled with either a lump sum payment or a structured settlement. If you’re owed a significant sum of money, it’s important to understand how these options work. There are pros and cons to each approach. The specifics of your case will help you determine which type of settlement fits your needs best. How Lump Sum Settlements Work A lump sum settlement is the fastest and simplest way to deal with your money. You will receive your total settlement in one payment. After you cash the check, your case is over, and there’s no continued access or interaction with the defendant. This is usually the best option for small-to-medium amounts. For settlements that are less than $150,000, a lump sum payment is the most common choice. How Structured Settlements Work Structured settlements are paid out in a series of smaller payments distributed over time. There are many ways to structure these types of settlements. You will usually get a larger sum in the beginning, followed by smaller amounts paid out monthly, bi-monthly, bi-annually, or annually. However, you can choose to begin with smaller payments that grow gradually or structure the settlement with a brief period of large payments to coincide with a child going to college or another major life event. You will also decide whether payments will continue after your death and go to your heirs for a specified period. The details of these payments are determined when you settle the case. You cannot change your payments later, so it’s crucial that you think through how and when you will use the money so you...

Celebrity Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases happen to everyone, including celebrities. Though the parties involved can be tight-lipped about the legal proceedings themselves, news sources still manage to dig up interesting information about these cases. From falling through trapdoors to getting hit with falling backdrops, celebrities and those close to them have suffered some serious injuries in the pursuit of fame. Adrian Bailey vs. Disney In 2008, a cast member of the Broadway performance of “The Little Mermaid” fell through a trapdoor. Adrian Bailey, the injured party, broke his back, pelvis, sternum, wrists, and foot. He said that there weren’t warnings about the trapdoor, which could have prevented him falling through. Lawyers filed several lawsuits, including one against Nicson, the manufacturer of the automated trapdoor, and one against Disney. Nicson was found not liable because “human error” and not a design defect was the reason the trapdoor was open. Brett Michaels vs. CBS In 2011, Brett Michaels, lead singer of the band Poison, sued CBS and the Tony Awards for an injury he sustained during a show in 2009. During the Tony Awards that year, he was exiting the stage at Radio City Music Hall, and a backdrop came down on his head. Michaels ended up with three stitches in his lip and a broken nose. He said that, though he asked for details on how to exit the stage, he didn’t have the right information, which is why the backdrop came down on him. In 2010, Michaels had a brain hemorrhage and felt the 2009 injury was part of the cause. Neither party in the lawsuit would give details about the...

4 Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, you need to consider the future. You may soon become saddled with endless medical bills, time off from work, and other financial considerations. Pursuing legal compensation may be necessary, and it’s critical that you select the right attorney. Throwing a dart at the phone book is an easy way to choose, but there are much better ways to proceed. Select a Local Attorney Most people turn to the internet to find just about anything nowadays, so searching for legal help is likely to fall into that category. It’s important that while cyberspace knows no physical boundaries, your future attorney’s license to practice law certainly does. Your search should immediately narrow down to those who are licensed in the state in which the injury occurred. Next, consider only those within driving distance to your place of residence. Face-to-face visits with your legal counsel will be necessary, so you don’t want to travel too far for these meetings. Find an Attorney That Specializes in Personal Injury Law firms practice in several different areas, including criminal law, divorce litigation, child custody, and tax law. Personal injury cases require specific knowledge, such as medical terminology and different types of injuries. Personal injury attorneys typically have ample trial experience, while others (such as real estate attorneys) may have none at all. They’re also good negotiators and can develop a fair out-of-court settlement on your behalf. Choose a Successful Attorney Once you’ve narrowed down your choices a bit, do research into your potential candidates. Find out how many years they’ve been practicing law. What sort of track records do...

