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Jury Awards Women $648,000 in Crash

November 21′, 2007

By Andy Grimm Post-Tribune staff writer

CROWN POINT – Almost 10 years ago, Lisa Sinar decided her pain and suffering was worth more than the $3,900 settlement she was offered on behalf of the man who rear-ended her on the Borman Expressway. As it turns out, a Lake County jury thought she was right. Big time. Jurors awarded Sinar, 30, $648,000 after a four-day trial, and years of delays since she turned down the settlement after her 1998 crash. “You had a person that was 20 years old (at the time of the crash) who is going to have medical expenses and pain and suffering her whole life,” said Sinar’s attorney, Matt LaTulip of Schererville. “It was a just award.”

Attorneys for William Bradley, the man who rear-ended Sinar near the exit for Interstate 65, were disappointed by the six-figure award. Sinar testified that she was merging onto the off-ramp and had nearly slowed to a stop when Bradley’s Ford F-350 pickup struck her from behind at about 5 mph. Bradley claimed she swerved in front of him from the left lane, and accident reconstructionists hired by each endorsed both versions of events. Sinar, who now lives in Noblesville, has since married and had children, and never missed a day of work from her injuries, which cause chronic pain in her neck. She works in accounting, and witnesses testified she is able to participate in hobbies like volleyball and fishing, though she needs regular chiropractic therapy and has accrued more than $40,000 in’medical expenses related to the crash. Before the trial, LaTulip asked Bradley’s attorneys for a settlement equal to the maximum allowed under his insurance company, about $100,000. LaTulip said Bradley would not be liable for the jury award. “Every once in a while, jurors are very sympathetic to a plaintiff,” said Bradley’s attorney, Martin Kus. “I would think there is going to be an appeal. A decision has not been made.