In June, I wrote a post discussing distracted driving by commercial truck drivers. You can read the post here: Distracted Driving And Commercial Trucks — A Deadly Combination. That post discusses a terrible distracted driving case where a truck driver crashed into a group of nursing students.
The crash killed five nursing students and severely injured others. Afterwards, the trucking company quietly settled claims from the families of the nursing students killed. However, one of the severely injured nursing students and her lawyer prepared for trial.
In January, a jury awarded $15 Million to this surviving nursing student. The student suffers from a traumatic brain injury caused by the crash. I have two instant takeaways from the jury verdict.
1. We Must Act To Stop The Deadly Consequences Of Distracted Driving
Distracted Driving. It’s a topic we discuss frequently on our website and blog. Why? In the last few decades, our cars and highways have become safer. Accidents and injuries should have decreased dramatically. The rates were decreasing until the cell phone and other personal electronic devices became commonplace. Now, the rate of deadly crashes has increased. At our firm, we regularly see serious crash cases caused by distracted driving.
We believe in helping each client obtain the maximum compensation for his or her injuries. Beyond each client, we believe lawyers should advocate within their area of practice. For example, if a lawyer practices elder law, that lawyer should try to educate families on important issues in the field. At our firm, we focus solely on injury and damage claims. Most of our cases involve a personal injury — at work, on the highway or in a commercial facility. So, we focus on safety and medical issues. We take our role as safety educators and advocates seriously.
On our website, we devote a page to distracted driving issues. On our blog, you will see numerous articles related to distracted driving issues. Both motorist education and technological advances can reduce the rate of deadly distracted driving. Here are a few of our blog articles on the topic:
- Distracted Driving: Why Texting Is Especially Dangerous
- Distracted Driving: Much Worse Than Reported
- Distracted Driving And Commercial Trucks — A Deadly Combination
- Distracted Driving Shatters Lives
- Distracted Driving: Parents Must Lead By Example
- Can Cell Phone Makers Prevent Distracted Driving Injuries?
2. If Severely Injured, You Must Have A Lawyer Willing To Go To Court
We preach this issue constantly — too many lawyers advertise for personal injury cases but really just want a volume of claims to settle quickly. That may be profitable for those lawyers but it is a terrible way to treat people who are truly hurting.
We focus on each client and preparing their unique case. We don’t use billboards or television advertisements. In fact, we urge injured people to NOT hire a billboard lawyer but to seek a skilled personal injury expert.
We focus on the work. The case of this nurse severely injured by the distracted truck driver is a perfect example of why we focus on each client. At that trial, the trucking company’s lawyer told the jury, “We said we would pay her medical expenses,” … “We don’t dispute it. We owe her that.” Those quotes tell a lot. The trucking company wanted a quick settlement for just the injured student’s medical bills. It’s the same with many claims. The insurance company is willing to pay for some medical expenses in the hope the severely injured person does not seek their other damages. And, too many billboard lawyers will take those quick settlements in all cases. That may be fine if the case is a fender bender with just an emergency room bill. If the person is hurt worse, they deserve better.
In this trucking case, the injured nurse suffered a traumatic brain injury. Every day involves a struggle for her. Her injuries and damages go far beyond simple medical bills. By preparing the case, her lawyer obtained more compensation for her. That’s why we say on our website — Preparation leads to better settlements as well as better trials. In a world of marketing hype, it’s important for severely injured people to seek an attorney who really is willing to fight for them.