Attorneys John M. Dodig and Jason A. Daria secured a $1.75 million settlement for a 42-year-old man who was rear-ended by a commercial dump truck carrying almost 72,000 pounds of stone when he stopped his vehicle for a traffic signal.
The accident occurred in wet driving conditions on Route 422, in Amity Township, Pennsylvania, at an intersection with a 45 mph speed limit. Dodig and Daria established through an accident reconstruction expert that the defendant dump truck driver was traveling at a speed of 65 mph within one second of impact. At the approach to the intersection, there were two signs explicitly warning: “Watch for Stopped Vehicles” and “Slippery When Wet.”
The dump truck driver should not have been driving on the day of the accident since she was prescribed and took Oxycodone and other narcotic medications which is strictly prohibited under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
Through a commercial trucking expert, Dodig and Daria also established liability of the defendant trucking company for failing to conduct a proper hiring and vetting process, training and monitoring of its employee driver.
As a result of the accident, the client suffered injuries to his head, neck, back and knees, and required four surgeries, including permanent cervical and lumbar fusions, and is expected to require future surgical interventions.
In achieving the settlement, Dodig and Daria had to overcome significant comparative negligence defenses that the client “cut off” the dump truck by suddenly changing lanes in front of it and did not give the driver enough time to respond. The defense also hotly contested that the client’s injuries were causally related to the accident, conceding only a neck injury and one surgery. The defense also argued that the client had fully recovered from his injuries.
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