A 52-year-old man who was hospitalized for two weeks after a tractor trailer truck rear-ended his car, launching it into another tractor-trailer, has reached a confidential $800,000 settlement, attorneys for the man’s settlement report.
Attorney William Devin of Charlotte reported that his client was driving on a major interstate in the greater Charlotte area in 2012 when traffic came to a stop ahead of him. The plaintiff slowed to a stop, but the truck rammed him from behind at high speed, Devin said, and the force of the impact launched the plaintiff’s car into the next truck. First responders needed hydraulic rescue tools to extricate the plaintiff from his car, the rear of which was embedded in the grill of the truck that hit it.
The plaintiff suffered fractures of both of his lower leg bones at knees and one ankle, a broken right arm, shoulder dislocation, broken ribs, broken vertebrae, and abrasions and bruising to his entire body as a result of the crash. Devin said that the defendant trucking company initially argued that the plaintiff may have crashed into the stopped truck himself, thereby causing his own injuries.
Devin said that an accident reconstruction expert, Michael Dickinson of Matthews, was able to secure and extract the event data control and electronic control modules from both vehicles very shortly before they would have otherwise been discarded. Dickinson concluded that the plaintiff had not run into the other truck and had been essentially catapulted into it by the force of the collision, and Devin said that this was the key evidence in the case.
“This case shows that people need to know how critical these electronic data recorders are, and how important it is to get ahold of them before they’re destroyed,” Devin said.
The $800,000 settlement, an increase from highest pre-suit mediation offer of $500,000, was agreed to Jan. 21, prior to the start of trial. It included special damages of $179,777 in medical expenses and $115,725 in lost wages.
Devin said that the plaintiff was a lawful permanent resident who was on his way to take a U.S. citizenship test when the crash occurred. The plaintiff has since become a U.S. citizen.
Follow David Donovan on Twitter @NCLWDonovan
SETTLEMENT REPORT – NEGLIGENCE
Injuries alleged: Fractures of both lower leg bones at knees and ankle, broken right arm, shoulder dislocation, broken ribs, broken vertebrae, abrasions and bruising to entire body
Name of case: Confidential
Date of settlement: Jan. 21, 2016
Special damages: $179,777 in medical expenses and $115,725 in lost wages
Most helpful experts: Michael Dickinson of Matthews, accident reconstruction
Attorney for plaintiff: William Devin of Charlotte
Attorney for defendant: Confidential