If you’re speaking with a personal injury attorney, don’t feel guilty if you’re wondering if you’re looking at the potential to get a very large jury award or settlement. This is natural. After all, if you hadn’t suffered some sort of wrong at the hands of a company or another individual, you wouldn’t be speaking to an attorney at all.
Some lawsuits do end up paying out spectacular amounts of money. The personal injury lawyer you’re working with, however, will likely recommend that you remain realistic about the money you’re likely to receive and no lawyer can guarantee a win. Some lawsuits that do pay out large amounts of money become rather famous, however, and here are some that are notable.
$150 Billion for Family
A jury in Texas awarded $150 billion to the family of a boy who was burned during an assault as a child. The attacker was ordered to pay $370 million in actual damages as a result of the lawsuit, with the more than one hundred billion dollar verdict being symbolic. The child was tied to a tree, burned and later died of skin cancer, only living to be 20 years old. The defendant was the child’s attacker.
Nearly $5 Billion for Burns
One of the largest personal injury awards ever handed out was a $4.9 billion dollar verdict against General Motors. The verdict was handed down in favor of six people who were injured in a 1979 Chevy Malibu. The incident involved a rear-end collision in which the gas tank exploded, causing the victims severe burns. This case, of course, is not representative of what most people can expect when they bring a personal injury lawsuit, but it does show how juries sometimes find that a product is defective in such a way that the people who are injured by it deserve a great deal of compensation for what they’ve suffered.
There have been other lawsuits that have ended up with very large awards being handed down by the jury, but many of them have been overturned later. For example, a lawsuit that initially netted $145 billion from the tobacco industry was reversed by the Florida Supreme Court in 2011. This was part of a class action lawsuit, in which many different parties sue the same entity for largely the same issue.
If you’re talking to a personal injury attorney, remember that your damages are likely to be in line with the actual harm you suffered.
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