Plaintiff Verdict

What is a plaintiff verdict in personal injury law?

After an accident, an insurance claim is launched. If the injured person, called the plaintiff, or that person’s attorney, cannot agree with the insurance company to settle the claim, then a lawsuit is filed and the claim goes before the court.

How is a personal injury trial handled?

Almost all injured people who choose to reject a settlement offer from an insurance company hire an injury attorney to handle the resulting trial. The lawyer will spend considerable time preparing the case by gathering documents and evidence, interviewing witnesses and the defendant, determining the dollar value of the plaintiff’s damages, and arguing the case in front of the judge and jury.

After a judge and jury are presented with the facts and evidence of the case during trial, the decision of the jury, called a verdict, is reached. Sometimes the verdict is in the favor of the plaintiff, and sometimes the verdict is in the favor of the person or entity that is being sued, called a defense verdict. The facts and evidence of the case are the key components used by the jury to make this decision.

How often do personal injury claims go to trial?

In reality, most claims that are filed with the court eventually settle prior to a trial. As the trial date grows closer, attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant typically will communicate intensively to negotiate a settlement that meets the demands of the injured plaintiff.

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Everett-Bellingham WA

A case that sounds too bad to be true: two crashes, one person, in one year

It may sound too bad to be true, but one woman was the victim of two separate crashes, just over a year apart, both of which caused her severe injuries. The second crash was because a drunk driver crossed the center line and hit her head-on. Click for this case study and how her personal injury lawyer in Bellingham, Washington helped her be compensated for her losses and pain.


Mr. Davis, a 31-year-old respitory therapist, was riding his motorcycle in Phoenix, Arizona when a vehicle, driven by Mr. Ballecer, drove into his lane, resulting in an accident. Davis stated that he thought that the vehicle was parking on the side of the road when Ballecer suddenly turned left into his lane of traffic, resulting in the accident. Davis suffered severe injuries in the crash, including a closed head injuring resulting in a seizure disorder, a jaw fracture, a fractured orbital bone around the right eye, and a torn pectoral muscle.

