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Can a fender bender auto accident produce a large jury verdict?

In a 2019 auto wreck case tried in Eastman, Georgia, in November 2019, what started out as a minimum two car collision, ended with a jury verdict for the plaintiff of over $430,000.

The defendant pulled into a left turn lane to make a left turn. The plaintiff accelerated and pulled up next to defendant, maintaining his lane. Suddenly, the defendant decided she was no longer going to turn left. As the defendant pulled back into the lane to her right she collided with the plaintiff. Both cars were driven from the scene.

The plaintiff did feel shoulder pain and eventually had shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff repair.

Farmers Insurance Company, a rather belligerent insurance company for their low ball payment tactics, had a $250,000 policy of insurance covering the defendant. Right before trial they offered $38,000. Ultimately the jury awarded $429,355.

The take away here is that even a minor collision with genuine medical damages can produce a large verdict if handled properly. Too bad that Farmers Insurance Company did not offer an amount closer to their policy limits to settle. Apparently the plaintiff would have accepted a lot less than $250,000.

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