18-Wheeler Crashes into Wrecked Car, Passenger Suffers Quadriplegia

serious truck accident highway fort worthAt around 1:30 a.m., Kerry and her friend were returning home from Houston on the interstate. They were excited to be home after a long drive, unaware that their lives were about to change forever. 

In the far left lane in front of them was a pickup truck. Without warning, the truck veered across all five lanes of traffic and crashed into the barrier on the other end. Kerry panicked and slammed her brakes, but since she was traveling at highway speeds, she lost control of her car. Several terrifying moments passed until eventually the car came to a stop in the lanes of traffic on the interstate. For a few moments, everyone seemed unharmed. 

At that time, an 18-wheeler traveling about 60 miles per hour approached the scene. The semi-truck driver later testified that he saw the pickup truck crashed into the barrier on the right hand side of the highway, but didn't see Kerry's car, which was a little farther down the interstate. 

The 18-wheeler struck the back of Kerry's car at around 50 mph, killing Kerry's friend and rendering Kerry a quadriplegic.

Constructing a Truck Accident Case

Truck accident cases like this are devastating. What should have been a happy end to a long trip for Kerry turned into her worst living nightmare. She lost a friend, lost use of her body and lost all semblance of a normal life. She was hospitalized, in pain and suffered horrible flash backs and depression. She didn't understand how everything could change so quickly.

When Kerry and her family came to us, they rightly wanted justice. We knew we could give it to them. We sued the trucking company, the tractor-trailer driver and the pickup truck driver. The litigation was hard fought including taking 44 depositions of the parties, eyewitnesses, police officers, other first responders and experts.

In order to win a case like this, you need two things. First, you must prove that the accident caused the death and injures and second, you must prove that the accident could have been avoided if not for the negligent actions of the at-fault driver. 

To prove that the tractor-trailer driver could have seen Kerry's vehicle in time to avoid hitting it, we conducted a late night recreation of the accident that required us to shut down the intestate and videotape the vehicles to show what they could have seen. Our expert was of the opinion that if the semi-truck driver had been paying attention, he could have changed lanes or stopped in time to avoid hitting Kerry's vehicle. 

Proving "Pain and Suffering"

Next, we needed to prove how seriously this wreck had affected Kerry's life, and how it would continue to affect her for the rest of her life. Proving this to a jury is not always straightforward, since we deal with a lot of "qualitative" factors. How much is your mobility worth? How much is losing a good friend worth? How much would all the pain and suffering of a serious truck wreck be worth? Likely, your answer is what Kerry's answer was - you can't put a price on those things. That's true. Money can't bring back what you've lost in a serious accident, but it's our job to ensure that our clients never suffer financially for their losses, so we fight hard to win people like Kerry money to pay for their medical bills, missed work days, and compensation for their pain and suffering. 

To prove what Kerry deserved, we hired a life care planner who detailed her injuries and the amount of money it would take to care for her as a quadriplegic, a vocational rehabilitation expert to testify about her loss of work in the future, and an economist to testify to the economic losses. 

Learn more about Your Right to Compensation for Pain and Suffering in Texas.

Case Summary

Two months before trial, the case was resolved during mediation for a confidential sum that will ensure Kerry's medical needs are met for years to come, as well as give her and her husband financial peace of mind. Money will not bring back Kerry's friend or her full health, but Kerry was extremely satisfied by the outcome and we believe she will be in good hands for the rest of her life. 

Learn More: The Anderson Law Firm Handles Truck Wreck Cases

Mark A. Anderson
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Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas