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Luke MarioDan Ambrose

Luke Mario · Dan Ambrose

Lessons I learned in Turning a $20,000 offer into a $63,000 Verdict

TLU Icon May 15, 2023 6:00 PM||TLU n Demand

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This was a rear-end collision caused by the Defendant’s failure to pay attention to the road while driving. The Defendant approached the Plaintiff, who was stopped at an intersection waiting for a red light, and drove directly into the rear of her vehicle. The force of the crash (and whether the Defendant had come to a complete stop just prior to hitting the Plaintiff) was one of the issues at trial.

The Plaintiff suffered a left shoulder sprain, cervical sprain, and minor concussion. Of note, the Plaintiff had recently recovered from a left shoulder rotator cuff surgery performed slightly less than two years before the crash.

The week following the crash, the Plaintiff made an appointment with her primary care physician, where she complained of sharp burning pain in her left shoulder and neck, numbness in her left hand, and throbbing headaches. For the following three months, the Plaintiff underwent a course of physical therapy directed by her orthopedist. She reported 100% improvement in pain by her last session, however she was still not back to her normal activities. For the rest of 2020, the Plaintiff experienced a handful of flareups in her shoulder and neck. However, as she testified at trial, she has been pain free since Spring of 2021.

To avoid additional flareups, the Plaintiff has made significant changes to her lifestyle. Most notably, she no longer fishes and bowls- two of her most favorite hobbies. The Plaintiff has been an avid fisherman her entire life, starting when her dad would take her fishing in the park when she was a little girl. In the years leading up to the crash, the Plaintiff and her husband would go fishing weekly, and even bought a small center console so they could fish out on the water. Due to her shoulder injury, she has not fished since the crash.

At trial, we focused on these two things- fishing and bowling, and what they mean to the Plaintiff. Considering we did not have ongoing pain and suffering to build up damages, we made the trial about what has been taken out of the Plaintiff’s life- what she has lost. Even through she does not suffer from ongoing pain, she is still forced to make sacrifices every day due to the crash.

The plaintiff’s husband also testified as to the changes he has seen in his wife, especially in her social life. He did a great job at filling in some of the blanks, and came across as genuine. He shared several of the chores he has taken over around the house, and how he now carefully considers the activities for their weekly date-night to make sure his wife can comfortably do what’s planned.

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