Jurors award damages to injured driver

David Yates May 22, 2007, 1:00pm

In a trial that began Monday, jurors agreed that a woman injured in a collision should receive compensation for her physical injuries as well as damage to the vehicle.

LaToya Williams was in a motor vehicle collision on Nov. 27, 2004, when they were traveling eastbound on Lucas Drive.

The plaintiffs said they were stopped at a stop sign when their vehicle was struck from behind by a U-Haul truck.

They filed a personal injury lawsuit against Travis Hinkston, the driver of the U-Haul that hit them. The case came to trial May 21 in the 172nd Jefferson County District Court with Judge Donald Floyd presiding.

In closing arguments Tuesday, plaintiffs' attorney David Starnes asked jurors in his closing remarks to award Williams $25,000 in damages. She received less than half of that.

Jurors awarded $9,353 to Williams and found Hinkston negligent for the collision. The damages included awards for medical expenses, vehicle damage and physical pain and suffering and mental anguish.

"Hinkston will never pay for damages, if the jurors don't deliver a fair and impartial verdict," Starnes said.

Starnes said that while Hinkston apologized for causing the accident, "Apologies don't pay for damages."

The defense attorney said that the woman's injuries were not severe, and said that jurors should draw a line in the sand when it comes to awarding undeserved damages or else "each and every one of us could find ourselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit."

Case No. E174060

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