New Jersey Auto Accident Victims Awarded $17 Million

An Ocean County jury has awarded more than $17 million to a Lacey family that was injured in a 2006 auto accident in New Jersey, according to this news report in the Asbury Park Press. Jennifer Roden, 30, was on the way to a new car dealer with her 33-year-old husband, Alvin, and their three young children on Aug. 5, 2006 when a Hyundai crossed over the center line on Route 9 and struck Roden’s Taurus head-on.

One of Roden’s daughters, Madeline Kearney, 6 years old at the time of the crash, suffered a spinal injury that left her with permanent leg paralysis. Her 4-year-old sister, Victoria, suffered a head injury and needed emergency stomach surgery and 4-month-old Gavin Roden suffered a traumatic brain injury that required extensive treatment, the news report said. Jennifer Roden suffered broken ankles in the New Jersey car crash. The driver of the Hyundai, 24-year-old Corey Clifford, did not face criminal charges in the crash. He was driving home from work after an early morning shift at New Jersey Manufacturers, which was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The company is expected to appeal the judgment. A number of legal issues must still be sorted out before the family gets any money from the settlement. A provision in New Jersey law known as prejudgment interest – an additional sum that adds to civil penalties based on the amount of time that has passed since the accident – would bring the ultimate award to more than $20 million.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an auto accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. As seen in this case, if the negligent driver was on-the-job at the time of the accident or returning from work, then the employer could also be held liable. There are many complex legal issues involved in such cases. Please contact the knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein to find out more about your rights and legal options.