Most of us drive alone or perhaps with our child or significant other in the car. On a July day in 2010 a driver was carrying two members of her family as well as two dogs with her in her car. When the car was stopped because of construction, the unthinkable happened. The vehicle was severely rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.
As a result of the truck accident, the driver's father sustained fatal injuries. The other family member in the car sustained severe head injuries and lives with permanent brain damage. The driver lived through the crash but with broken bones, internal and external wounds and more. Both dogs died in the wreck. Unwilling to just sit back after the accident, the family came together to file a personal injury lawsuit that also contained a wrongful death claim.
About one year after the fatal traffic accident occurred, the family filed the civil lawsuit in Pennsylvania against various parties, including the trucking company, the driver, and the company that the truck was transporting product for. Last week, the case came to an end, a favorable end for the plaintiffs.
What happened on the day of the crash? While cars were stopped due to construction, the truck driver was approaching the traffic jam, driving eastbound. He claims that he was blinded by sunlight and couldn't see the stopped vehicles. He attempted to brake but was too late and going too fast. The crash ensued.
That story didn't sway the court. For one thing, he was driving east in the afternoon. The sun doesn't sit in that direction at that time of day. The trucker's excuse of being blinded by the sun, therefore, came off as some sort of cover-up. Was he too tired to have been driving? Was he just desperate to come up with an excuse and came up with a lie?
In the end, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding them more than $26 million for their losses, pain and suffering. The truck accident impacted this family in a big way. They didn't just lose a loved one, but those who survived also had to find the strength (and financial means) to care for their injuries after the incident.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "$26.1 million personal injury settlement, possibly largest ever in Pa., reached in tractor-trailer death suit," John Campisi, June 13, 2012