We’d like to take this time to share with you some of the recent goings-on in the world of personal injury law. There are always new cases being tried, new verdicts being handed down, and new fines being imposed. It’s a good idea to be kept abreast of these developments in order to know what you can expect should you ever be involved in a similar case. People say, “the law never changes”—well, we have a couple of issues with that statement.
First of all, the law does change. Frequently. New legislators pass new laws. That’s why we vote for candidates: not because they look good or because they have the best ads, but (hopefully) because they plan to change the law in ways that we think will benefit society as a whole. Second of all, the law doesn’t have to change, per se, for you to expect something different. If a jury, or judge, or attorneys, interpret the law based on their own experiences, the outcome of a given case will be swayed toward their persuasion. Thus, in future cases, that case will be used as what is known as “precedent.” With every new case law, a new precedent is set. So, let’s look at some new developments.
Recently, in Tampa, FL, a jury in a case of negligent homicide awarded a woman $7 million dollars. Her husband, a former police officer, was killed in 2008 by a negligent motorist. Unfortunately, the woman has yet to see a dime for her struggles. In her lawsuit, she actually sought $5.1 million, but the jury decided that her loss was so detrimental that they awarded her $7 million. The defense team has 30 days to appeal the verdict. $7 million might seem like a lot of money—and it is! But the fact is that there is no amount of money that can replace a lost life. Human life is invaluable, and it’s loss is incredibly harmful to a loved one who is left alone. The widow is now forced to provide everything that her husband had been providing—in addition to continuing to prove what she had been providing. This includes financial support, emotional support, mental stability, etc.
In another form of vehicular news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fined BMW $3 million dollars for failing to alert the NHTSA, in a timely manner, of defects to their automobiles. By law, car manufacturers have to alert the NHTSA within 5 days of being made aware of defects in their vehicles. BMW waited longer than the 5 days, and thus left consumers in harm’s way longer than they should have been.
Keeping yourself up to date is useful in more ways than one. One verdict, one regulation, can change the scope of personal injury law and the different components involved. The Tampa jury’s $7 million verdict will surely set a precedent and the NHTSA fine of BMW will ensure that car manufacturers act in an expedient fashion in reporting defects—both of these changes will affect consumers in a positive way.
If you have any questions about any of these legal issues, or any other, please contact the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg at 561-266-9191 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.