Truck Driver Run Over in Parking Lot Receives $420,000 Settlement | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our national truck accident injury client got pinned under the front wheel of a tractor-trailer’s cab and spent months undergoing physical therapy to learn to walk again. The injured man also required reconstructive surgery on one of his ankles.

The accident occurred while our client was walking through a parking lot and the at-fault truck driver suddenly turned into his path. The driver claimed to never see our client but did stop as soon as he felt the collision.

Our client, who was also a commercial truck driver who lived in Chesapeake, Virginia (VA), had both his legs crushed. He spent 30 days confined to a hospital bed in a state where he did not live before being transferred to a long-term care rehabilitation facility in Chesapeake.

Ongoing complications once he finally returned home necessitated the ankle surgery.

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Key Legal Strategy

The truck accident victim qualified for workers’ compensation benefits, but he hired our Virginia personal injury law firm to explore the possibility of filing a personal injury insurance claim against the truck driver who hit and hospitalized him. Such third-party lawsuits are allowed when someone else’s negligence or a defective product harms the person who receives workers’ comp.

The state in which our client suffered his injuries recognizes the principle of comparative negligence. This ensured that we would have a chance of securing a personal injury settlement even if it could be shown that the man did not do everything possible to avoid being hit by the truck driver.

We built our argument for the truck driver’s negligence on two facts. First, the parking lot was full of moving and idling tractor-trailers. Our client was not able to hear the truck that hit him.

Second, the commercial driver’s manual for that state where the parking lot accident occurred requires a tractor-trailer operator to properly inspect the area before moving from a parked position and to regularly check side mirrors for pedestrians.

A computer reconstruction of the collision created by a nationally recognized expert in trucking safety demonstrated that our client would have been visible in the truck driver’s side mirror for a significant period prior to the crash. This finally convinced the insurance company for the at-fault truck driver to enter into mediation.

The alternative dispute resolution process resulted in our truck accident injury client accepting a settlement of $420,000 without going to trial. The amount was considered fair based on a vocational expert’s estimate of the injured man’s lost earning capacity.

We also helped our client negotiate reductions in medical and wage liens that had been imposed by hospitals and the workers’ comp program. This maximized the value of the insurance settlement amount and freed up funds for our client to deal with a health problem that was unrelated to this truck accident injuries.

Court: Confidential

Staff: Richard N. Shapiro, staff attorney