Victim and His Family Awarded $14 Million After Traumatic Brain Injury Personal Injury Lawsuit
In 2010, then-16-year-old Zachary Duncan ran his car off the road and into a tree, causing a severe traumatic brain injury. He and his family sued Hyundai Motor Corp after the accident because the side airbags failed to deploy.
Now, the jury awarded the family $14 million in damages, because Hyundai’s vehicle was “unreasonably dangerous.”
According to news reports at from 2010, Duncan ran his car off the right side of the road when he sped up, trying to get around his friend’s car in front of him. Duncan hit a snow bank, rolled down the hill, and collided with a tree. The passenger in his Hyundai Triburon was fine, but Duncan slammed his head into the roof rail, causing traumatic brain damage.
In the last three years, Duncan has had to re-learn to walk and talk. He has a difficult time making eye contact. His parents have paid more than $100,000 for his medical expenses. During the lawsuit, his attorney claimed that the traumatic brain damage never would have occurred if the airbag sensor would have worked, and the side airbags deployed.
Hyundai has issued a series of recalls related to faulty airbag sensors. “Hopefully, this will cause automobile manufacturers to really make sure they’re putting safe vehicles on the road,” said Duncan’s attorney in his closing statements.
Hyundai Will Appeal Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Verdict
Although Hyundai admits that there have been problems with airbag sensors in their vehicles, the company says that they disagree with the jury’s decision in the traumatic brain injury lawsuit, and they plan to appeal it.
“While we are sympathetic to this young man and his family, the facts are that (Zachary) Duncan rolled his car into a tree. The roof was crushed by the tree and impacted his head,” said Hyandai spokesman Jim Trainor. “No side airbag in the world would have prevented his injury.”
Hyundai discontinued making Triburons in 2008, and has issued recalls for Triburon model years 2003 to 2008 because of faulty airbag sensors. However, Trainor noted that 2008 model year Triburons – like the one Duncan drove – surpassed federal safety standards, and were awarded four stars in federal side impact crash tests.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Traumatic Brain Injury Victims
Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
Traumatic brain injury may be the result of a:
For many victims, a traumatic brain injury is not immediately noticeable. A great amount of force does not need to be applied to sustain a head injury.
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident, defective product, or negligence, the Strom Law Firm can help. We understand the emotional and financial impact of serious personal injuries. Our firm offers free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.