$1.42 Million Settlement Obtained for Plaintiff Injured in Multi-Vehicle Truck Accident

Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC recently secured a $1.42 Million settlement for its client who was severely injured in a three-vehicle collision involving a commercial truck. The subject incident occurred when the plaintiff’s car was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer after the car traveling immediately in front of the plaintiff lost control and “fish-tailed” in front of the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s vehicle was entirely crushed in the collision causing him to be entrapped. Emergency responders reported to the scene of the collision and eventually extricated the plaintiff from his vehicle who was then immediately transferred to the hospital.

The plaintiff filed his lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In his lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the truck driver and other driver were negligent in that they failed to maintain control of their vehicles and were driving at a speed that was too fast for the conditions. The plaintiff also alleged that trucking company was negligent because it failed to properly and adequately train the truck driver on how to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

The truck driver and trucking company, as well as the other driver, all denied liability and blamed the plaintiff alleging that he caused the accident. Complicating the case was the fact that the plaintiff could not remember the accident because of the injuries he sustained in the collision. However, through numerous depositions, accident-reconstruction experts, the evaluation and development of physical evidence from the collision scene and the involved-vehicles (e.g., gouge marks, vehicle damage, debris fields, crush points), and the downloading and interpretation of information from the engine control module (or “black box” data), the plaintiff was able to argue that the truck driver was speeding at an excessive rate of speed; failed to adjust his speed for the driving conditions (the recommended practice is to reduce your speed by 1/3 on wet roads and in traffic according to the Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License Manual); failed to keep a proper lookout ahead (the recommended practice is to look 12 to 15 seconds ahead which at highway speeds is about a quarter mile according to the CDL Manual); was unable to stop within the distance he could see ahead; and failed to maintain a safe space ahead. The plaintiff was also able to argue that the trucking company failed to properly train and supervise the truck driver, and that its overall safety program was deficient.

The plaintiff sustained severe orthopedic injuries, dental trauma, and internal injuries, but made a quick physical recovery. He later enrolled in additional schooling and is on-course to get an advanced degree. The plaintiff had no claim for lost wages.  

The settlement covered the plaintiff’s claims with the truck driver, trucking company, and other driver and totaled $1.42 Million—which nearly exhausted the insurance limits. The trucking company and truck driver were Canadian residents and the trucking company became defunct after the incident—all of which made collectability difficult and virtually eliminated the possibility of an excess verdict.

Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC is a plaintiff’s litigation firm that regularly handles claims arising from commercial truck, motor vehicle, and transportation accidents involving severe personal injury or wrongful death. Fitzsimmons Law Firm has successfully represented thousands of clients and secured over $1 Billion in verdicts and settlements.

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