Motor Vehicle - Bus Accident - Wrongful Death

  • Date: Winter 2002
  • FIRM
  • Settlement: $1,505,665.75
  • Practice Areas: Motor Vehicle Accident, Bus Accident, Wrongful Death

The firm represented the estate and family of a 62 year old man who died in a bus accident. The decedent, a doorman and low wage earner, was a passenger on a bus to Atlantic City. The negligent bus driver, who was driving recklessly under snowy conditions, overturned the bus. Although the bus driver was found not guilty of criminal charges in the earlier criminal case tried by a state prosecutor, our attorney was able to convince the civil jury that his conduct was reckless, which was a higher burden to prove than simple negligence. In addition, using a pathologist expert to prove his pain and suffering, our attorney was able to recover a substantial additional amount for pain and suffering, which pushed the verdict over 1 million dollars. Finally, although the punitive (punishment) damages award allowed only against the bus driver personally was small because he had no assets, it resulted in the entire judgment being paid without an appeal. The technology used to recreate the crash included a smart digital board, which allowed the reconstruction expert to blow up and mark aerial scene photographs to better orient the jury to the aggravated circumstances of the defendant’s reckless driving in snowy conditions with a bus load full of passengers. After seven days of trial, the jury returned a gross verdict of $1,240,000 comprised of $640,000 for pecuniary loss and $600,000 for conscious pain and suffering. In addition, there was prejudgment interest of $265,665.75, bringing the total to $1,505,665.75.

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