How Not to Spend Your Settlement Money

Receiving a settlement is always nice, particularly if you’ve been drowning under medical expenses and other bills. While you may want to spend the money right away for immediate gratification, it’s dangerous to burn through the cash too fast. To make sure the money lasts, avoid these common tendencies when you receive a settlement. Spending Immediately Financial advisors generally suggest waiting six months to a year before spending a large financial settlement. It takes time to plan the best use of a significant sum of money. If you received a lump sum settlement, you may have more money than you’ve ever seen in your account before. Step back and carefully consider your options, as well as the consequences of each choice. An investment will grow your money, but you’ll have to pay taxes on the interest. If you’re undergoing long-term medical treatment for an injury, you may not have a clear picture of your medical expenses or ongoing pain management needs yet. Don’t rush to spend your settlement. Indulging in Dream Purchases With your bank account suddenly swollen, you’re probably thinking about that yacht you’ve always wanted or the dream house on the hill. While there are many smart purchases that are a worthy investment vehicle for your funds, flashy dream-buys are usually an extravagance. Buying a home can give you stability and a good real estate investment, but you shouldn’t purchase a mansion that’s beyond your ordinary means. Remember that large purchases typically come with their own ongoing expenses, such as insurance and upkeep for a boat or household maintenance and property taxes for a home. The wrong...

New Florida Bill May Increase Personal Injury Damages Awards

The Florida Senate currently has a bill involving personal injury and medical bills pending a vote on the floor. Though it hasn’t been passed into law yet, the bill could have ramifications on how much plaintiffs receive in personal injury cases. In short, by changing the structure of the lawsuit and what kind of medical bill information can be admitted into evidence, the bill makes it potentially easier for plaintiffs to see an increase in damages in these cases going forward. Florida Senate Bill 0384 In March of 2017, the Florida Senate Rules Committee voted 10-1 to pass a medical malpractice bill to general voting on the Senate floor. The bill, number 384, faces opposition from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and several prominent businesses in Florida. This bill discusses how to calculate the damages incurred during some medical malpractice and wrongful death suits. Specifics on health and medical care costs will not be admissible as evidence if the bill passes the Florida Senate. What Is Prejudgment Interest? Part of the bill deals with prejudgment interest. Prejudgment interest is damages that the plaintiff gets if they win, and the number is determined when a trial begins. Upon winning, the plaintiff gets that prejudgment interest. Currently, plaintiffs in medical malpractice and wrongful death suits don’t get prejudgment interest. Calculating damages in a medical case is difficult, thanks to the complex nature of the cost of medical treatment and medical bills. How Are Medical Bills Involved? For one thing, medical bills aren’t the same across the board. Different healthcare providers have entirely separate structures for pricing the services they offer. Medical...

Four Steps to Take After Being Injured

When you suffer a personal injury, you’re dealing with ample stress and pain. A future lawsuit could be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to remember that the incident could result in medical bills, lost wages, and many other expenses. Seeking legal help could be necessary, so be sure to keep your wits about you. Seek Medical Help Once the incident occurs, you should seek medical help right away. Many people dislike hospitals and avoid them whenever possible, but you should resist the urge to shrug it off and try to heal up at home. After all, the extent of some injuries may not be immediately apparent. For instance, when dealing with a head injury, it can take weeks, or even months, for symptoms to appear. Acute soft tissue injuries can result in pain that increases exponentially over time. Only a medical professional can understand the scope of these injuries. In addition, some legal jurisdictions require that you see a doctor within a specific time or you forfeit your ability to file a claim. Seeking medical attention right away is the only safeguard to preserve your future legal rights. Gather Evidence Try to obtain as much documentation of the incident as you can. If you’re sent to the hospital, contact a friend or relative to gather information for you. Video, photographs, times, dates, and audio evidence can be collected. If there were any eyewitnesses to the incident, get their contact information. Have a police report taken, and save any torn or bloodied clothing that shows the extent of your injuries. If you need to revisit the scene...

