East Tennessee Attorney Brack Terry Obtains $120,000 Jury Award For Injured Mail Carrier

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The mail carrier was rear-ended on the job by an uninsured Morristown motorist and developed tinnitus, or severe ringing in her ears; she was granted compensation for permanent injuries and her loss of ability to enjoy life.

TN Lawyer F. Braxton "Brack" Terry

This keeps with our philosophy that the amount of medical bills, sometimes used as a barometer to determine the total damages by an insurance company, often has very little relation to how bad a person is injured in many cases.

A mail carrier represented by East Tennessee attorney Brack Terry of Terry, Terry & Stapleton has won a $120,000 jury verdict in Hamblen County Circuit Court for injuries -- severe ringing in her ears -- that she suffered after her vehicle was struck as she delivered mail.

The carrier, Frances DeLand of Talbott, was driving a 2003 Ford with a flashing light mounted on top when her vehicle was hit from behind by a 1992 Mazda driven by a Morristown resident. The accident occurred about 1:25 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2007.

In September 2008, Terry filed suit (docket No. 08CV172) on behalf of DeLand against the other motorist, alleging careless and reckless driving that resulted in injuries to his client. The lawsuit sought compensation for serious and disabling injuries that impaired DeLand’s capacity for work, as well as pain and suffering, loss of income and medical bills, and her husband’s loss of consortium.

The injury which Ms. Deland suffered was tinnitus, which Terry described as a severe ringing in her ears.

The Morristown motorist was uninsured at the time of the accident. DeLand’s insurer, Allstate Insurance Co., was sued under the state’s uninsured / underinsured statute. In its response, Allstate said it had paid $5,000 to cover DeLand’s medical bills and asked that the payment be deducted from any amount awarded to DeLand.

On Jan. 27, a Hamblen County Circuit Court jury awarded DeLand $120,312. The jury verdict included $25,000 for permanent impairment or disfigurement and $50,000 for Deland's loss of ability to enjoy life.

“My client got hurt doing her job, suffering permanent injuries, and she deserved compensation. Fortunately, the jury agreed,” Terry said.

Terry said he believed the verdict was the largest ever in Tennessee based solely on the injury of tinnitus.

"It's important to note that my client had medical bills of only $8,000 and medical equipment expenses of about $12,000," Terry said. "This keeps with our philosophy that the amount of medical bills, sometimes used as a barometer to determine the total damages by an insurance company, often has very little relation to how bad a person is injured in many cases."

About Terry, Terry & Stapleton

Terry, Terry & Stapleton is a firm of personal injury lawyers and criminal trial attorneys that has served East Tennessee residents for more than 46 years. The firm handles personal injury and wrongful death cases, including car accident claims, workplace injuries, Social Security Disability claims, medical malpractice lawsuits and product liability cases. The firm also represents Tennessee residents accused of criminal charges. For more information, visit the firm's Web site or contact the firm at 1-800-518-3779.

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