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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

In what can only be described as a stunning verdict, a King County, Washington jury has awarded $30.2 million to musician Koti Hu, the victim of a car accident that made him a quadriplegic.
Three years ago, on July 28 of 2007, Koti Hu was rear-ended by a white pick up truck traveling at 60 mph when he was sitting in his Datsun, waiting for the ramp light on Interstate 405 to turn green. Before the crash, Hu, a talented classical musician, also used to play in rock bands and sang. He regularly performed with his family’s church, his father said.

Since the crash, Koti Hu, 30, is cared for by his parents. "He’s paralyzed from the chest down," said Yalung Hu. Koti Hu sued both the owner of the truck and the state Department of Transportation (DOT) after the crash. Michael McKinstry, Hu’s lawyer, claimed that the meter on-ramp is a bad design. The stop line is right at the edge of the shadows and is visible to drivers only after coming around a 180-degree curve.

While the jury found the company that owns the truck was 60 percent responsible for the accident, the DOT is held responsible for the remaining $12 million. DOT spokesman Steve Pierce said that an appeal is likely, as DOT strongly disagree with jury’s finding.

On a website Hu started after the accident, he said that he has recently returned to college and still works closely with his church. No one can underestimate the devastation experienced by someone who suddenly became quadriplegic. An injury of this magnitude means major and expensive lifestyle changes. All of these costs are covered in Hu’s case, but no amount of money can ever replace what he lost.

Our congratulations go out to Hu’s family and their lawyer, Mr. McKinstry, for the substantial award they were able to garner. It is a terrible and financially straining ordeal that Hu’s family has had to undergo and unfortunately, those lucky enough to survive a catastrophic car crash, often face financial devastation and physical hardship the rest of their entire adult lives.

As with all serious injury cases, it is especially crucial to seek out professional legal advice in car accident injury cases and we have the experienced injury attorneys to evaluate your claim. Our firm is ready to assist you in reviewing your specific situation to see if your claim meets our criteria. In North Carolina, as well as every other state, there are laws on how long you have to file a suit also. Don’t hesitate, call our toll free number and get confidential legal advice.

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