Two Wrongdoings: Two Payouts

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When someone has been harmed, they have the ability to use the courts to their advantage; to try to right the wrong that has been done to them. Personal injury lawyers specialize in representing plaintiffs who have been the victims of negligence on the part of others and who have suffered as a result. Contrary to popular belief, there are many types of suffering for which one can be compensated; injuries can come in the form of physical wounds of varying degrees, emotional losses, financial hardships, etc. In this blog, we are going to outline two instances of injury and compensation; one for a physical harm and one regarding a harm of a financial nature.

Let’s start in Pennsylvania, where a man was rear-ended in May of 2010 by a 27-year-old driver. The victim, according to his attorneys, suffered from head and back injuries as a result of the crash. As it was determined over the course of the case, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the victim was under the influence of heroin at the time of the crash, further implicating negligence at work in the accident. The lawsuit thus alleged negligence on behalf of the heroin-using driver for the actions he took while driving, as well as on behalf of the heroin-user’s father, for allowing his son to use his vehicle.

The attorneys for the victim pointed to the fact that the heroin-user has a past criminal history of charges relating to heroin use, and had been involved in another vehicle crash, while also under the influence of heroin, mere months before this particular crash. The jury sided with the victim, and awarded a total of roughly $530,000, composed of over $405,000 in damages and $125,000 in punitive damages. Punitive damages are issued as a form of deterrence; they send a message about the costliness of engaging in reckless behavior. In this case, the victim, though it took more than three years, saw justice in a courtroom and will be compensated for the injuries he sustained through no fault of his own.

We now move across the country to a case dealing with financial injury. We all know that credit scores are important; we see ads on television constantly reminding us of the importance of making sure that our credit history is free from mistakes. Well, one woman in Oregon, who noticed multiple, costly inaccuracies on her credit report, tried to resolve the issue with the credit bureau, but was met with no assistance. Lawyers for the plaintiff told the jury that their client contacted one of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, roughly eight times between 2009 to 2011 to report major inaccuracies on her credit report, including false social security numbers, birthdays, collection attempts, and financial accounts.

The lawyers further contended that the Atlanta-based Equifax failed to correct the mistakes. The inaccuracies on her report were more than just an inconvenience; because of what appeared to be her poor credit history, the nature of which was influenced by inaccuracies on the report, she suffered losses including not being able to access credit, a damaged reputation, etc. In fact, the woman has a disabled brother, for whom she was unable to provide financial assistance due to her unattractive credit report. In the end, a jury sided with the woman, and awarded her $180,000 in compensatory damages and a whopping $18.4 million in punitive damages, sending a strong message to organizations like Equifax about the necessity of maintaining accurate reports.

For more information on any of these – or any other – personal injury cases, please reach out to us by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing daronberg@build.simple.biz.