Late last year, a court case was settled in a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from a fatal trucking accident on Virginia’s I-64. The plaintiffs were awarded 3.5 million dollars when it became clear that the defense had no substantial evidence on which to base their case.
A car was traveling on I-64 with a damaged tire, and was in the right lane traveling slowly because of the tire. A tractor trailer came up behind it and struck it at nearly full speed, killing the passenger of the car in the collision. The driver of the truck, during the deposition, confessed that he had not seen the smaller vehicle until a few seconds before colliding with it. Subsequent analysis of the facts of the case revealed other difficulties with the defense’s story.
For example, the defense tried to argue that the collision was the fault of the other driver. The defense tried to argue that the car was going below the speed limit with no hazard lights on. However, analysis of the testimony forced the attorneys to admit this would not be a successful defense.
Further, the trucker in the incident is known to suffer from diabetes. Investigation into the matter revealed that he has not taken steps to properly treat or manage his condition. Given that visual problems are one of the symptoms of improperly-managed diabetes, the defense about the car not being visible began to look rather weak. While the defense tried to argue that it couldn’t be proved that diabetes was the cause of the accident, it did make the case murky enough that the plaintiffs’ attorneys were able to convince the insurance company that settling was better than going to court.
The settlement will be sufficient to pay the expenses of the deceased’s daughter throughout much of her life.