A Trucking Crash Caused by Carelessness
In the early fall of 2015, Chris D. was traveling on Interstate 37 in Texas with his son, Chris Jr., and a friend, Jay J. It was raining that day, and there was a crash blocking the right lane of the highway ahead. Traffic was starting to get congested, so Chris was driving more cautiously than usual. Stuck in traffic, he came to a complete stop behind several other vehicles.
At that point, Chris glimpsed a semi truck barreling toward him in his rearview mirror and came to the horrifying realization that it was not going to stop. He quickly tried to warn his son and Jay, but the enormous truck smashed into the rear of their car before he could do anything. The truck crashed into them with such force that it pushed their car into the vehicle in front of them, then pushed that car into the next. All told, the crash created a four-vehicle pileup on the interstate and sandwiched Chris, his son, and Jay in the middle of it.
Citing failure to control speed and issuing a ticket, the investigating officer assigned blame for the crash solely on the truck driver, whose speed was especially excessive given the rainy conditions. Later, the driver even admitted to behaving negligently during a deposition (which is an oral statement given under oath that can serve as evidence in a court trial).
Unfortunately, Chris, his son, and Jay all sustained severe injuries as a direct result of the crash. While we are only going to discuss Chris D.’s story below, you can read more about Chris Jr.’s story on our website as well.
Getting Treatment After the Truck Crash
Chris D. immediately suffered a host of injuries and found himself in severe pain due to the collision. Paramedics at the scene even offered to place him into a full spinal immobilization backboard because he was suffering from severe pain in his left shoulder, back, and upper extremities — not to mention blunt trauma to several areas of his body.
Upon arriving via ambulance at a nearby medical center, doctors treated Chris and diagnosed him with a sprain of the left acromioclavicular (AC) joint as well as a shoulder separation. He had his left arm put into a sling to relieve the pain in his shoulder. Although none of his injuries were life-threatening, he was in a great deal of pain and followed up with another doctor shortly after his emergency medical treatment.
Seeking a Diagnosis and Treatment for Injuries
It didn’t take long for the pain in Chris’ shoulder and neck to progress, and he also began suffering from pain in his wrist and back as well as reduced range of motion. Upon closer inspection, the doctor discovered that Chris was experiencing muscle spasms, had sprains and strains in several areas — including his shoulder, wrist, and back — and had dislocated his shoulder. Chris’ doctor referred him to a physical therapist as well as an orthopedic surgeon, and the doctor also prescribed muscle relaxants and powerful painkillers to help alleviate his symptoms.
After getting an MRI of his shoulder and cervical spine (which is the upper region of the spine), Chris scheduled an appointment with a specialist. The orthopedic surgeon determined that Chris was suffering from several issues in his shoulder, including shoulder impingement syndrome — a condition that causes persistent pain which affects everyday activities. The surgeon also discovered that Chris was suffering from multiple disc herniations in his cervical spine. He recommended a course of treatment that included several strategies:
- Continued care with a chiropractor as well as physical therapy for cervical decompression, which would help treat Chris’ disc herniation;
- Cervical epidural steroid injections from a pain management specialist to relieve Chris’ neck pain;
- Physical therapy for the left shoulder as well as injections to the AC joint and shoulder to help manage Chris’ pain; and
- Arthroscopic surgery on Chris’ left shoulder.
Surgery and Ongoing Treatment
Chris’ left shoulder surgery took place in the spring of 2016, and it was very involved. First, surgeons removed debris and damaged tissue from the affected shoulder in a procedure known as “extensive debridement.” Next, in a procedure known as a “distal claviculectomy,” they removed a part of the clavicle that was contributing to the impingement the doctor identified. In addition, they shaved off a part of the acromion process (a bone) during a procedure known as an “acrominoplasty.” All of this was done during the same surgical procedure to help alleviate the pain and limited range of motion that Chris was experiencing.
Unfortunately, even after surgery, Chris continued to suffer from neck pain. To treat this pain, Chris underwent chiropractic treatment and received two cervical epidural steroid injections. These injections provided temporary relief, but Chris’ symptoms continued. Chris then received an evaluation from a specialist, who recommended a cervical discectomy fusion between two vertebral discs (C5-C6).
Chris Suffered From More Than Just Physical Injuries After the Crash
Chris used to enjoy exercising and running, and he was in excellent shape before the collision. In fact, he had signed up to run several marathons and had begun training for them, but because of the crash, he was never able to run these races. He couldn’t even continue his training regimen.
But Chris’ injury didn’t just keep him from running marathons. He gained weight due to his lack of activity while he suffered from pain in his neck, back, and shoulder. He could no longer use his at-home gym to stay in shape, and he also had to undergo the agony of surgery and recovery — not to mention suffering through the anxiety of doctor appointment after doctor appointment and seeing his medical bills pile up higher and higher.
It may sound harsh, but Chris will tell you himself: he is not the same person he was before a negligent truck driver crashed into his vehicle.
Chris Finally Receives Compensation for His Losses
The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm fought hard for Chris and prepared for trial. Eventually, the insurance company settled the case before having to appear in front of a jury, and Chris received a settlement that provided some relief from his many medical and surgical bills as well as the expected cost of his future treatment. After attorneys fees and expenses, the clients’ combined net recovery was $278,000.
While holding off for surgery, he is thankful that this settlement has provided necessary funds for his future medical care.
Crosley Law Firm: Advocates for Trucking Wreck Victims
As Chris’ case shows, all it takes is one careless driver to forever change the life of an unsuspecting victim. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a large truck crash, you should call the experienced attorneys at Crosley Law Firm right away.
We offer free consultations so we can listen to the details of your story and provide you with candid advice about your best course of action moving forward. And if we can take your case, you don’t have to pay us a dime unless we help you get a settlement or win your case in court.
We know how tough it can be to deal with injuries, treatment, finances, insurance, and more after a collision. Call our offices today at 210-LAW-3000 (210-529-3000) or fill out a convenient form on our website and we’ll get back right away to schedule your free consultation.
Part 392—Driving of commercial motor vehicles. (2017, August 17). Electronic code of federal regulations. U.S. Government Publishing Office. Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&=PART&n=pt49.5.392#se49.5.392_114
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.