A northern Virginia (VA) delivery truck driver whose potentially debilitating structural brain defect came to light and was made worse by a rear-end accident involving another commercial truck has received an accident settlement of $2.5 million. The settlement covers all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars the accident victim spent on surgeries and other medical treatments following the accident. It also compensates the delivery truck driver for a portion of the wages he lost and will no longer be able to earn.
According to a Virginia Lawyers Weekly report on the accident and settlement, the accident victim did not learn until after the accident that he had been born with a condition in which brain matter could compress his spinal cord, causing significant pain and physical disability. The collision with a flat-bed truck exacerbated his condition and produced many of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, including severe headaches, numbness in his face and ringing in his ears, blurred vision, confusion and speech difficulties.
The company that owned and operated the flat-bed truck that ran into the victim’s truck while it was broken down and parked on the side of the road out of the flow of traffic initially refused to pay any medical costs or damages because of the delivery truck driver’s pre-existing condition. But the victim had almost no symptoms from the condition called Chiari malformation until he was hit. The settlement, then, seems fair and reasonable.
Traffic accidents — whether they involve cars, trucks, motorcycles or pedestrians — represent the second most common cause of concussions and other serious brain injuries. When the injury is severe — hence the medical term “traumatic brain injury” — men, women and children who suffer them can experience physical and mental problems for years and decades.