Recently, Louisiana media put a spotlight on a jury award in a local motor vehicle accident case. A jury awarded $117 million to a pregnant Louisiana woman injured in an ambulance crash. The award is a remarkable commentary on accident victims’ rights. The case demonstrates that Louisiana juries are able to identify negligent drivers and offer victims justice and compensation for the injuries they suffer in car accidents.
An Iberville Parish jury recently returned the $117 million award to a tetraplegia woman with two small children who is now bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The award is compensation for serious injuries that the woman suffered in a motor vehicle accident in December 2010. The accident was caused by a distracted driver. The woman, who was suffering from pregnancy-related pain, was being transported to the hospital by ambulance.
The ambulance driver dropped a GPS device while driving and looked down at the floor to retrieve it. As the driver looked down, he crashed the ambulance into a truck. The woman and the unborn child survived, but the woman is now bound to a wheelchair and has the use of only her left arm. Although the ambulance company agrees that the accident was tragic and wishes to compensate the woman for her injuries, the company plans to appeal the jury award in that case.
Louisiana law is designed to offer the very relief that the jury awarded in the ambulance crash matter to victims of motor vehicle accidents. The law appreciates that serious injury can result from car accidents, whether they are caused by a distracted driver or other negligent conduct. It is important for accident victims to recognize the protections afforded by Louisiana law. Often, expenses related to these accidents add up quickly and present financial challenges for victims. The law regarding car accidents was established to provide victims with compensation for the damages they suffer and to deter future negligent driving.
Louisiana victims of motor vehicle accidents can use the legal system to their advantage, particularly when they suffer serious injury like the woman involved in the ambulance accident. The ambulance crash story reminds us that there is legal recourse available for victims of car accidents, and that severe injuries can result from distracted driving.
Source: Alexandria Town Talk, “Jury awards $117 million to pregnant Louisiana woman injured in ambulance crash,” August 3, 2012