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Jury Returns Verdict of $16.5 Million Despite Lack of Evidence of Lost Earnings

November 26, 2017

Jury Returns Verdict of $16.5 Million Despite Lack of Evidence of Lost Earnings

At Montlick and Associates, our Atlanta semi-truck accident lawyers often handle personal injury cases where damages are more difficult to prove because the injury victim is a child with no earning history or a senior who is at or near retirement age.  In other cases, the task of proving damages can be complicated because the trucking accident victim’s medical bills are fairly limited.  The prospect of obtaining a full recovery under such circumstances often turns on effective advocacy in establishing non-economic forms of damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium.  These types of damages are more subjective, so they cannot simply be proven by submitting bills the way medical expenses and lost wages can be documented.

A logging truck accident demonstrates that an effective trial lawyer can still obtain a sizeable jury verdict even when there is no evidence of a significant amount of lost earnings.  A Sandersville jury returned a verdict in the amount of $16.5 million in favor of an injured attorney who was 72 at the time of the jury award.  The verdict was rather unique because it was made up entirely of “general damages” according to the Daily Report.  Because of the injured attorney’s age, the plaintiff focused on “loss of the capacity of labor” rather than “lost earnings.”

The logging truck accident victim suffered broken vertebrae in his back and neck along with severe shoulder injuries.  He continues to suffer from ongoing shoulder spasms and damage to his facial nerves.  The focus of the evidence presented to establish the damage suffered by the plaintiff centered on how his injuries impacted his ability to practice law and other aspects of his life.  He testified at trial that he sadly suffers from exhaustion, sleeplessness and pain from his injuries.  He also had to curtail his litigation practice and focus on things he could do with a paralegal in the office.

Much of the evidence presented at trial focused on the unique nature of the plaintiff’s rural law practice.  His law practice is based in Thomson, but he traveled to a dozen surrounding counties handling cases in a range of disciplines as part of a general practice.  While this approach made his rural practice financially viable, the attorney lacked the strength to cope with the grueling routine of handling matters in a multitude of courts spread out throughout the geographic area which was illustrated by referencing a map of the relevant court locations.

The attorney for the plaintiff also introduced testimony from a retired judge who returned to practice after forty years on the bench.  The testimony was offered to support the contention that the plaintiff’s injuries rather than his age limited his ability to maintain a lucrative law practice.

Support for the loss of consortium damage claim was based on the impact on the plaintiff’s marital relationship with his much younger wife.  Because of the age difference between the couple, the plaintiff’s injuries had a particularly significant impact on his marital partner.  The jury awarded $1.5 million of the $15 million trucking verdict to the plaintiff’s wife for her personal loss suffered as a result of her husband’s accident.

This case demonstrates the importance in gathering and presenting evidence to obtain the fullest financial recovery.  When a plaintiff is a young child or retiree or medical expenses are limited, the quality of legal representation can have an especially significant impact on intangible forms of damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

Your Time to File a Claim is Limited By Georgia Law

There are time limitations for bringing a claim. Be sure to read our "Georgia Statute of Limitations" page for more information about important deadlines that effect your ability to file a truck accident injury claim. We also provide a "A Guide to Personal Injury Law in Georgia" that will help you better understand the laws the affect your case.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as you have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Source: Cited in the article

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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Category: Auto Accidents

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