  Mr. Cantu was riding his motorcycle in July of 1990 in Seattle, Washington when he struck a truck, operated by Mr. Dick, broadsiding the vehicle. Cantu suffered serious injuries in the accident, including a fracture of the right radius, a fracture to the left arm, a concussion, lacerations to his chest and stomach, and bruises to his spleen and liver. Mr. Cantu decided to sue Mr. Dick for personal injury. He and his lawyers argued that Mr. Dick negligently pulled out in front of him at an intersection.
  Juan Salas Fonseca, a 28-year-old route salesman, was operating a Mitsubishi F-100 cab-over-engine commercial truck when he was involved in an accident. In the course of the collision, he was thrown from the detached cab through the windshield and was run over by his own truck. He suffered extensive injuries, including multiple fractures to his pelvis, spine, and leg. He faced future surgies to replace his hip and his spine and was therefore limited to semi-sedentary work.
  On January 26, 1993, John Randolph was riding his motorcycle west on the Pacific Coast Highway in the right lane. Fahad Abdullah Maghrabi, an employee of Saudi Arabian Airlines, was stopped on Corral Canyon waiting to turn onto the highway to drive east. According to a police report, Maghrabi, who was driving a rental car from Budget Rent-A-Car, did not see Randolph coming and proceeded into the highway, causing a collision between Randolph's motorcycle and his car. The police report stated that Maghrabi was at fault due to his failure to yield to oncoming traffic.
  On March 18, 2008, Lawrence Lovejoy, 74, was riding his motorcycle on Highway 154 in Los Olivos, California when a car operated by Harriet Ann Visscher turned left in front of him as it was entering the road. Lovejoy crashed into the side of the car. He died from injuries sustained in the accident, while Visscher died of a heart attack six hours later. Lovejoy's surviving family sued Visscher's estate for motor vehicle negligence. The family and their lawyers argued that Visscher's negligent driving was the sole cause cause of the accidetnt.
  Mr. Quezada was riding his motorcycle in November of 1998 when he collided with a van operated by Mr. Paiva and owned by Angelica Lutheran Church making a U-turn. Mr. Quezada suffered a hemopneumothorax (air and blood in the chest cavity), nine fractured ribs, a restrictive lung disease, and road rash to his right hand as a result of the accident.  Quezada decided to sue Paiva and the church that owned the van for vehicle negligence. He and his lawyers argued that Paiva made an illegal U-turn and was inattentive to oncoming traffic. 
  On July 20, 2007, Kiven Dawson, a 46-year-old truck driver, was riding his motorcycle north on Meridian Avenue in San Bernardino, California when he struck a pickup truck driven by Norma Ortiz. Although he does not have memory of the accident due to a brain injury he sustained as a result, based on his police report, he claims that Ortiz was driving southbound when she made a left hand turn in his ath, resulting in the accident. Dawson decided to sue Ortiz, and the owner of her vehicle, Alfonso Torres for negligent driving.
  On January 24, 2006, 46-year-old ironworker James Jaworowski was riding his motorcycle on Bosworth Street in San Francisco, California when he was struck by a Mitchell Engineering truck driven by Finbar James Brody. As Jaworowski was riding his motorcycle in the right lane, Brody changed intersections, resulting in the collision between the vehicles. In the accident, Jawarowski suffered several ligament tears, requiring him to undergo physical therapy resulting in one year of missed work. He claimed to have ongoing pain following the accident.
On September 23, 2005, Shannon Nielson, a 38-year-old hairstylist, was riding on the back of a motorcycle that her fiance, Troy McDaniel, was driving on the Mt. Rose Highway in the Sierra Nevada range of California. As they were riding on the highway, they came across a flatbed truck operated by Carl McAlister, an employee of the White Cap Construction Supply company. McDaniel grounded the motorcycle to avoid striking the truck, which was making a U-turn on the two-lane highway. The couple skidded on the pavement towards the truck and were run over by its rear wheels.
John McCord was stopped at an intersection in Sacramento County, California on his motorcycle as a funeral procession was passing by on a cross-street. When the light turned green, he entered the intersection. A vehicle in the funeral procession, operated by Ivan Semenyuk, ran the red light, assuming he had the right-of-way in the procession, striking McCord. As a result of the accident, McCord suffered a fractured pelvis, requiring a total hip replacement, and a knee injury. 
  On July 13, 2006, Michael Hull, a 56-year-old general contractor, was stopped on his motorcycle at an intersection in Salinas, California, when he was involved in a collision with an SUV driven by Maria Ramirez and a tractor-trailer owned by Carolina Cargo, Inc. of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Hull suffered torn rotator cuffs in both of his shoulders, requiring two surgeries to repar. He claimed that his injuries left him permanently unable to raise his dominant right arm above his shoulder, and that because of this, he will be unable to return to his job as a contractor.
  Hugh Juarez, a 30-year-old machine operator was riding his motorcycle in the right lane in Los Angeles, California in May, 1990 when he was struck by a dump truck making a right turn from the left lane next to Juarez. He sustained injuries in the accident, including a fractured tibia, fibula, and a spinal injury. At the time, Inocencio Heredia, the dump truck driver, was on the job for Jimmy King Trucking, a contractor at a nearby construction site.
  Perry Wise, A 48-year-old hospital laboratory technician, was driving his BMW motorcycle east on State Route 6 just east of Menlo, Washington when he stoped a backhoe travelling on shoulder of his lane ahead of him. As Wise attempted to pass the backhoe, its driver, Ron Epperson, suddenly drove into his lane. Wise hit his brakes and laid his motorcycle down on the highway and subsequently slammed into the back of the backhoe. 
  David Aultman was driving his Yamaha motorcycle north on State Route 9 in Snohomish County, Washington on September 20, 2003. Meanwhile, Margaret Blystone was driving her car west on 164th Street SE and stopped at a stop sign at the intersection with State Route 9. She began to proceed into the intersection, placing her car in the way of Mr. Aultman. According to his family and attorneys, he did not have enough time to avoid hitting her, and he and his motorcycle collided with the side of Mrs. Blystone's vehicle. Mr. Aultman died in the accident as a result of blunt-force trauma. 
  Mr. Baeza, a 25-year-old carpenter, was driving his motorcycle through an intersection where he had right-of-way when a pickup truck driven by Mr. Ortiz drove through his stop sign, striking Mr. Baeza's motorcycle. As a result of the accident, Mr. Baeza suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, resulting in brain damage and personality disorder, loss of the sense of smell, and loss of vision in the right eye; fractures of both forearms, resulting in limited motion to both wrists; and an injury to the testicles.
  Mr. Wadlow, 16 at the time of the accident, was returning on a dirt road from the "smoke bomb" area of a race track back to the pits wre he acted as a crewman for his father when he collided with a truck heading in the opposite direction. As a result of the accident, he suffered a compound fracture to his left femur and tibia, requiring two months of hospitalization, six skin graft surgeries and resulting in a permanent limp, scarring, and possible future surgery and arthritis.
Hopson Anderson's left leg was riding her motorcycle in Whatcom County, Washington when she began negotiating a tight curve. Her motorcycle crossed the center line of the road and she struck another vehicle. As she clipped the oncoming vehicle, she severely injured her left leg. Her injuries resulted in an amputation of her left leg below the knee. A male passenger on her motorcycle additionally suffered a fractured left leg.
  On July 19, 1990, Rudy Cantu, a 24-year-old auto-body painter, was driving on South Cloverdale Street in Seattle, Washington on his motorcycle. As he was crossing 5th Avenue South a pickup truck, driven by Ronald Dick, drove into the path of Cantu from 5th Avenue, then stopped in front of him, resulting in Cantu slamming into Dick's truck. Cantu sustained serious injuries in the accident. He sustained serious fractures on both arms, sustained lacerations and wounds to his abdomen, resulting in damage to his liver and spleen.