A recent court verdict awarded the victim of a 2016 auto wreck $4.1 million in damages that will be paid by the federal government. The accident was caused by an on-duty agent working for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The 55-year-old injury victim was left permanently disabled as a result of the wreck. He remains unable to drive a car or return to his job at Southern California Edison. According to the lawsuit, the DEA agent was distracted at the time of the wreck and drove right into the rear of the victim’s car. The victim, whose car was stopped at the time, said that he saw the agent’s car approaching and could see that the driver’s eyes were not on the road. However, he was powerless to do anything to stop the accident from happening.
Ultimately, the victim was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) called post-concussion syndrome. Victims of post-concussion syndrome can suffer long-term problems with headaches, vertigo, fatigue, dizziness and memory problems, among other issues. When the victim and his wife filed a claim for their medical bills, lost income and other damages, the government offered only $900,000 to settle their claim.
The perseverance of the plaintiff was rewarded with a much larger and fairer verdict. Traumatic brain injuries are among the most catastrophic kinds of injuries and victims seldom fully recover. Not only does this lawsuit illustrate the responsibility of an employer (the government) for an employee’s (the DEA agent) negligent actions while working, it also shows the importance of fighting for a reasonable settlement.