Appellate Court Adds $200,000 To Jury Verdict For Car Accident Victim

Typically appellate courts address whether high verdicts are too excessive, but they do occasionally review claims of unfair low verdicts, especially where a jury finds evidence of a permanent injury but awards zero in compensation for future pain and suffering. On August 31, 2022, an appellate court increased a Westchester County jury verdict by more than $200,000. The plaintiff was a passenger in a car that was rear-ended by a police car. The plaintiff was 50 years old and suffered a shoulder injury requiring surgery and an aggravation of a pre-existing low back problem that required a spinal fusion. The jury specifically determined that the plaintiff's injuries were permanent, significant and consequential. However, they awarded plaintiff $0 for future pain and suffering, $5000 for 7 years of past pain and suffering and only $10,000 for past medical expenses - despite proof of $40,000 in medicals.. While plaintiff was 57 years old at the time of trial, the jury would have been instructed by the judge that a 57 year old had a 23 year life expectancy. Thus, plaintiff's suffering would likely continue for many years to come. 

The appellate court had to correct this injustice, though the pre-existing medical condition raised issues of fact on causally related accident injuries. The Second Department held that a retrial on damages should be held unless the defense agrees: the past pain and suffering should be raised from $5000 to $80,000; that the future pain and suffering verdict raised from $0 to $100,000 and the past medical expenses raised from $10,000 to $40,000. Basically, unless the defense agrees to pay these these modified figures, a new trial on damages will be held. Carter v City of New Rochelle, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 05072

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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