Thursday, 16 February, 2012
A jury in Florida has a awarded a man, who sustained multiple injuries due to the driver of the car he was travelling in driving carelessly, an injured passenger compensation settlement in excess of 2.7 million dollars.
During the four day trial in Lee County, the jury heard how Jiri Renotiere had been travelling as a passenger in a car driven by Waldemar Baranowski in May 2009, when Baranowski lost control of the vehicle, crashed through a roadside barrier and into an embankment.
Both men were thrown from the vehicle which subsequently caught fire and burst into flames. However Jiri, who was lying in a ditch with a fractured shoulder blade and a smashed cheekbone, sustained third-degree burns to the left side of his body, his arms, shoulder and foot.
Jiri was rushed to Tampa General Hospital where he remained for four weeks. Despite multiple skin graft operations and three months of rehabilitation, Jiri was left with permanent injuries – affecting his opportunities for work and a deterioration in his quality of life.
Claiming compensation for injured passenger in car, Jiri´s legal counsel relied on the testimony of witnesses who claimed that Baranowski had been speeding on a wet road. The jury also heard that at the time of the accident Baranowski had been reaching for his mobile phone as the car approached a curve.
Once liability had been proven, the jury deliberated on how much injured passenger compensation should be awarded to Jiri. They arrived at the figure of 2,703,000 dollars on the basis of 1 million dollars for past and future medical expenses, 1 million dollars for past and future pain and suffering and 3,000 dollars for lost property. An award of 700,000 dollars was made to Jiri´s wife, Marie, for the lost of Jiri´s services.