Posted by Gary Burger on March 11, 2019
Our client Chris was injured on February 29, 2016. The car crash occurred when foam from a truck owned by Defendant Ragsdale Construction came out of his truck bed on Interstate 55. This caused another car to swerve and strike a vehicle, pushing it into Chris’s vehicle.
Chris then crashed into the median. We took depos and showed that folks on the highway saw a metal plate vertical in the back and thought it about to come off.
The defendant truck driver (Tucker) agreed that the people who were stopping didn’t know what was coming out of his truck-a piece of Styrofoam or a chunk of metal. Tucker never looked to see why the Styrofoam was getting out onto the road. He didn’t really inspect it.
Tucker admitted to me in deposition that:
- the lady in the car behind him said that the metal panel stood up and thought it was going to flip out of the back of the truck.
- “everything was up in the air.”
- drivers thought it was going to fall out for at least 5 seconds.
- it is not safe to carry a load without visually being able to see it
- he could not see his load through the windows or the mirrors.
- Had he known what was going on he would have not continued and would have pulled over and put another strap on.
- He had additional straps that he did not use.
- He could have put 3 or 4 on rather just the 1.
- After the incident, he didn’t do anything but change the way he drove with that load.
- there has been no change with Ragsdale.
- state law required him to secure the load
- he could have put plywood over the whole top of the load to avoid the incident.
Chris sustained injuries to his left leg, neck, back, and head – the more severe injuries were to his head and neck. He had an MRI which showed a small brain hemorrhage. He received chiropractic care for his neck and back. His neck MRI showed disc bulges. Chris did physical therapy and had four neck injections.
Chris’s brain and neck injury also caused him to experience dental issues, as clinching his neck and jaw caused him to grind his teeth. He saw Dr. Nikodem multiple times for broken teeth and dental implants.
Chris experience severe headaches for four to five months. He had cognitive difficulties, including memory loss and difficulties with focus and concentration. Although his symptoms have improved, Chris still has occasional headache and cognitive difficulties and neck pain.
Chris’s billed medical expenses were $41,872.30, with paid medical being much less. And after a mediation, we settled the case! It was the quickest mediation I have ever done – it was the day of the big snowstorm. Here’s Chris and I after the settlement: