Negligent Driver Ordered To Pay $21 Million In Personal Injury Damages After Leaving Another Motorist Paralyzed.

Since driving has become somewhat of a necessity, many of us may forget how dangerous motor vehicles can be if operated inappropriately.  Most cars weigh several tons and routinely travel at speeds as high as sixty, seventy, or even eighty miles per hour.  At those speeds, there are no safety measures, such as seatbelts and airbags, that can completely keep a person safe.  As a result, automotive accidents can result in serious personal injury or even wrongful death In Massachusetts alone, for example, there are, on average, about 150,000 car crashes each and every year, and there is an average of 31,000 motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. a year.

A car accident occurred in San Bernardino, California when Michael Nelsen was struck by another vehicle.  Nelsen, who was only twenty-seven-years-old at the time of the accident, was a passenger in a car going only about fifteen miles per hour due to congested traffic.  Suddenly, a van crashed into Nelsen’s car; the van reportedly was going eighty-miles per hour.  Even though Nelsen was wearing a seatbelt, he was severely injured by the collision due to the high rate of speed of the van.

Nelsen sustained a burst lumbar fracture at his L1 vertebrae and a fracture to his left femur which led to severe blood clotting and pulmonary embolism (a blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance that has traveled elsewhere though the bloodstream).  Nelsen’s multiple injuries culminated in a severe stroke, leaving him permanently paralyzed on the right side of his body. To recover damages for his injuries, Nelsen filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the van, who he alleges negligently crashed into Nelsen’s vehicle, causing his injuries.  A local jury found the driver of the van liable for all of Nelsen’s injuries and ordered him to pay $21 million in personal injury damages. While most of Nelsen’s long-term injuries arose from his stroke, Nelsen’s stroke was a direct result of the injuries he sustained from the car accident, making the driver of the van liable.

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your physical injuries.  Please contact one of our expert Massachusetts automotive accident injury lawyers today at 617-787-3700, or email us any time of day at

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