Semi-Tractor Trailer vs. SUV
December 20, 2018
Patton & Ryan recently faced an uphill battle in defending a case of clear liability in a catastrophic semi tractor-trailer versus SUV accident. Dash-cam video depicted a heinous collision wherein the Defendant driver clearly ran a surface-street red light and T-boned the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Prior to trial, the Plaintiff’s attorneys opposed P&R’s attempt to admit liability in an effort to position themselves to deliver a prejudicial narrative at trial and potential punitive damages. However, P&R overcame the Plaintiff’s efforts and admitted liability, providing a strong argument to exclude the crash video at trial and stifling any attempts by the Plaintiff to claim punitive damages.
The Plaintiff, a 58-year-old male, sustained massive brain bleeding, broken neck, broken ribs, crushed pelvis, collapsed lung, and a series of other life-threatening injuries. He was hospitalized for over three months and went through an extensive rehabilitation course of over a year involving six follow-up surgeries and comprehensive rehabilitation therapies. It was claimed, fairly credibly, that the Plaintiff would suffer from lifelong musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain as well as severe traumatic brain injury sequela including cognitive deficits. P&R successfully obtained the “raw data” of the Plaintiff’s treating neuropsychologists and proved that he was able to heal and recover to a cognitive baseline equivalent to his pre-injury status.
The Plaintiff, who was also employed as a commercial truck driver, never returned to work and claimed he required twenty-four-hour managed care. His wife also brought a loss of consortium claim, significantly increasing the Defendants’ exposure. Patton & Ryan was able to obtain surveillance video which directly contradicted pain and disability statements the Plaintiff made to P&R’s expert physician during an independent medical evaluation which was itself video recorded. The resulting video comparison led to the unavoidable conclusion that the Plaintiff, though severely injured, was a liar who was exaggerating his disabilities. P&R utilized the video comparison and the other issues discussed above to achieve a confidential settlement far below potential verdict outcomes. The positive result was indicated by the fact that the Plaintiff’s attorneys advised them not to accept the settlement offer that they ultimately agreed to. As always, Patton & Ryan demonstrated that an aggressive defense leads to outstanding results.