$11 Million Truck Accident Settlement

In 2015, our client drove home towards Salinas on Highway 101 North. At the same time, a long-haul truck driver was driving southbound. Suddenly, the truck driver crossed over the center median strip of Highway 101 and into oncoming traffic. His big-rig flipped over on top of our client’s small passenger car, flattening it. Amazingly, our client was not killed, but was rendered a quadriplegic.

From the start, the defendant driver and his trucking company employer claimed that an unforeseeable and sudden medical emergency had incapacitated the truck driver, thus absolving them of all liability. Our attorneys conducted extensive research and consulted many eminent experts, thereby determining that such a defense was inapplicable to the given situation. The driver was smoking a cigarette, talking on a cell phone, and operating his tractor-trailer rig in the fast lane at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit. Our review of the driver’s medical records and documents produced by the trucking company revealed that the driver felt dizzy earlier in the day, but still chose to drive.

These circumstances, coupled with the driver’s 40-year history of uncontrolled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, extremely poor diet, and smoking, led us to determine that no jury would find this event “unforeseeable.” In search of the true picture behind the driver’s health history, our office traveled on two occasions to the east coast to take the depositions of the trucking company employees charged with overseeing the driver’s behavior and also the depositions of the many doctors and medical personnel who had treated the driver over a 15 year span.

In addition to the above, we had our client evaluated by a well-respected rehabilitation medicine doctor who determined the type of treatment and care our client would need for the remainder of his life. That proscription was transmitted to a certified life care planner who costed out the plan and an expert economist who translated the costs to present value.

Based on that research and preparation, we were adamant that the defendant should pay for the medical care our client needed for the rest of his life, and for the severe emotional trauma he suffered. Due to the truck driver’s reckless actions, our client required lifelong medical assistance and equipment. In addition, our client’s ability to physically interact with his children and live the life he had before the accident was taken away from him. When the matter was brought to mediation, our lawyers convinced the defense counsel and their insurers that they had no choice but to settle, as we were prepared to win a substantial verdict should the case go in front of a jury. Based on our arguments and the likelihood they would lose at a jury trial, the trucking company agreed to settle with our client for $11 million.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle, give our office a call. We accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis. Our firm will get paid only if you are awarded a monetary judgment or accept a settlement. Call our offices at 831-373-3700 to schedule your free case evaluation.