Some traffic crashes are severe enough to cause permanent injuries. Motorcycle accidents can be particularly serious because the rider has relatively little protection. If a rider crashes into an object due to someone else's negligence, he or she could be hurt for a lifetime.
A former San Diego man successfully sought compensation for such an injury recently. The 23-year-old Navy officer was making a left turn on his motorcycle. When a shuttle van turned in front of him, his Harley-Davidson collided with it and he was thrown onto the bike's handlebars, according to the man's attorneys. He was taken to the hospital with a crushed pubic bone, a catastrophic injury that required reconstructive surgery. He underwent the operation, but it permanently shortened his penis by about 1.5 inches; he was also left with nerve damage.
The man is no longer with the Navy and now lives in South Carolina. He got married shortly before the accident but is now divorced. It's uncertain whether he'll ever be able to conceive children.
The man successfully sued the parent company of the shuttle bus, which was being driven at the time of the accident by a non-U.S. citizen with an expired license who had not completed formal shuttle bus driver's training.
The defendant company says it plans to appeal the settlement, which amounted to $7.5 million. As with many personal injury settlements, it may seem difficult to put a dollar value on the loss of quality of life. But accident victims who suffer a permanent or life-changing injury are entitled to seek compensation from the party who caused it.
Source: UT San Diego, "Jury awards man with penis injury $7.5 million," Greg Moran, Jan. 19, 2012
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