Car accidents can cause life-changing injuries, or even fatalities, for those involved. The causes of car accidents are highly situational. Sometimes inclement weather can create hazardous road conditions, while at other times the negligence of the driver or other drivers on the road can be the cause of an accident. A recent New York car accident case involving a young Brooklyn woman centered around whether the driver of the vehicle, in which she was the passenger, was negligent when he fell asleep while driving.
As mentioned above, the plaintiff was injured in a 2012 car accident when the driver of the vehicle, a Chevrolet Equinox, fell asleep at the wheel. He swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a mini-van, killing a passenger, an elderly woman. The driver of that vehicle survived the crash. The plaintiff allegedly suffered severe, lifelong spinal injuries. Her symptoms included losing feeling in her legs. She also requires the use of leg braces for mobility purposes. Moreover, her physicians allegedly advised her that as she progresses in age, her condition will grow worse, and eventually she will completely lose the ability to walk as a result of her injuries. Following the car accident, she was forced to withdraw from college, where she was receiving an Ivy League education, and see a therapist about depression issues.
The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the driver for falling asleep at the wheel, likely alleging negligence under New York law. Her case went to trial in Manhattan Supreme Court, where a jury of six, following a three-week trial, awarded the plaintiff $71 million in damages for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and past pain and suffering.