Truck Accident Verdicts & Settlements
Our client was driving his pickup truck eastbound on an interstate. A longstanding roadway construction project was still ongoing that day, and traffic was backed up. This was an anticipated traffic backup, as a highway patrolman parked his service SUV along the shoulder, with his emergency lights flashing, to warn approaching vehicles of the traffic conditions.
Just before noon, our client slowed his vehicle for the obvious traffic conditions. Despite all other vehicles in the area observing and reacting to the slowed and stopped traffic, a professional truck driver, who was driving a “big rig” 18-wheeler, violently struck the rear of our client’s pickup truck at approximately 63 miles per hour. This impact propelled our client into the police vehicle at the exit ramp.
As a result of this catastrophic collision, our client sustained significant and traumatic injuries, and was rendered quadriplegic. He was hospitalized for an extended period of time and incurred large medical bills. During his hospitalization, he underwent several tracheostomies, due to the respiratory failure he suffered in this crash. Our client was discharged home with a motorized wheelchair which he struggled to operate.
Upon discharge from inpatient care, our client received in-home care daily. Unfortunately, he choked while eating due to tracheal stenosis – a condition caused by this horrific crash. His wife attempted to help him, but she was only able to witness her husband become unresponsive – a condition from which he would never recover. As a result of the multiple traumatic injuries he sustained in the collision, our client died seven (7) months after the horrific crash.
Immediately following this terrible crash, The NST trial team began its intensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this collision. After visiting the accident scene within hours of being retained, NST hired an accident reconstruction expert to examine the vehicles involved. Initially, the trucking company tried to settle this case for six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000), which was promptly rejected because it did not adequately compensate our clients. Thereafter, a lawsuit was filed, which was extensively litigated in Federal Court. The trucking company answered the allegations brought against it by characterizing this crash as an “unfortunate accident,” denying that they or their driver were responsible for our client’s injuries and tragic death. In fact, in an effort to avoid liability, the trucking company initially tried to blame our client and his wife for actions contributing to his death.
Our firm continued its investigation through the discovery process, and our trial lawyers uncovered many violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) which were committed by the trucking company and its professional driver. It was discovered that the trucking company had allowed its driver to be on duty for nearly 18 hours at the time of this crash – 4 hours over the Federally-mandated limit. It was also discovered that the trucking company had hired a driver with many serious medical conditions. The trucking company’s driver had even been prescribed certain medication the week before the crash – which, in particular, was an automatic disqualifier under the Federal regulations. Despite the obvious fault on the part of the trucking company, it continued to deny responsibility for this crash.
NST’s lawyers continued to fight the trucking company, hiring experts to investigate the areas of accident reconstruction, trucking regulations and standards, forensic cell phone analysis, economic losses, otolaryngology and forensic pathology. In all, 15 experts were disclosed in this litigation. In addition to voluminous written document production, a total of 44 depositions were taken in this case, all across the United States. Extensive motions were filed throughout this litigation, involving several day-long court hearings. Also, the NST trial team conducted several “focus groups” whereby we presented evidence to a representative class of individuals who might make up a potential jury so that we could determine how a real jury might react to this evidence and different arguments made by the defendants.
Shortly before trial, the trucking company finally admitted that it was at fault for the crash. Yet, despite its admission, the trucking company still refused to pay our client and his wife fair compensation, only offering One Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,300,000), which still did not adequately compensate our client. Several days before trial, the trucking company increased its offer to Three Million Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500,000), which was promptly rejected by our client because it still did not adequately compensate our client. Thereafter, with our client’s permission, we proceeded to trial.
The trial of this case began with a panel of 12 jurors. NST lawyers put on 21 witnesses, including expert and fact witnesses, in support of our client’s case. The trucking company tried to minimize the loss associated with the death of our client. On the final day of trial, just minutes before the jury was to hear closing arguments, the trucking company finally offered to settle this case for $6,301,713.00, which represented the remaining total of its insurance policy, increasing its “final” offer by nearly $3,000,000.00, and our client accepted this offer.
Team NST represented a married couple who were struck head-on by a “big rig” 18-wheeler truck at a high rate of speed on a two-lane road. Our clients had to be transported to the hospital by air ambulance helicopter. One of our clients (wife) suffered two compression fractures in her spine, a fractured shoulder and numerous compound fractures in her right leg. She was treated in the hospital for over two months and spent several months in a rehabilitation hospital. Our other client (husband) suffered numerous fractures as well including a fractured foot, sternum, and fractured ribs.
Importantly, the couple quickly hired NST’s legal team to represent them after this wreck and investigate the accident to help them receive compensation for their serious injuries. NST immediately deployed its Rapid Response Team to preserve and locate complex evidence and document the catastrophic injuries our clients suffered. Within days of the wreck, the NST Rapid Response Team had preserved critical evidence on the tractor trailer, hired the necessary experts to examine the accident scene, reconstruct the wreck, and investigate the trucking company and truck driver for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to help prove fault. For example, through its investigation, NST discovered that the “big rig” trailer brakes were not working properly at the time of the wreck, which was a violation of Federal law. The accident reconstruction expert then conducted an inspection of the tractor and trailer and determined that evidence had been altered in an attempt by the defendants to avoid being responsible for the accident and injuries. The information our team uncovered proved to be invaluable as our firm continued to develop this case.
In addition to developing the liability portion of this case, NST lawyers began the important documentation of our client’s life changing injuries and damages. Because of the complex injuries suffered by the clients, NST hired a medical expert to evaluate the injuries so that the expert could explain to the jury the damages suffered by our clients in such a way that the jury could easily understand the catastrophic nature of our client’s injuries and human damages.
