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After Two Years-Liability Verdict: How Long For Damages?

In a rather unique legal situation, a jury in Alachua County Florida has rendered a verdict apportioning negligence between several defendants. The unique part of the story is that the jury was not asked to consider damages. I speculate that the damage issues have been agreed upon; it is, in my humble opinion, only remotely possible that a separate trial will be required for the damage portion of the case.

The case involved a serious crash on 1-75 in Florida that caused the death of Steven Bogue and serious injuries to Claudette DeRossett, a passenger in Bogue’s vehicle. Defendants, aside from Bogue (the jury assessed 15% responsibility to him), are the Alachua Police Department (which, according to the jury, was 35% responsible), the driver of the truck that Bogue ran into (found 15% responsible), and the driver of a commuter van (found 35% responsible) which collided with the second truck (a female passenger in the commuter van is pursuing litigation against the owner of the Bogue vehicle). The jury took less than two hours to apportion negligence in the case. Apparently, Bogue’s negligence level was a hotly contested issue in the case; I presume that his counsel was very satisfied with the 15% finding because the finding would mean that his negligence was a minor causative factor.

The accident happened on October 12, 2007, almost 2 years ago. The Florida Highway Patrol had shut down parts of southbound 1-75 because of a previous fatal accident and traffic was being routed off the freeway by the Alachua County Police. Traffic was either stopped or slowed and being detoured when Bogue, heading south on 1-75, approached the scene and struck the slowed or stopped vehicles. DeRossett’s attorney argued that Bogue neither stopped nor slowed, but other attorneys argued that other negligent factors existed, such as the officers handling of the detour, the decision to close the road and the actions of others involved in the accident. The vehicle that Bogue hit, for instance, had come to a complete stop, but did not employ emergency flashers.

What remains unresolved and unclear is how the jury’s verdict will impact damages. Assuming damage issues are still in play against various defendants (there may have been a prior settlement, or a provisional settlement based on a speculative jury finding) I would presume, from the apportioned numbers, that viable litigation still exists for Steven Bogue’s family members and for DeRossett (although, only 15% against Bogue).

This case is a classic candidate for lawsuit funding. The family of Steven Bogue lost its principal breadwinner and has been embroiled in litigation for almost two years. Liability issues are now resolved; how long will it take to resolve damages? In this wrongful death case, how is the life of Steven Bogue evaluated. In DeRossett’s case, she suffered a traumatic brain injury; I presume that this has effected her ability to earn a living and has caused significant financial hardship.

In both cases, the family of Steven Bogue and Claudette DeRossett should be entitled to damages. It has been two years and liability has just been decided. How have they sustained themselves, financially? One way is to obtain lawsuit funding. Lawsuit Financial is a company that provides non-recourse litigation funding to victims of negligence. Auto Accident lawsuit funding and/or Wrongful Death lawsuit funding is available to assist victims similar to the Steven Bogue family and Claudette DeRossett, regardless of how long it takes for their cases to resolve. And Lawsuit Financial’s legal funding is capped funding; after one year, the amount due will never increase and, if the case fails, the legal finance advance is completely excused. This is why these types of transactions are call non-recourse pre-settlement funding.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a serious accident and you have hired an attorney and filed a personal injury lawsuit, you may be a candidate for lawsuit funding from Lawsuit Financial. If you have not yet hired an attorney, Lawsuit Financial will find you one, in all 50 states. Disability or death from an accident can cause serious financial distress. Insurance companies compound that distress by delaying settlement as long as possible. Lawsuit Financial is the legal finance industry expert; call us, toll free, at 1-877-377-SUIT (7848) for a free analysis of your legal and financial situation. Or, visit us on the web at