Martin & Jones represented a married couple in North Carolina who suffered serious injuries when they were struck in the rear by a loaded dump truck. The husband and wife had been sitting at the stop light waiting to turn left when a fully loaded dump truck came speeding down an interstate exit ramp and slammed into the back of them without braking. The impact sent the couple into the intersection where they were struck again by another vehicle. Both husband and wife were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
While not life threatening, both underwent major neck surgery as a result of their injuries. In addition, the husband suffered from a brain injury that required constant neurological care in the weeks and months following the wreck.
Martin & Jones brought legal claims against both the driver of the dump truck and the trucking company. A loaded dump truck, under both North Carolina and federal laws, constitutes a “commercial motor vehicle”. Commercial motor vehicle wrecks are substantially more complicated than incidents involving personal automobiles. Like most cases, this case involved complex commercial insurance coverage as well as both state and federal laws that only apply to commercial motor vehicles.
Martin & Jones conducted thorough investigations of the mechanical equipment of the dump truck, the reasons for the driver’s inattention while driving, and the various trucking company policies and procedures in place that are supposed to prevent wrecks like these. Through our investigation Martin & Jones discovered not only a potential mechanical failure with the fully loaded dump truck, but also serious evidence of driver inattentiveness. These factors lead to incidents of serious injury and death involving commercial motor vehicles.
A month before trial, Martin & Jones obtained a $1,130,000 settlement for the couple. Settlement included compensation for not only past medical expenses, physical pain and mental suffering, but the expenses that the couple will endure in the future should they need additional care as a result of their injuries.
In addition to the investigations done by Martin & Jones, it was also necessary to work with experts in the the fields of neuropsychology and life care planning, so that the jury can understand the type of future damages that a person may suffer even though the time has not come for such treatment. This type of expertise is crucial in explaining to both juries and insurance companies that the lingering effects of a serious injury often last into the person’s future when the legal case is long gone.