Dump Truck Collision Leaving Woman Disabled Reaches $5M Settlement
A fully loaded dump truck weighing more than 23,000 pounds hit the plaintiff, a 29-year-old female who was recently married. The dump truck driver had veered into the plaintiff’s lane to avoid colliding with a stopped vehicle in front of him. The front of the plaintiff’s vehicle was crushed, rendering it almost unrecognizable. The plaintiff has been awarded a $5 million settlement.
The lead investigator for local law enforcement mentions that this accident was one of the worst he had responded to. When he arrived, he was certain that the plaintiff was dead.
The plaintiff was airlifted from the scene to a nearby hospital after an extended extrication period. Due to the injuries and the fact that her Glasgow Coma Score was dropped to a three, EMS on the scene were not sure if the plaintiff would survive the transfer from her vehicle to the helicopter. Due to the severity of her injuries and her declining mental status, the lifeguard flight crew had to intubate the plaintiff and place her in a chemically induced coma at the scene.
She spent her first four days in a coma in the hospital in ICU. Diagnoses during the plaintiff’s hospital stay included fractures to her left radius and ulna, a fractured right humerus and right femur, a left hip and tibia fracture, a closed fracture of her sternum, a 2 cm laceration to her left leg, a 5 cm laceration to her right left, a 3 cm deep laceration to her right knee, a Grade 1 liver laceration, a subscapular intracranial hemorrhage, a traumatic brain injury, and an injury to her thyroid gland.
The plaintiff was transferred to a local rehab facility fourteen days after the collision. She was frequently transferred between the hospital and the rehab facilities for additional surgeries while she was there. During her two months of rehabilitation, the plaintiff had to relearn to walk and use her hands. She has continued to receive treatment for her orthopedic and other injuries since her release from rehab.
While her recovery had been nothing short of miraculous, the plaintiff is still dealing with the severe physical, emotional, and other effects of the accident on her life, marital relationship, and future places on a daily basis. She has been unable to return to work due to her injuries sustained in the accident. Her doctors have stated that she is unlikely to be able to return to gainful employment. As a result, the plaintiff is approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
She has a permanent disability. Her orthopedic injuries alone resulted in a 24% permanent total body impairment.
A lawsuit was filed to overturn the statute of limitations. Liability was conceded during mediation. In terms of damages, the defense emphasizes various aspects of the plaintiff’s medical history, such as long-term drug use and prior psychiatric treatment.