Even in recent years, people have won large injury settlements in some pretty unlikely circumstances. Claimants settle nearly all (95 to 96%) of personal injury damages before even getting to court — but these surprising cases show that taking the effort to find quality personal injury attorneys and going before a jury may be well worth it, if it comes to it.
Case #1: New York City Man Hurts His Thumb
In 2011, there were as many as 1,225,452 attorneys working in the U.S. — and that number is only growing. It may seem like a personal injury case involving a hurt thumb is above any of their efforts, but — some years ago in New York City — that just wasn’t true. Claims Examiner Cedrick Makara earned a hefty sum in damages after a coworker accidentally pushed a door onto Makara’s thumb. Makara blamed the injury on the company’s door (it did not have a proper doorknob), adding that the injury required surgery and, owing to this surgery, he missed several months of work. A court granted him a $3 million settlement.
Case #2: Thief Sues For Damages
In an even more unlikely case, a thief sued homeowners after breaking and entering. The man in question, Terrence Dickson, became trapped inside, after failing to exit from two faulty entryways. Dickson subsided on Pepsi and dog food while trapped, and ultimately sued for personal harm, specifically mental anguish. Believe it or not, he won. He received $500,000 in injury settlements. The homeowners, of course, had the option to appeal the court’s decision.
Yes, some people win pretty weird personal injury claims. And that’s only good news for Americans who have far more legitimate cases. Workplace injuries, auto accidents, slips, falls, and more genuine injuries cost the U.S. $267.5 billion in lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage in 2013. If an injury is keeping you from work, or is delivering medical bills — no matter how large or small — it is definitely worth doing a little digging and getting support, if necessary.