The Florida State Senate has passed a bill approving a $10.75 million settlement for Eric Brody, who was seriously injured when hit by a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy. A jury awarded Brody over $30 million in 2005 but the Senate must approve any award over $200,000 that is paid by a government agency. Now 32, Brody was driving home from a part-time job in 1988 when the college-bound high school student was rear-ended by Sheriff’s deputy Christopher Thieman. Though the speed limit was 45 miles per hour, it is estimated that the deputy was going at least 70 miles per hour, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Brody was badly injured experienced significant brain injury, was in an induced coma for six months, and remains confined to a wheelchair.
Thieman was allegedly speeding on the way to a mandatory roll-call at the district station, as he was running late after visiting his girlfriend. Brody was driving a 1982 AMC Concord and was returning home from his job at the Sawgrass Mills Sports Authority. The student was turning left into his development and had crossed two of the three lanes when Thieman switched lanes and smashed into the passenger’s side of his car. Thieman was found by a jury to be 100% negligent in causing the accident. Brody was airlifted to Broward General Hospital where he underwent extensive surgery to repair bodily injuries and extensive brain damage.
Brody was induced into a coma, which he remained in for upwards of six months. Rehabilitation helped Brody regain the abilities to walk, talk, eat, and other basic functions, but he remains disabled. In addition to having to get around in a wheelchair, Brody still cannot perform functions to the fullest extent, has speech disabilities, cognitive dysfunction, judgment impairment, memory loss, and visual disabilities. Ranger Insurance Co. insured the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and will pay the entirety of the settlement. Though the policy limit was $3 million, the insurance company ignored 7 letters asking for settlement and waited years until the trial date to offer a settlement. The settlement is intended to pay for Brody’s medical care, living expenses, vocational training, and recreational activities.
Brain injuries can have devastating consequences for victims, often leading to the need for long-term rehabilitation and care. In addition, many brain injury victims are unable to return to work or function as they previously were able to. Even those with mild head trauma will notice a serious impact on their job, social interaction and finances.
Due to the serious nature of brain injuries, personal injury laws allow victims who were hurt as a result of another’s negligence the opportunity to seek compensation. As with Eric Brody, a victim may seek remuneration for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, current and future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, contact an experienced brain injury attorney to see if you are eligible to pursue legal recourse. Contact us today for a risk-free, no-cost case evaluation.