(Settlement) Commercial Truck Accident Case

The Cobos Law Firm recently settled a commercial truck accident case for $450,000 involving a utilities truck that collided with the rear of our client’s car – without ever having to go to trial.

Our client was injured, went to the hospital, and conducted several months of physical therapy.  While her injuries did not necessitate surgery, they negatively impacted her ability to play with her children and participate in the activities she once enjoyed, such as cooking. It was also difficult for her to enjoy intimacy and, consequently, her personal relationships suffered.

She initially hired a different law firm to help her with her case. That law firm dragged their feet, did not communicate with her, did not help her to find qualified doctors, and took a lax and passive approach to her case.

The lawyers for the utilities company recognized that her legal team would likely accept any settlement offer and offered $30,000 to settle the case.

Unhappy with the attitude of her attorneys, she then turned to the Cobos Law Firm.

Our lawyers conducted a thorough investigation, convinced the Court to order the utilities company to produce records that they previously withheld, hired experts to provide a professional opinion of the impact on our client and her long-term damages, and conducted the depositions of the driver and a company representative.

Two months before trial, the utilities company offered $450,000 to settle the case – more than fifteen times larger than their initial offer.

Not all law firms make the time and effort to get this kind of result. Many attorneys seek quick and easy settlements to the detriment of their clients. To achieve maximum value in this case, it was important for the Cobos Law Firm to complete each of the following steps:

1. File a lawsuit quickly

By acting decisively, we signaled to the utilities company that this is a serious case and that settlement would not come easily. In other words, the utilities company would need to pay a significant amount of money to our client for the injuries they caused. In addition, we ensured that the utilities company preserved all evidence related to the incident because they were on notice of the lawsuit.

2. Complete a thorough investigation

Our investigation in this case included visiting the accident scene, evaluating the vehicles involved in the accident, researching the driver’s background, and researching previous accidents involving the utilities company. Through this investigation, we discovered a staggering number of similar accidents involving this same utilities company, which allowed us to sue the company for additional failures, such as the failure to adequately train its drivers.

3. Consult with experts

Experts provide unbiased insights regarding aspects of the case that may not be easily understood by non-experts.

In this case we hired an expert who was able to calculate the speed of the utilities truck immediately prior to impact.  This expert then described the force of the impact had on our client, both her neck snapped backwards after the initial collision, then forwards after the secondary collision.

Another expert, called a life care planner, then forecasted anticipated costs that the incident would have on our client far into the future.

4. Identify a pattern or practice

While a significant collision is uncommon for an individual, it may be commonplace for a company who fails to train its drivers. In this case, we discovered that the utilities company had hundreds of similar accidents. Based on this information, we established that the company had a pattern of driver failures and that the fault ultimately resided with the company (in addition to the negligent driver).

5. Identify and seek all measures of damages

Victims of commercial truck accidents often underestimate how significantly they have been impacted—physically, financially, and emotionally.

Often a client only wants help paying medical bills. In this case, we explained that the client was entitled to damages for lost wages, necessary costs incurred from tasks she could not longer perform (such as childcare), medical bills, future expenses, and pain and suffering. We even identified that her significant other may be entitled to damages because of her injuries.

By understanding and pursuing all measures of damages, we were able to increase the amount that the utilities company was willing to pay.

6. Aggressively pursue the case

Lawsuits do not resolve themselves. Success requires active and aggressive representation aimed at a single winning outcome.

In this case we conducted a thorough investigation, hired experts, convinced the Court to require the Defendants to produce documents, attacked the Defendant’s training procedures, and conducted the depositions of the driver and the company representative.

Ultimately our firm got the driver to admit that he was wrong. Our aggressive pursuit resulted in a win for the client.

The law firm that you choose makes a world of difference. The Cobos Law Firm was able to settle this case for fifteen times the amount originally offered, simply because we understood the law, understood our client, understood the utilities company and their negligent history, and worked hard to achieve a successful outcome.

If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident and have questions about your case, let us help you with a free, in-depth case evaluation.