Jury Awards Paralyzed Kansas Accident Victim $38.5M

February 12, 2018

A woman paralyzed from the chest down in a 2014 southeast Kansas crash has won a $38.5 million verdict.

The Joplin Globe reports that Cherokee County jurors returned the verdict after a five-day trial. Kara Hansen was just 16 and behind the wheel of a 1966 Ford Mustang when she was struck from behind while waiting to turn left into the driveway of her family’s home.

The Mustang had only a lap belt and the back of her driver’s seat broke. She hit her head on the windshield and now needs around-the-clock care.

A deputy testified that the driver who rear-ended Hansen was following too closely and not paying adequate attention. The driver was minimally insured, raising questions about how much of the verdict Hansen will receive.

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