4 Most Famous Personal Injury Cases

While most personal injury cases deal with typical slip and falls, car accidents, or defective devices, there are also some cases that are so unusual they’ve become famous. These are a few of the most legendary personal injury cases to make their way through the court system. Stella Liebeck Versus McDonald’s Perhaps the most famous personal injury case of all is Liebeck vs. McDonald’s, otherwise known as the hot coffee case. In 1992, Stella Liebeck ordered a cup of coffee from McDonald’s. As the 79-year-old was holding the coffee between her legs in the passenger seat of a parked car, the coffee spilled on her lap and caused third-degree burns. Before Liebeck’s case, McDonald’s had received over 700 reports of injury from its coffee. Liebeck offered to settle for $20,000 to cover lost income and medical expenses, but McDonald’s thought it would win the case and went to trial. However, the jury sided with Liebeck. She and McDonald’s eventually reached a confidential settlement. Bret Michaels Versus CBS In 2009, Bret Michaels, lead singer of the rock band Poison, suffered an injury to his face at the Tony Awards, which was broadcast by CBS. Michaels claimed that a set piece hit him in the face because CBS didn’t tell him how to exit the stage safely. Immediately after the incident, he had X-rays that showed a broken nose. A few months later, he also suffered a brain hemorrhage, which he believes was from the accident. Michaels and CBS eventually settled the lawsuit, and the terms were not made public. Cedrick Makara Versus Newmark Realty and 40 Worth Associates A jury awarded Cedrick...

How to Get the Most Out of Your Settlement

Whether you’re involved in a car accident, slip and fall, or another type of personal injury, you want to make sure you receive a fair settlement for your pain. Keep reading to learn several tips and tricks you can use to get the most out of your settlement. Stay Off Social Media In today’s society, most people don’t think twice about what they share on social media. Even though you think posting a picture or update on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram is harmless, defense attorneys will scour the internet looking for anything they can use in their case, including your posts on social media. They will try to use pictures or posts you put online as proof that your injury isn’t as severe as you claim it is. When you’re dealing with a personal injury lawsuit, your best bet is to stay off social media entirely. Immediately Document All Evidence When a personal injury case goes to trial, it’s up to you to provide enough evidence to prove your claim. Therefore, you need to document all the evidence possible as soon as your injury happens. This can include police reports, witness statements and contact information, and medical reports. You also want to take pictures of the accident scene, visible injuries, the defective premise or product, and your car and the car that hit you. Also, check the area for any video surveillance cameras that might have recorded the incident. Keep a Diary of Your Injuries If your personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, you’ll have to tell the jury how long you were in pain. Unfortunately, it could take...

$227 Million Settlement Reached in 2013 Building Collapse Case

The longest civil trial in the history of the city of Philadelphia wrapped up on February 8, 2017, with a settlement for the plaintiffs: twelve people who were injured and the families of the seven people who perished in a building collapse in June 2013. The collapse occurred when the demolition of a Center City building owned by New York real estate/adult entertainment magnate Richard Basciano caused an adjacent building housing a Salvation Army consignment store to collapse under four stories of brick. The Philadelphia Daily News reported on court documents that stated Basciano was at the scene of the demolition in a conference with the contractor, Griffin Campbell, as the building began to collapse. In a related criminal case, convictions were handed to Campbell, and the excavator operator, Sean Benschop, who were sent to prison for 15 to 30 years and 7 ½ to 15 years, respectively, for their roles in the collapse. The publicized seventeen-week civil trial ended with a settlement of $227 million, to be paid by Basciano and the Salvation Army to the plaintiffs. According to an anonymous source reported in the Philadelphia Daily News, $200 million is to be paid by the Salvation Army, and $27 million by Basciano.The settlement money is to be divided via an arbitrator among the victims of the collapse and their families. Victims sustained serious injuries in the collapse. One woman suffered such extensive injuries under the prolonged weight of the rubble, that she underwent 30 surgeries including amputation of her lower body at the hips.Part of the settlement will help to pay for the woman’s medical care, which is expected...

The Hollywood injury attorneys at David W. Singer & Associates handle all types of accident injury cases in Hollywood, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Aventura, Sunny Isles, Golden Beach, Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Gardens, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbour, Opa-Locka, Medley, Miami Shores, Cutler Ridge, Kendall, Coral Gables, Homestead, Florida Keys, Key Largo, Islamorada, Key West, Broward County, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach, Davie, Southwest Ranches, Plantation, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Coral Springs, Parkland, Margate, Coconut Creek, North Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Miramar, Palm Beach County, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Manalapan, Hypoluxo, Singer Island, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Wellington, Martin County, Stuart, St. Lucie County, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce.

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