Deadly Rear-Ender Caused by Tractor-Trailer Driver Leads to $2.4M Wrongful Death Settlement | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia truck accident client died in a rear-end collision caused by a tractor-trailer operator. The man whose estate we represented had been a passenger in a car traveling along a rural highway when the truck driver approached his vehicle from behind at high speed. The tractor-trailer operator attempted to change lanes to pass the slower-moving car but misjudged the distance and clipped the corner of the car.

The impact caused the car to flip, which killed our client almost instantly. Left behind to mourn him following his completely preventable death were the man’s wife of 38 years and four adult children.

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Key Legal Strategy

The truck crash victim’s surviving family members hired our Virginia wrongful death attorney to handle their insurance claims. Insurers for both the tractor-trailer operator and the trucking company that employed the driver had not been cooperating, so our attorney filed a civil lawsuit. In addition to proving that the family would not be frustrated into dropping their claims, going to court ensured that essential evidence regarding the truck driver’s negligent lane change would be preserved.

Our Virginia wrongful death attorney also put the widow and the deceased man’s children in touch with a grief counselor who interviewed each of the truck crash victim’s survivors. The report prepared by the grief counselor went so far in substantiating the family members’ claims for loss of companionship, guidance and support that the defendant insurance companies asked the judge to declare the report inadmissible as testimony.

The judge never ruled on that pretrial motion. Rather, about a month before the civil trial was scheduled to start, the insurance companies for the truck driver and the trucking company agreed to enter into mediation. That process resulted in $2.4 million being paid to the estate of our Virginia wrongful death client.

Truck accident cases are almost always complicated by the existence of multiple insurance policies. This particular case was further complicated by the refusal of any insurer to acknowledge the responsibility and liability of its policyholder. Our Virginia wrongful death attorney acted quickly to preserve key evidence and then used that evidence to hold the negligent commercial truck driver and trucking company accountable.

Staff: Staff attorney