Because our clients quickly hired NST, the case was properly investigated and developed and it proceeded through litigation in a timely manner. NST pursued the case aggressively, taking numerous depositions of witnesses and the defendants, to get the case ready to be heard in front of a jury. For example, armed with the information provided by the experts, NST trial attorneys took the deposition of the tractor-trailer driver and was able to get the defendant driver to admit that the brakes were not working on the trailer when he left the company yard and that the defendant trucking company knew the brakes were not working and instructed him to drive the tractor trailer anyway. NST’s trucking safety expert determined that the trucking company did not follow Federal law at the time of the wreck and had numerous violations in the past. NST requested and obtained a trial date before a jury so that we could achieve justice for our clients.
However, before trial, after initially denying to pay fair compensation, the trucking company requested a settlement conference, whereby the case settled for more than the Damage Caps allowed under state law due to the egregious facts of truck driver and trucking company misconduct that NST discovered in litigation. The clients settled the case for Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) within a year of the wreck.
The firm represented a sixty-seven-year-old male who was rear ended on the interstate by an 18-wheeler truck. The client had sustained serious injuries including a fractured neck, fractured vertebrae and rib fractures. The testimony of a witness was that the client was traveling at an extremely low rate of speed prior to being struck by the defendant truck driver. The firm utilized an accident reconstructionist and secured the "black box" data from the truck to help prove the fault of the truck driver. The firm filed a lawsuit and after extensive discovery, including several depositions of experts and lengthy mediations, the firm was able to resolve the case for $1,200,000.00.Continue Reading
Our firm represented a family that was struck by an eighteen wheeler. Our clients were sitting at a red light when an eighteen wheeler failed to stop and plowed into the back of our client’s vehicle. Tragically, the husband died due to his injuries and the wife suffered catastrophic injuries. NST settled with the trucking company for a confidential seven figure settlement due to the death of the husband and injuries to the wife.Continue Reading
Our firm represented a 58-year-old man who was tragically killed when he was struck by an 18-wheeler on a bridge. Team NST immediately began its investigation and development of this case for hotly contested litigation. The Trucking company refused to accept responsibility for this wreck, so our litigation team enlisted several experts, including accident reconstructionists, trucking industry experts and engineers. Our firm also hired an expert economist to evaluate the economic loss suffered as a result of the death of this gentleman. Throughout the intense litigation process, our litigation team took over 18 depositions, engaged in many court hearings and vigorous motion practice. The case was mediated just a few months before trial, where the matter was resolved for a significant confidential seven-figure settlement.Continue Reading
The firm successfully represented a forty-three-year-old disabled veteran who was involved in an automobile accident in which the car he was driving was struck head-on by a tractor trailer truck that turned in front of him. Following the accident, the client was taken by air ambulance to a hospital where he was found to have suffered multiple left leg and hip fractures which led to serious blood clotting problems. These injuries required extensive medical treatment and recovery. The firm aggressively pursued litigation and documentary discovery from the trucking company and was able to successfully mediate the case and obtain a settlement of $685,000.00 for the client. The firm was also able to secure significant reductions in the medical bills resulting in more money for the client.Continue Reading
Our client was a truck driver delivering to a warehouse when he was struck by an industrial forklift inside the warehouse breaking the bones in his leg. The defendants denied fault for the incident claiming that our client should not have been in the area the accident took place. Our client required surgery for the broken bones in his leg. NST hired and used seven expert witnesses including a Forklift expert, vocational expert, economist, orthopedic expert and psychologist to show that the defendant company did not follow the established rules for operating forklifts and was at fault. These experts were also used to show the human damages our client suffered due to the fault of the defendant company for not following the rules. NST also hired a focus group expert to conduct several focus groups to help us prepare for trial. NST aggressively prepared the client’s case for trial and the defendant company settled the case a few days before the start of trial for the sum of $645,000.00.Continue Reading
Text: Team NST represented a couple whose pick-up truck, while traveling at a very slow rate of speed, was struck in the rear by an 18 wheeler on the interstate. The female passenger in the truck sustained serious injuries resulting in two surgeries. In order to maximize the best recovery, our firm rapidly deployed an accident reconstruction expert and immediately filed suit against the at-fault driver and trucker. After taking the depositions of the truck driver and the neurosurgeon who performed the surgeries, our clients' cases settled at mediation for a combined amount of $500,000. Team NST was also able to significantly reduce the health insurance lien claimed in the case, allowing for an even greater net recovery for our clients.Continue Reading
Our client was working as a commercial motor vehicle operator on the job when he was struck by another eighteen wheeler. The defendant truck driver was not paying attention and going too fast and ran into the back of our client’s trailer. When this wreck happened, our client had just recovered from a previous back surgery involving an unrelated wreck. The trucking company defendant attempted to reduce our client’s damages arguing that the client’s current back problems were due to the unrelated wreck and not the wreck that they caused. The trucking company even hired two expert witness doctors to testify that our client’s back was not injured in the wreck. The NST team of lawyers deeply believed in our client and his injuries and hired four expert witness doctors to show that in fact our client did suffer back injuries from being struck by the eighteen wheeler. In addition, NST hired two employment expert witnesses to show that our client had suffered a loss of income due to his back injuries. The case settled at a judicial mediation for the sum of $500,000.00. NST was also able to negotiate an agreement with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier where the insurance company agreed to waive the sum of $341,039.55 that our client had received in a prior workers’ compensation settlement due to the wreck.Continue Reading
Our client was operating a motorcycle and was struck by a truck. Our client suffered numerous and significant injuries and incurred over $400,000 in medical bills. A significant confidential settlement was reached with the defendants, compensating our injured client.Continue Reading