The $497,611 verdict awarded by a Pike County jury was against a named insurance company that provided uninsured motorist coverage to the Plaintiff. The insurance company offered just $25,000 to the Plaintiff prior to trial.
PIKEVILLE, KY, June 04, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Attorney Billy Johnson of the Johnson Law Firm, announced today that he won a major victory during the first trial held in Pike County since the courts shut down due to Covid in the spring of 2020. Billy Johnson was assisted by another attorney at the Johnson Law Firm, Brittney Schaeffer, who acted as second chair.
“The $497,611 verdict, which was awarded by a jury, includes damages for past and future medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.,” said Billy Johnson. “Kentucky law allows victims of vehicle accidents caused by someone else’s negligence or fault to file a lawsuit for compensation for their damages, which includes payment for the costs they incur as well as less-tangible non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.”
Johnson described the case that involved a 71-year-old woman who was injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle that that her husband was driving.
As the couple left church, the husband backed their car from a parking spot in front of the church onto a two-lane roadway so they could travel westbound. The church is located opposite a sharp curve. Signs were in place warning motorists of the church they were approaching and warning them to reduce their speed for the curve.
As the car backed onto the road, however, an uninsured driver also traveling westbound came around the curve, traveling between 55 and 58 mph, and rear-ended the car occupied by Johnson’s client.
As a result of the crash, the woman received lower back, head, and neck injuries. She has experienced significant pain and suffering since the crash. Since the driver of the other vehicle did not have insurance, Johnson filed suit against his client’s own insurance company in order to collect the uninsured motorist coverage that the client had purchased. During the litigation and at trial, the insurance company argued that the wreck was caused by its own insured, the plaintiff’s husband. The company also argued that the plaintiff was not injured even though she had undergone neck surgery as a result of the collision. The insurance company hired expert witnesses to support these arguments. The insurance company’s top offer to Johnson and his client was $25,000 prior to trial.
At trial, in front of a judge and jury, Johnson had to prove the uninsured driver was liable for causing the crash. Johnson also had to prove that his client’s injuries were caused by the collision rather than other conditions or injuries. In any case, proving negligence and injuries involves a long investigative process. In this case, the legal team at the Johnson Law Firm was able to be on the scene of the crash within a matter of days to investigate what happened and gather evidence. Johnson hired an accident reconstructionist to reconstruct the crash and testify live at trial. He also obtained and thoroughly reviewed his client’s medical records, diagnostic studies and films, and doctors’ notes from the time of the crash until the time to have a full understanding of her injuries. At trial, he had his client’s doctors testify on her behalf both live in the courtroom and through video deposition testimony.
A specific turning point in this case came about when second chair, Brittney Schaeffer, successfully argued to strike the defense’s medical expert deposition. This hindered the defense’s efforts to argue that Johnson’s client was not injured as a result of the motor vehicle collision. The insurance company had no experts that could testify on their behalf at trial.
In closing arguments, just before the jury decided on the verdict, Johnson attacked the insurance company for failing to pay the claim of a long-time insured. He also discussed how well he had gotten to know his client during the course of her case, and how he admired her hard work and grit as she continued to work through her injuries and into her 70s. Johnson explained that he went to law school to work for hard working people in the mountains and that he wants to fight for them when their own insurance companies turn against them.
While Johnson won close to a half a million dollar verdict for this client, damage award amounts in vehicle accident cases can vary greatly, depending on circumstances such as the severity and permanence of the injuries and the negligence and the insurance coverage of the defendants.
Billy Johnson knows from experience approximately what a case should be worth and how much compensation clients should receive based on the circumstances of the accident and the other factors involved.
The client knew about Johnson Law Firm from television commercials and billboards. A co-worker also had a family member that had been represented by Billy Johnson, and she highly recommended him. The client liked that Johnson did as he said in his commercials—he went to the scene and investigated the cause of the accident. The client’s choice to work with the Johnson Law Firm helped her reach the victory in court.
“We are glad that we were the first case heard by a Pike County jury since the courts closed over a year ago. We are really happy we were able to obtain this result for our client,” Johnson said about the verdict and jury award. “It’s an honor to have the largest verdict in the state since the shut- down. Every success we have in court means our client is getting compensation they need to move on with their life after a serious injury that may have changed it indefinitely.”
William “Billy” Johnson is a resident of Pike County, Kentucky, and has been practicing law since 1998. He is an instrument-rated private pilot and frequently travels across the country to secure expert witnesses and the needed resources for each client’s case. The Johnson Law Firm handles car accident cases, as well as injury cases involving spinal, brain and other catastrophic injuries.
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