The brain is an incredibly complex and delicate organ. In the middle of any accident, it is extremely vulnerable. With truck accidents, due to their force and severity, that risk is magnified. Below we have compiled data from trucking accident settlements and verdicts in Illinois and other jurisdictions where the injured parties have various types of brain injuries.
While the information below is a good starting point for learning about how a truck accident case involving a brain injury may be valued, there certainly are many other factors which deserve to be evaluated. Contact our office for a free review of your truck accident case with an attorney who has experience with a situation similar to yours.
2013; ILLINOIS; $80,771 JURY AWARD:
Here, a young woman was stopped at a right light, waiting for the light to turn, when another vehicle came screeching behind her. In fact, it was a large truck and it could not stop in time to avoid a collision. It rear-ended her sending her car into the middle of the intersection and wounding her in the process.
She suffered a concussion as well as a neck and brain strain. She sued the truck driver and the driver’s employer arguing that the latter was vicariously responsible under the theory of respondeat superior. However, her claim against the company went nowhere because the truck driver was not even working that day. He was just driving around for personal reasons.
She was successful against him personally though. The truck driver did not even contest liability. He only denied the amount of damages that she asked for in her complaint. A jury found that an appropriate amount for the crash and her injuries was $80,771.
2008; TEXAS; $1,600,000 SETTLEMENT:
The defendant in this controversy was driving a large tanker truck on a rainy, dark night. He was attempting to turn into a side street so half of his vehicle was sprawled across both lanes. It sat idle there for a few minutes as he waited to completely pull into the alley. During this short break, the plaintiff came driving down the other lane in the opposite direction.
Because of the darkness and the truck’s blinding lights, he could not make out that the truck was obstructing his way. He crashed right into it and received a concussion as well as multiple broken bones and lacerations. He sued the truck driver for negligence as well as his boss. The defendants replied that the plaintiff’s negligence overrode anything that they did.
Continuing, they alleged that he should have slowed down, kept a better lookout, and noticed the truck was trying to turn into the alley. They initially balked at settlement and seemed content to fight it out in trial. Yet, as the court date approached and the plaintiff’s extensive injuries became apparent, they offered to settle possibly because they were afraid of what a sympathetic jury would award. The victim received $1,600,000.
2015; INDIANA; $171,216 JURY AWARD:
This incident started when a police cop got off of work. He got in his car and started driving to his part-time job. He worked as a security guard at a local manufacturing company. He was not far from the building when he attempted to enter an intersection. Before he could do that, and without having the right of way, a truck turned left in front of him.
The sudden turn caused the off-duty police officer to veer off the road into a ditch. His car rolled over and he sustained injuries including a traumatic brain injury. He sued the truck driver as well as the truck driver’s employer because the former was working at the time of the accident.
His suit alleged that the defendant driver did not have the right of way, turned when he should not have, and caused the plaintiff’s car to roll into the ditch causing his damages. The defendant replied that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent because he overreacted and that he was exaggerating his injuries.
The jury sided with the plaintiff but also apportioned him nearly 20% responsibility for the incident. When you also consider that this is a rather low award for brain injuries, $171,216, it seems as though the jury may have compromised between both sides.
2008; CALIFORNIA; $1,159,354 JURY AWARD:
Very early one morning on a busy California road, a welder was going to work in his Ford pickup truck. Seeing a green light, he road through an intersection but another vehicle travelling perpendicular to him was late in reacting to the red light and slammed right into the side of his truck. The crash was so great because the other vehicle was a semi-truck carrying two trailers and weighing nearly two tons.
The collision sent the man’s Ford flying several hundred feet and rolling into a canal. Of the many injuries the welder suffered, his most serious harms were a brain injury, knee injury, and internal bleeding.
In the subsequent lawsuit, the defendant did not deny that he was responsible for the incident but did argue that the man’s future medical needs were not as extensive as claimed so the matter did go to trial over the issue of damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $1,159,354
2001; FLORIDA; $830,125 JURY AWARD:
This story involved a kid near a mall. He was leaving with his friends on a bike when he entered a crosswalk. He was the first of his group to ride out into the street and unfortunately he was hit by a truck. The boy sustained a traumatic brain injury as well as a cervical sprain because of the accident.
Additionally, because of the brain injury, he was experiencing numbness in his leg. This case went to trial because there was a large dispute around who was at fault. The child even acknowledged that he saw the truck prior to the collision but thought the driver saw him.
The defendant thought this was proof that he was innocent. Also, he showed that the boy did not call an ambulance or seek any medical care until days after the crash took place. The jury took all of this into consideration and then awarded the boy $830,125 for his injuries despite the defendant’s strong arguments. Here is the damages breakdown of his award:
- Medical and Lost Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
2007; ILLINOIS; $203,806 JURY AWARD:
This accident started when a truck driver read-ended a car that then kicked off a chain-reaction crash involving five other vehicles. The woman in the first car hit sued the truck driver for negligence. She said that because if the crash she suffered a brain injury that affected her memory, emotions, and cognitive abilities. Due to these injuries, she alleged she could no longer continue her employment as a store manager.
The defendant truck driver could not deny that he was responsible for the seven-car pileup but denied that the incident affected the plaintiff as much as she claimed. In particular, he refuted the contention that she could not work as a manger of a retail store anymore. The jury found for the plaintiff for $203,806 in the following fashion:
- Lost Wages:
- Pain and Suffering:
2014; CALIFORNIA; $4,250,000 SETTLEMENT:
The plaintiff in this incident was a middle-aged man riding a forklift when the defendant ran him over in a truck. Apparently, the victim was working outside moving large equipment for his company. The defendant did not see him or the forklift and, therefore, did not reduce his speed at all prior to colliding with him.
The impact sent the plaintiff flying into the air and gave him a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for several weeks and suffered permanent disability and memory loss. The subsequent lawsuit charged the defendant truck driver for negligence by failing to reduce his speed, keep a proper lookout, and control his vehicle. Both sides settled this dispute for $4,250,000.
Do You Have a Loved One Seriously Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers appreciates the significance a serious injury from a truck accident has both on the individual and his or her family. Our attorneys regularly retain the services of experts in the fields of physical medicine and rehabilitation and economics to ensure the full extent of your injury is conveyed to a jury or insurance company evaluating your case. Contact our office for a free case review today and an attorney will be in touch with you shortly to discus your legal options.