$1 Million Jury Verdict in Illinois T-Bone Crash, Causing Severe Neck Injury

On Nov. 25, 2008, Thomas J. Hagerman was driving westbound on Route 6 in Morris, Ill., when the defendant, Betty Leake, who was attempting to make a left turn onto Lisbon Street, chose not to yield the right-of-way. Instead, Leake turned directly in front of Hagerman’s truck, causing Hagerman to T-bone her vehicle.

Hagerman was 43 years old at the time and suffered injuries to his cervical and thoracic spine, which resulted in a three-level cervical discectomy and fusion surgeries. He lost one year of work as a security guard and warehouse worker.

Hagerman was able to return to his job, but later underwent two bilateral knee replacements unrelated to the crash. He has not been able to work since the knee replacement surgeries.

The defendant, Leake, contended that Hagerman’s spinal surgery was not related to the crash, that he had previously been diagnosed with a herniated disc, that he had undergone prior treatment for the same neck problems and that he would have needed the discectomy/fusion surgeries regardless of this car crash.

Leake had a $1.5 million insurance coverage for this event, and the verdict of $1,086,332 has been paid in full. The jury’s verdict of $1,086,332 was made up of the following damages:

• $288,931 for past medical expenses;
• $26,500 for future medical expenses;
• $50,000 for past pain and suffering;
• $238,500 for future pain and suffering;
• $450,000 for loss of normal life; and
• $32,401 for past loss of earnings.

The demand to settle the case before trial was $500,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $1,200,000, which was nearly the same as the verdict. The attorney handling the case for Thomas Hagerman was Mark W. Rigazio. The only offer to settle the case before trial was $300,000.

At trial, a neurosurgeon, pain management physician and family practice physician all testified as to the treatment required by Hagerman.

Thomas J. Hagerman v. Betty Leake, No. 10 L 16 (Grundy County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile crash cases, truck accident cases, bicycle accident cases, motorcycle accident cases and pedestrian accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Rosemont, Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Schiller Park, Northlake, Berkeley, Villa Park, Oak Park, Burr Ridge, Schaumburg, Inverness, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Lincolnwood, Oak Lawn, Olympia Fields, River Grove, Willow Springs, Wheeling, Worth, Winnetka, Palatine, Palos Heights and Barrington, Ill.

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