US woman receives nearly $15m after bus accident

While personal injury solicitors in the UK are undoubtedly good at winning compensation claims, they’ll have a lot to do if they want to get a settlement even close to one recently agreed in the United States.

A court in California has this week awarded a 20-year-old mother almost $15 million (£8.9 million) after she was hurt when a bus she was travelling on went over a speed bump.

Maria Francisco was bounced off her seat so violently that she damaged her vertebrae. At the time, the bus driver refused to accept that she’d been genuinely injured, but later x-rays in hospitals showed that surgery was required.

The bus was travelling at 30mph, twice the speed limit for the area due to it being a school zone. A video played in court showed Ms Francisco coming off her seat and then landing on her back.

Driver, Dolly Gilmore, did stop the bus, but merely accused Ms Francisco of faking injury before threatening to sue her for wasting her time.

Ms Francisco’s medical bills came to around $1 million and it is estimated that she will need another $2.4 worth of treatments in the future.

A jury found in favour of the claimant, ordering the bus company to pay $14.3 million in compensation plus a further $1 million for the emotional anguish caused to her daughter, who witnessed the accident.

The incident has taken nearly three years to go through the court process and Ms Francisco said she was pleased to have the matter finally settled. She added that she will be praying that similar accidents do not happen to other people, as her injuries have caused a “tremendous strain” on her and members of her family.

Ms Francisco is able to walk, but encounters pain on a daily basis and her condition is likely to get worse with age. The court was told that the injury now makes it very difficult for her to have sex and she is unlikely have any more children as a result.

While the payout is huge, it is still dwarfed by the largest ever won by personal injury solicitors in the UK. Back in 2012, 17-year-old Agnes Collier was awarded £23 million for injuries suffered in a car accident in Gloucestershire.

Making A Personal Injury Claim0 comments

Comments are closed.