$32.5M Jury Verdict to Brain Injury Victim in 2006 Car Crash

An Indiana woman who suffered severe brain injuries and partial paralysis when the car she was riding in struck a jackknifed tractor-trailer on an icy road at night in January 2006 has been awarded a $32.5 million verdict by an Indiana jury.

The victim, Kristen Zak, who was 31 years old at the time of the Jan. 17, 2006 crash, was a passenger in a car that was traveling on Interstate 65 near Remington, Ind., when the car slid on an icy patch and collided with a tractor-trailer truck, according to a May 22 story in the Gary, Indiana, Post-Tribune newspaper.

The J.B. Hunt Transport truck, which was being driven by Terry Brown Jr., had jackknifed and crashed into a median an hour before it was struck by the car Zak was riding in, the story reported. At the time of the crash, Zak was in a car being operated by a driver identified as Matt Robinson.

In a lawsuit against the trucking company and driver the plaintiffs alleged that the tractor-trailer was traveling too fast for the wintry conditions when it jackknifed and became disabled. The lawsuit also alleged that the truck driver “failed to abide by safety regulations” that would have required him to turn on emergency flashers and set up reflective safety devices to warn other drivers of his crashed truck, the story reported.

“The impact of the collision caused serious damage to the left side of Zak’s brain, causing paralysis on her right side and serious cognitive deficits,” the report continued. The crash also left her wheelchair-bound, unable to care for her 6-year-old daughter and incapable of recognizing her fiancé right after the crash, according to the story. She was in a coma for about a month after the incident.

After a three-week trial in Lake Superior Court in Indiana, the jury reached its verdict and awarded $32.5 million to Zak for her severe injuries. The jury found that the trucking company and truck driver were each found to be responsible for 30 percent of the verdict, while Robinson was found to be responsible for 40 percent, the story reported.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-(866) 352-4572 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

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