Collision with a Mack Truck
In April 2019, a Mack truck blew through a red light and collided with an SUV. The driver of the SUV – our client – sustained a large cut on her scalp, requiring 11 staples. Witnesses recall blood dripping down her face as pressure was applied to slow the bleeding. She was taken to Orangeburg Regional Medical Center and discharged the same day.
All concussive symptoms resolved, but ongoing neck pain caused frequent headaches. Pain radiating into her shoulders and persistent wrist pain limited what our client could do for her children and live-in family over the past 2+ years.
While she experienced challenges and limitations brought on by the Mack truck driver's recklessness, the Defendant driver himself spent much of the time since the crash incarcerated.
The Truck Driver Couldn’t Pass a Drug Test
Following the collision, the truck driver refused a drug test and was subsequently fired. A short time later, he was charged with drug distribution in his home state of West Virginia. This was his third drug-related felony, and he faced life without parole (LWOP).
Our legal team took the truck driver's deposition by video. The defendant was in his orange jumpsuit, and he denied any wrongdoing in relation to the crash.
The cab of the truck was equipped with two cameras at the time of the collision, but the defendant driver had them blocked with cardboard and visors. In a deposition with the company safety director, he admitted the cameras were likely blocked because the driver was up to no good and that the drug test was refused because "he couldn't pass it." The company vice-president went on to testify that refusing the drug test was the same thing as admitting guilt.
Holding the Trucking Company and the Driver Responsible for the Wreck
While much of the punitive damages case focused on the defendant driver's drug use and drug dealing, the company that sent him from West Virginia to South Carolina was far from blameless.
To add insult to injury, the safety director/de facto head of the company’s South Carolina operation recently got off house arrest after being convicted for federal crimes involving the corporate defendant's sister company and his own position as a public official.
In summary, the corporate defendant sent a convicted felon to run trucks through Orangeburg County with a repeat drug offender who had outstanding warrants in another state behind the wheel. Unsurprisingly, the operations head, truck driver, vice-president, and owner were all related. If they had shown the same care for the people of Orangeburg County as they did for each other, this crash would have never happened, and an innocent mother would not be working to overcome lifelong impairment.
Identifying and Securing All Avenues of Financial Recovery
In this case, as with many injury cases, there were multiple avenues for recovery to help ensure our injured client didn’t take on the financial burden caused by the dangerous actions of the driver and the trucking company.
Our team was able to identify the true cause of the accident and the laundry list of wrongdoings that enabled a repeat drug offender behind the wheel of a Mack truck. After gathering evidence and building a strong case, the insurance company had no choice but to pay $5 million or risk getting an even larger jury verdict.
We are here to help make sure all responsible parties are held accountable. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact our office today for a free consultation. We would be honored to talk with you and advocate for you and your family.