July 6, 2011, ERIE, PA — Faithful readers of this blog know that we try to publish helpful information about personal injury cases. We recently thought it would be an interesting exercise to compile the top personal injury verdicts in Pennsylvania in 2010 and it was. (You can read about those verdicts in our Top Pennsylvania Injury Verdicts Article: Part 1 and Part 2 .)
We expected to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the injuries involved in top verdicts and we were. At the heart of the largest verdicts are the greatest tragedies: senseless violence; horrific injuries to children; massive manufacturers foisting defective and harmful products on an unknowing public…these are the makings of large verdicts.
One surprising element was a repeat player that, perhaps in retrospect, we should have predicted. Several of the verdicts involved cases in which the defendant was either unrepresented, failed to appear or was essentially helpless to defend itself. Sometimes these defendants were in jail or on the run. Sometimes they may have been defunct corporations. Either way, when the defendant’s conduct was egregious, the harm great and no one appeared on behalf of the defendant, the jury returned a huge verdict.
Why should we have been so surprised? We’re considering just that sort of action in at least one case. Sometimes as a trial lawyer you invest time and money in a case even though there is no reasonable hope of a return. Consider, for example, the case brought by the estate of a woman shot dead by her estranged husband. The estranged husband is currently on the run from the law, is probably out of the country and may never be found and tried in a criminal court. Is there any reasonable chance this desperado will ever pay a dime? No. Is it still important to the family to get their trial? To hold the man accountable in civil court even if he may never be tried in a criminal court? Perhaps it is important to them. Kudos to the lawyers who were willing to give them their trial, even if there was no reasonable likelihood of a fee.
We know (and our readers should know, too) that one case is not predictive of the outcome in another. Even when the facts seem remarkably similar, the truth is that each case is unique and only an experienced trial lawyer can offer meaningful analysis of the value of the case. So, don’t reach the conclusion that the case results we post here are indicators of how much your case is worth. If you’d like a consult about the value of your case, call an experienced Pennsylvania trial lawyer. Even better, call two or three. Remember, we all offer free consults. It’s worth it to shop around and find the lawyer with whom you are most comfortable.
Contact An Experienced Pennsylvania Trial Lawyer
The Erie injury attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have an established track record of trying civil cases. To meet with Tim George or Eric Purchase and discuss your Erie injury case, call today: 814-833-7100/toll free 814-833-7100. The consult is free and we won’t charge a fee in your injury case unless we recover money for you.