Oklahoma City man awarded $800,000 settlement after being hit by uninsured driver

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A metro man who was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash was awarded a big settlement in court.

"I really don't remember what happened, I just woke up in OU trauma,” Joe Morton said.

Morton was riding his motorcycle near 10th and May when police say Amanda Villatoro hit him as she was turning into a grocery store parking lot.

Authorities say Morton had no time to react at the time of the accident.

Paramedics rushed him to the hospital with a broken arm and shattered bones in his face.

Emergency crews say the 27-year-old even suffered a stroke.

“I woke up and couldn't see, I was seeing like four of everything,” Morton said.

Villatoro wasn't injured in the accident, but she spent a day in jail because she didn't have insurance or a driver's license.

Morton's medical bills piled up as he was unable to work for six months, so he decided to sue.

He told his story to a judge, who just ordered Villatoro to pay Morton $800,000.

However, the defendant never even showed up to court and Morton's attorney says he will probably never see a dime of that settlement.

“They didn’t come to the trial this week, they haven’t appeared for anything in court, nothing has happened to them - one day in jail, that’s it,” attorney Noble McIntyre said.

“I don’t know if she has a job we can garnish from, we’ll try, but what typically has happened in the past is if we get a verdict and try to garnish somebody, they just quit that job and go to another job,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre doesn’t think these situations will go away unless the legislature changes the law to hold people accountable.

One in four drivers in our state don’t have insurance, just like Villatoro.

As for Joe, his vision will never be the same. But only a scar remains on his arm, and his face has healed.

“I don't have any choice but to keep going,” Morton said.

He’s thankful for a miracle and hopeful his story will lead to change.

Oklahoma leads the nation in the number of uninsured drivers.

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