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$400,000 Car Crash Verdict in Lancaster County, PA

Victim offered only $1,000 before trial, paid full amount of verdict after.

Ostroff Law Partner Richard A. Godshall obtained a $400,000 verdict in December 2018, on behalf of a woman whose previous neck and back injuries were aggravated in a 2015 car crash.

The damage to the client’s car was minimal, costing less than $1,000 to repair. Yet Ostroff Injury Law agreed to represent this client, because the firm and partner Rich Godshall believed that this recent 2015 crash aggravated ongoing neck and back injuries she sustained in another automobile accident that occurred many years earlier. Attorney Godshall successfully proved that the 2015 crash severely aggravated his client’s prior neck and back problems.

Godshall tried the Lancaster County case on two jury charges: the aggravation charge as well as a charge for past and future wages. The defendant’s sole witness, a defense doctor, argued that the crash was a minor insult and that the woman had recovered from any “alleged” injury aggravation within six weeks. State Farm, the insurer for the defendant, offered $1,000. The defendant’s insurance policy limit was $100,000.

Godshall prevailed in showing that the crash was not a “mere coincidence” as the defense doctor tried to suggest, but instead a life changing event with real consequences. After less than 45 minutes of jury deliberations, Godshall obtained a verdict for $400,000. State Farm chose not to appeal and to pay the full verdict amount, soon after the verdict.

The numbers:

State Farm Insurance Policy: $100,000
State Farm Pre-Trial Offer: $1,000
Jury Verdict: $400,000

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