$125,000 Illinois Jury Verdict in Injuries Suffered in Car Crash

During a jury trial in LaSalle County, Ill., the jury found in favor of Ty Benckendorf, who was a backseat passenger in a car traveling southbound in Marseilles, Ill., on Oct. 20, 2010. The defendant, 75-year-old Juliann Huber, was driving a car that was heading southwest. It pulled into the path of the Benckendorf car, causing the crash. Benckendorf, 18, sustained a herniated cervical disc and soft tissue injuries. The jury learned that Benckendorf had $12,000 in past medical expenses.

The defendant admitted negligence but disputed the extent of Benckendorf’s claimed injuries and damages.

The attorney for Benckendorf, Jennifer L. Kiesewetter, made a demand to settle the case before the start of the trial for the policy limits of $100,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $250,000. The only offer made by the defendant’s counsel before trial was $23,000.

The jury’s verdict of $125,000, in excess of the limits of the defendant’s auto insurance policy, was made up of the following damages:

• $40,000 for pain and suffering;
• $35,000 for loss of normal life; and
• $50,000 for past and future medical expenses.

Plaintiff’s counsel also engaged the services of a medical billing expert, who as a nurse, testified as to the necessary and reasonable medical damages of the plaintiff. The defendant engaged the services of an expert witness as well. Defendant had a neurosurgeon testify regarding the issue of the plaintiff’s claimed injuries and damages. When a defendant hires a medical expert, it is for the sole purpose of minimizing the medical issues before the jury.

The jury’s verdict of $125,000 was more than the policy limits of the defendant’s auto insurance policy.

Ty Benckendorf v. Juliann Huber, No. 11 L 210 (LaSalle County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents, rear-end crash cases and intersection motor vehicle collision cases 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 Calumet City, Bensenville, Riverside, Streamwood, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Park Forest, Forest Park, Crestwood, Clarendon Hills, Wheaton, Hinsdale, Chicago (Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Chatham, Austin, Rogers Park, Jefferson Park, Irving Park), Lyons, Barrington and South Barrington, Ill.

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