A Maryland construction worker injured on the job has been awarded $21.7 million for injuries suffered on the job. The horrific accident left the worker paralyzed from the neck down.
The victim was a worker at Pepco, working in a power house in Maryland. He was electrocuted by a transformer, giving him third degree burns to 10 percent of his body. The accident left him paralyzed when the force of the electrocution sent him flying into the air, and then onto the ground, severing his spine.
The workers had apparently been told the transformer had been turned off, when it fact it had not.
At trial, Pepco did not contest liability, admitting fault for the accident. Pepco only contested the amount of damages that should be awarded.
The jury awarded $35.9 million, but because of Maryland's cap on non-economic damages (which include pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life), the award was reduced to $21.7 million.
Large Verdicts Help the Catastrophically Injured
The amount seems huge. And many laypeople envision victims driving off in expensive cars paid for by their verdict or settlement.
But in practicality, considering the nature of the injuries in this kind of case, the money is hardly excessive, and in some case, may barely cover the costs and expense of the victim.
In such catastrophic damage cases, jury awards compensate victims for the necessary care that they need for the remainder of their lives.
We all know how much a medical bill can be for a disease or day-to-day incident. With a life-altering injury that will require a lifetime of intensive, around-the-clock care and routine hospitalizations and usage of medications and medical devices, that cost can be astronomical.
As you may imagine, the amount can be more for a younger victim, who will need care for more years than someone who may be older.
In court, to demonstrate damages, plaintiff attorneys will often use an expert to testify as to the life care needs of such victims, and to provide estimates of the costs of inflation as applied to these expenses of the victim.
In addition to medical care, damages in these kinds of cases also can include retrofitting homes and vehicles to make them accessible to victims of catastrophic injury.
The victim in this case was 28. It's reasonable to imagine 50-60 more years of life. Multiplied by the cost (and loss of income) of all of this, it becomes clear that a verdict such as this may not be any kind of windfall at all.
Rather, it may be just compensation, not as money in someone's pocket, but rather, money to ensure that the victim lives as full and complete a life as they can, and to try to provide him an equal playing field in life as compared to those of us who are not catastrophically injured.
If you've suffered an injury of any severity in Maryland, and you think it may be due to the negligence of another, don't risk your case with attorneys you can't trust. Contact the attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss your rights.