$19.3M Verdict Awarded to NJ Motorcyclist Hit From Behind

A New Jersey man and his wife were awarded more than $19 million in one of the state’s largest jury verdicts last week, stemming from a motorcycle accident in which he was rear-ended by a pickup truck.

62-year-old Steve Vissagio and his wife Barbara, 60, received their verdict on May 22, 2014, concluding four days of testimony before Superior Court Judge Edward Gannon. The case involved addressing injuries Steve Visaggio had sustained in 2007 after he was rear-ended on his motorcycle by a pickup truck while traveling on Route 23 in Sussex Borough. Visaggio now suffers from permanent spinal, neck, and shoulder injuries. Because of the severity of these injuries, Visaggio, who is a father of eight children, was unable to return to running his business several months following the incident, and will likely in the future, according to his attorney, require spinal surgery in addition to already undergoing shoulder surgery.

According to court documents, the Visaggio family and their representing attorney Andrew Fraser of Laddey Clark & Ryan, had pursued settling the case out of court and had requested the plaintiff motor vehicle operator’s insurance carrier, Geico, to pay the family $250,000 in compensatory damages. Geico refused that offer and did not make a rebutting offer to the family prior to the Visaggios filing a lawsuit against the company. Mr. Vissagio was awarded a total of $15.5 million for his injuries and suffering, and Mrs. Vissagio was awarded $3.8 million in per quod damages.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 81,000 people were injured and 4,612 were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2011 in the United States; a 2% increase from the number in 2010 and a 41% increase from 2002. Motorcycle accidents account for an estimated 14% of the total number of motor-vehicle crashes in the United States annually, and the NHTSA estimates that per every vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in an accident, and 5x more likely to be injured during an accident.

According to the NHTSA nearly half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve collisions with other motor vehicles. According to past data 75% occurred with the motor vehicle in front of the motorcycle. Fatal motorcycle accidents are most likely to occur with fixed objects, rather than collisions with other motor vehicles.

As the weather continues to become warmer, more and more motorcyclists will be on the road. Whether you are traveling by motorcycle or in a passenger vehicle, it is incredibly important to be vigilant of your surroundings to ensure your safety, and others’ traveling on the roads.

At the law offices of Altman & Altman we have been representing clients who’ve been injured in car and motorcycle accidents for nearly 50 years. Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time away from work. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle collision, give one of our experienced Boston Car Accident Attorneys a call for a free consultation. Upon initial evaluation of your case, we will determine whether you qualify for compensation of your injuries. We stand committed and ready to assist you through this difficult and confusing time, and our lawyers are available around the clock to answer any and all questions about your case.

Original article here.

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