In most rear-end accident lawsuits, the jury finds in favor of the driver who rear ends the other car. In most of these car accident cases, there might be some explanation for why the first car stopped and the expectation is that the second driver should be aware and stop in time to avoid an accident. However, in the Kane County lawsuit of Diane Flynn v. Soula Galanis, 10 L 49, the jury found that the first driver was primarily at fault.
The relevant car accident in Flynn occurred near the intersection of Route 47 and Freeman Road in Huntley, Illinois. The defendant in the personal injury lawsuit, Soula Galanis, allegedly cut in front of a line of traffic driving on Route 47 and then stopped suddenly in the left-hand lane. The car behind Galanis was unable to stop in time and ended up rear-ended Galanis’s vehicle. Diane Flynn, the plaintiff in the personal injury claim, then rear-ended the second vehicle.
Flynn filed a personal injury claim against Galanis that alleged that Galanis’s negligence caused the chain reaction car crash. Flynn sought to recover damages for her medical treatment, loss of normal life, and pain and suffering that she endured as a result of the car accident. Following the multi-car accident, Flynn was taken to the emergency room to treat her whiplash injury. In addition, Flynn made several visits to her doctor and underwent physical therapy treatment in an attempt to relieve her muscle pain. And while her medical treatment ended years before the personal injury trial, Flynn’s physician testified that she would continue to have intermittent pain for the rest of her life due to the permanent injuries to her muscle fibers caused by the car accident.
Prior to the jury’s verdict, the plaintiff’s attorney, Timothy J. Cavenagh, made a $250,000 demand to settle. However, despite having a $250,000 insurance policy and an additional $2 million umbrella policy, the defendant’s highest offer was only $20,000. The defendant continued to contend that she had not caused the multi-car accident and accused Flynn of going too fast for the conditions and following the second car too closely.
However, the jury did not seem to be completely convinced by Galanis’s argument. While it found that Flynn was 20 percent responsible for her own injuries, it held that Galanis was 80 percent responsible for the car accident. The jury entered a verdict of $476,880 which was then reduced to $381,504 after taking into account Flynn’s contributory negligence. The jury’s verdict was made up of the following damages:
• $24,000 for past pain and suffering;
• $360,000 for future pain and suffering;
• $48,000 for past loss of normal life;
• $72,000 for future loss of normal life; and
• $16,080 for medical expenses.
However, following the trial, both parties agreed on a final settlement of $325,000.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois car accident cases for individuals and families for 36 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Summit, Lake Zurich, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Berwyn, Wheeling, Alsip, and Ford Heights.
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