For Egil Krogh, it was a commuter flight gone terribly wrong – when his Corporate Airlines flight crash-landed in a limited-visibility situation, he not only saw the death of 11 passengers, the pilot, and co-pilot, but suffered extreme injuries himself. Krogh not only has post-traumatic stress disorder, but experienced fractures of the back and rib, a dislocated hip, and a traumatic brain injury. The medical bills totaled a whopping $200,000, and an unspecified amount of future medical costs.
Krogh, an orthopedic medicine professor, decided to fight back, suing Corporate Airlines for his injuries, disability, future medical care, and past and future lost wages. Workers’ compensation found that Krogh was 24 percent disabled. He claimed that the pilot tried to land the aircraft at a speed that was too high for the low-visibility conditions present at the landing. In addition, Krogh’s defense used the “sterile cockpit rule” to argue that crew members engaged in nonessential activities too close to landing time. They were apparently suffering from fatigue as the result of a long flight schedule preceding the crash. Krogh claimed that a more alert staff would have prevented the crash landing and its hefty toll on life and limb.
Though the defendants initially denied any liability for the devastating crash, they ultimately caved, offering Krogh an undisclosed sum to settle his claim. The sum of the settlement will remain confidential, but the case exhibits just one of the many options available to victims of personal injury who choose civil litigation to gain justice for their ordeals. With an astute lawyer, settlement can provide a win-win to both parties.
A well-negotiated settlement will usually protect a party who would likely face negligence convictions and significant damages in court while providing the injured plaintiff with funds to take care of past and future medical expenses. Though every case is different, a high-dollar settlement can be considered a very attractive outcome in some personal injury lawsuits.