-Stark & Stark obtains verdict for 80 times original settlement offer-

Law firm Stark & Stark announced that it has obtained a verdict of $1.2 million in compensatory damages for Kelley Mahan, a passenger in a Toms River car accident. Prior to trial, the insurance company had offered only $15,000 to settle the case; however, the jury determined that Ms. Mahan would receive 80 times that sum as compensation for her injuries.

On June 9, 2014, Kelley Mahan, a resident of Bayville within Berkeley Township, was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a three-car collision. The lead car stopped in the right lane of Hooper Avenue in Toms River, New Jersey and the second car crashed into its rear.  Kelley Mahan was in the third car, which then crashed into the second car. The passenger side air bag deployed at the moment she was reaching out to brace for the impact.

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Ms. Mahan suffered severe injuries to her left arm and right wrist.  She underwent an initial open reduction internal fixation surgery to repair the broken arm, and a second surgery to remove surgical hardware.  She was left with permanent nerve damage and a deformity in her arm, as well as permanent loss of motion and grip strength in her arm and hand. In addition, she has multiple tiny bone fragments loose in her left elbow that could not be restored to their natural position. As a result, she will experience an early onset of arthritis in her elbow that will progressively worsen as she ages.

The victim was represented by David M. Schmid, Esq., a personal injury attorney with Stark & Stark, headquartered in Princeton. The case was tried before Judge Mark Troncone in Ocean County, New Jersey – a traditionally conservative venue producing very few large verdicts. 

According to Mr. Schmid, prior to trial and in the face of clear evidence of the defendant’s negligence and permanent, life-altering injuries to Ms. Mahan, the defendant’s insurance company offered $15,000 to settle the case. Under New Jersey law, motorists are permitted to carry only $15,000 in liability insurance coverage. 

“This law and its inadequate liability coverage limit are woefully out of date and leave motorists and pedestrians at risk of having no reasonable source to be fully and fairly compensated for permanent, life-altering injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions,” said Mr. Schmid. 

He further explained, “The insurance industry uses its resources and influence to prevent any meaningful increase to New Jersey’s minimum liability insurance coverage limits. This case and the resulting jury verdict demonstrate why the New Jersey Legislature must take a stand against the insurance industry and its lobby in Trenton and finally raise the State’s minimum liability coverage law to a more current and reasonable level.”

For more information on this case, please visit https://www.stark-stark.com/legalstark/schmid-verdict/