Government Admits to Liability in Car Accident Case, Damages Determined by Judge

Earlier this month, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued a written opinion in a case filed against a government that elucidates one issue of sovereign immunity that is not often seen in personal injury cases. In the case, Moreno v. City of Gering, the court only had to determine the amount of damages that was appropriate because the City of Gering admitted liability for the accident.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff, Moreno, was riding as a passenger on a county bus when it was struck by a van that was being operated by a volunteer from the city’s fire department. The impact from the collision resulted in Moreno being ejected from the bus, and she landed on the pavement nearby.

Moreno had suffered from back pain in the past, and according to her, the accident aggravated that pain. After her injury, Moreno consulted with a physician, who recommended that she receive surgery to help correct the aggravation of the pre-existing condition caused by the accident. She had the surgery performed.

At trial, the city admitted that it was responsible for the accident, but it could not reach an agreement with Moreno as far as the amount of damages that was appropriate. Thus, the case proceeded to trial on the damages issue only.

At trial, the city argued that the surgery was not necessary, and the city’s attorney went as far as to call the performing surgeon a “criminal” for performing an unnecessary procedure. However, at trial, that surgeon did testify, and he explained that in his medical opinion the surgery was necessary to help Moreno with her pain. After the judge heard the evidence, he determined that the plaintiff was entitled to about $575,000 in damages.

The City Appeals the Damages Amount

The city was not satisfied with the judge’s decision below and filed an appeal. The city made several arguments, one of which was that the surgery was not necessary and that the city should not be responsible for paying for it, even though they were responsible for the accident. However, the court disagreed, explaining that the surgeon’s testimony was not objectionable and that it established the plaintiff’s need for the surgery. The court explained the fact that the defendant was required to compensate the plaintiff for all of her injuries, including the aggravation of her pre-existing condition.

Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Washington, D.C. car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for all that you have been through. As noted in the case discussed above, this may include any aggravation of pre-existing injuries. To learn more about Washington, D.C. personal injury cases, call the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at 410-654-3600 today. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation on your part unless we are successful in helping you recover compensation for your injuries.

More Blog Posts:

Product Liability Appeal against Food Manufacturer Dismissed for Failure to Preserve Alleged Error, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, March 23 2016

Court Holds City Employee Not Entitled to Immunity as a “Land Owner”, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, April 1, 2016

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