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Flatbed Truck Driver Injured in Crash Granted $900,000 Settlement

Industrial white long haul big rig high extended cab semi truck tractor transporting empty flat bed semi trailer running on the narrow winding highway road to warehouse for the next load

A lawsuit involving a flatbed truck driver injured in a highway crash has settled for $900,000.

The Collision & Aftermath

On March 11, 2020, a corporate pickup vehicle rear-ended the plaintiff while he was driving a flatbed tractor-trailer on the interstate. When he first went to urgent care, he was diagnosed with a left shoulder injury and a concussion.

In 2017, an MRI of his left shoulder revealed that 90% of his rotator cuff was damaged. A post-crash MRI revealed that it was completely torn. He underwent surgery to repair his completely torn rotator cuff. He also began seeing a physiatrist for migraines, difficulty concentrating, and neck pain. 

A year after the crash, he underwent a neuropsychiatric evaluation, which revealed some effort variability but no cognitive abnormalities below predicted function. Emotional testing helped the neuropsychologist identify subclinical PTSD. He began seeking counseling to deal with his PTSD symptoms. His panic attacks while driving kept him from returning to work as a commercial vehicle driver.

He saw an orthopedic surgeon about his persistent neck pain about two years after the crash, but the reason for his problem was unclear and did not involve surgery. He had not had any therapy for his ailments since August 2022, and he had not had any in the year leading up to his October 2023 trial.

The Plaintiff

The plaintiff’s attorney brought in Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, who evaluated the man and determined that the collision had left him with PTSD and a permanent mild traumatic brain injury. It was universally agreed that he was concussed and had healed sufficiently to return to work. O’Shanick stated that his PTSD prevented him from returning to his job as a tractor-trailer driver. His lack of education and work experience limited his ability to earn a living. 

The Defense

The defense was prepared to use the plaintiff’s recent conviction for receiving money under false pretenses to cast doubt on the veracity of his claims. They presented several experts to testify to the plaintiff’s complete lack of injuries from the collision. The defense retained an orthopedic expert to testify that the plaintiff’s shoulder surgery was necessary to repair a pre-existing rotator cuff injury. They consulted a neurosurgeon to ensure that he did not have catastrophic brain damage or a persistent neck injury. They hired a neuropsychologist to conduct neuropsychological evaluations, which revealed that the plaintiff had no cognitive impairment. The defense also hired a psychologist, who determined that he had no mental health issues at all. They also planned to call the plaintiff’s treating neuropsychologist to testify during the trial, claiming that a year after the crash, his neuropsych exam revealed no cognitive deficits.

After an unsuccessful mediation two months before trial, the parties settled the dispute for $900,000 just before the four-day trial began.


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