Jury awards accident victim $409k – more than 10 times insurance company’s offer

Hutchinson, KS – A Reno County jury earlier this month awarded a Hutchinson woman more than $409,000 in damages resulting from a car accident, finding she suffered significant and lasting injuries and deserved more than 10 times the amount the defendant’s insurance company had offered.

The trial arose from a car accident that happened on K-96 highway outside of Haven. The plaintiff, Victoria Hester, was driving westbound on K-96 when the defendant pulled in front of her, causing a highway-speed collision that sent her to the hospital. She hurt her back, neck, and shoulder in the wreck, but her most serious injury was the effect the trauma had on her migraines — she had suffered from a genetic condition causing migraine headaches, but after the collision, her migraines became more frequent, intense, and long-lasting.

The defendant’s insurance company denied that Hester had suffered permanent injuries and refused to accept that the defendant had caused the accident. It took this position despite testimony from an independent witness that the defendant had darted out in front of Victoria, giving her no time to react. The defendant’s insurance company would only offer $40,000.01 to Hester to compensate her for her injuries.

Hester declined the offer and opted for a jury trial. Her attorney Jesse Tanksley, a partner with Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley Injury Attorneys, successfully argued during the multi-day trial that the defendant was 100% at fault for the accident, and that because of his negligence, Hester sustained severe and permanent injuries that significantly affected her life and will require life-long medical treatment. The jury agreed and awarded Hester a total verdict of $409,116.48 for her past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and her pain, suffering, and mental anguish. The verdict was more than 10 times the amount the insurance company had offered.

Tanksley said: “I’m thankful the jury saw through the defense team’s arguments. They tried to avoid responsibility for the accident and how badly Vicky was hurt, but the jury didn’t let them get away with it.  And I’m so happy that Vicky will be able to get the medical treatment she needs.”

Mike Wyatt, a fellow Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley partner, said the ultimate goal of taking Hester’s case to trial was to seek the full amount that she rightfully deserved and allow her to share her story.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to represent this wonderful woman and ensure that she received justice, full compensation, and most importantly that her voice was heard,” Wyatt said.