An associate from the New Jersey personal injury firm, Levinson Axelrod, P.A.,finalized a settlement and a verdict that was ultimately in favor of her client, the victim of a multi-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Attorney Kathleen M. DiGiovanni secured $2.5 million verdict on behalf of her client, a driver who suffered severe injuries after stopping short to avoid impact with the defendant, whose lights were off as she was stopped in the left lane of the Turnpike.
Monmouth County Superior Court documents show that because the defendant had turned off all the vehicle’s lights, failed to turn on its hazard lights, and gave no warning to oncoming motorists, the victim was not able to see the vehicle until he was roughly 30 feet away. At that time he attempted to swerve to the right to avoid the stopped vehicle, but was unable to complete the maneuver and crashed into the defendant’s car.
The force, coupled with that of another impact from an oncoming car, caused the victim to suffer serious injuries, including multiple fractures of the hip, and he was transported to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center to undergo emergency surgery. The trauma surgeon who performed the surgery used four plates and 13 screws to reconstruct the victim’s hip. Medical experts who evaluated the case and the scope of the plaintiff’s injuries agreed that he will require a total hip replacement in the very near future. The victim, who is now in his late 40s, will need a revision surgery within the next 15 to 20 years.
The case against the defendant was settled prior to trial. But because the plaintiff had underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, DiGiovanni also filed suit against the victim’s own insurance company, Allstate, in Monmouth County Superior Court.
The jury sided with her by returning a verdict holding the defendant 100% liable for the crash, awarding the plaintiff $2.5 million in damages. The plaintiff will also be able to recover the costs of trial and attorney’s fees from the defendant Allstate, as well as the difference between the recovery from the stopped driver and the UIM policy limit.