A motorcyclist permanently disabled with a traumatic brain injury, back and nerve pain and vision problems after a commercial vehicle swerved into her lane reached a $2.65 million settlement with the truck owners and its operator.
The plaintiff, sustained a traumatic head injury, nerve palsy that caused vision problems, cognitive deficiencies, multiple rib fractures, a fractured right scapula and a torn left biceps tendon. In addition, she suffered severe cervical and lumbar injuries resulting in debilitating pain in her neck, back and left leg and was a candidate for spinal surgery. She also suffered from severe, debilitating pain and weakness in both shoulders and tingling and numbness in both of her arms and hands.
The key to the settlement, said Braker, was proving that the defendant driver had made a careless lane change that left my client with a “no escape” scenario.
Under Braker’s questioning during a pre-trial deposition, the driver admitted she abruptly changed lanes to avoid colliding with stopped traffic in front of her. She ultimately conceded that she had been following traffic in front of her too closely and that she made the turn into the plaintiffs’ lane without putting on her turning signal. She also conceded that she had received no training from her employer, for driving commercial vehicles of this type- which she believed played “a huge role” in the accident.
“We utilized an accident reconstructionist who proved that the plaintiff was not speeding, which removed any claim of comparative fault against her,” said Braker. “This was extremely important because initially the defense denied the claim based on the fact that the plaintiff had rear-ended the defendant’s vehicle.”