A record-setting settlement has been reached in a lawsuit arising from a tractor-trailer truck crash that occurred on July 12, 2013 on Route 34 at its intersection with DeNeal Road in Saline County. Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. client suffered severe injuries after a Tison & Hall coal truck crashed into the rear of a slowing flatbed truck, causing the flatbed truck to cross over into oncoming traffic where it collided head on with a minivan being driven by our client.
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit sued Tison & Hall in 2015, alleging that the coal truck driver failed to maintain a proper lookout and maintain a proper speed, causing him to collide into the stopping flatbed truck and causing the accident in July 2013.
According to the Plaintiffs’ attorney, Matthew S. Sims of Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. in Chicago, the driver of the coal truck could not offer any explanation as to why he was unable to stop his truck before colliding into the stopping lumber truck. The driver, whose truck weighed in at nearly 80,000 lbs. with a full load of coal, failed to slow in time as he approached the intersection of Route 34 and DeNeal Road. He tried to stop his truck after he realized a crash was imminent, but by then it was too late. Once he realized he could not stop the truck in time, he attempted to steer the tractor trailer off the roadway, but still collided into the back of the flatbed truck, pushing it into oncoming traffic.
After the accident, our client had to be transferred to several hospitals, eventually being transported by ambulance to Indiana University, where she underwent a complicated orthopedic surgery to try and repair her ankle. Her surgeon was able to save her foot, but her resulting physical limitations prevented her from ever returning to work as a school bus driver.
According to Mr. Sims: “Unfortunately, drivers were incentivized to make as many coal runs a day as they could, which could have led to the temptation to drive in an unsafe manner and take safety shortcuts if it meant more runs could be fit into a day.”
According to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company, the record settlement is the highest reported settlement or verdict for an ankle injury in Saline County.
The plaintiffs were represented by attorneys Matthew S. Sims and Melanie J. VanOverloop of Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. in Chicago. According to Mr. Sims, who exclusively represents people who have been harmed by the negligence of others: “The failure of the defendants to make the safety of other innocent people on the roads a priority unfortunately led to out client’s injuries, which could have been avoided.”