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Passenger awarded $256,424 for disc herniations sustained in auto crash. Pre-suit offer: $5,000

Case Conclusion Date: 03.10.2010

Practice Area: Car accident

Outcome: $256,424 jury verdict

Description: Benka v. Lefkowitz. Case No. 502006CA005530. Milotka Benka suffered neck injuries in a crash caused by Lindsay Lefkowitz, and was awarded $256,424 by a Palm Beach County jury. In 2003, Ms. Benka was a passenger in a van on the Florida Turnpike when Lefkowitz's car in front of her started to fishtail. The van swerved to avoid the car and struck the center median barrier. Benka was diagnosed with four cervical disc herniations. Her treating neuro-surgeon recommended an anterior cervical discectomy, fusion and plating. Unfortunately, Ms. Benka had suffered a heart attack 11 years earlier, and had been on disability ever since. Due to this serious heart condition, she could not obtain a cardiologist's clearance to move forward with the surgery. More than half of the jury's award was for future pain and suffering. State Farm had originally offered $5,000 to settle this case before a lawsuit was filed.

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