Dump Truck Injury – A Case Study
Dump Truck Injury Case
In a recent court case, Haggerty & Silverman represented a man injured by a dump truck driver. But, this case was a little more unusual. The driver of the dump truck was drinking liquor while driving. It boggles my mind why anyone operating heavy equipment would drink alcohol at the same time. I knew we had to help this guy. We had to fix this!
Low Settlement Offers
Denying any knowledge of their driver being drunk, the employer made a few lowball offers. The first settlement offer came in at $10,000, then $15,000. Their legal team was hoping to avoid paying the large medical bills they knew were coming. Plus, they knew their drunk driver made this a full tort case. They wanted to settle low and fast.
In 2017, the quarry’s legal team offered to settle for $60,000 and finally $80,000. By then, Mark’s medical bills were close to $100,000. This doesn’t even account for time off work and other expenses. We advised him not to settle.
Drunk Dump Truck Driver Crash Lawsuit
Since the driver’s company refused to settle for a reasonable amount, we prepared our case. We took Mark’s case to civil court before a jury. The case took months and years to build. In court, the testimony lasted several days.
Why We Help People Like Mark
Mark is driving his car in a safe manner. He’s going from Point A to Point B. None of us get in a car in the afternoon and think we might get hit by a drunk driver. Yet, Mark is hit in the afternoon by a drunk dump truck driver. Whom do you think the bills go to? Mark is paying doctor bills and missing time from work. The crash totaled his car. How does he get to doctor appointments and work? Who isn’t healthy enough to do everything they used to? Mark is unable to take part in activities he used to enjoy. His life is negatively affected forever. He will have medical bills for the rest of his life because of this crash. He can never get his full quality of life back.
The Drunk Driver Was Wrong
The truck driver is on record stating he’s never driven the dump truck while under the influence. Yet, that morning he decided to fill multiple drink bottles with alcohol. He took those bottles to his work with the intention of drinking them during the workday. Any expert will tell you it’s unlikely this was his first time.
In Pennsylvania, we all know driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. It’s also unsafe!
The truck driver was several times over the legal blood-alcohol limit. In PA the legal limit for a CDL driver is .02%. The driver had a blood-alcohol rating of .292%! To put that into context, most people experience blackouts at .20%. He made a decision to drink alcohol while driving heavy equipment on public roads. His safety and the safety of others did not matter to him.
The dump truck driver pleaded guilty to the DUI charge but did not immediately lose his CDL license. Even so, it was only temporary. He currently has his CDL. He lost the dump truck driving job he had during the accident. But, soon after he found a new job driving truck making more money. To this day, he continues to drive truck.
Other than DUI charges, the dump truck driver has not been negatively affected in any real way. He has not had to pay one penny to help Mark, nor has he offered to.
The Dump Truck Company Is Wrong
A dump truck is a huge piece of construction equipment. It’s heavy and requires a special license to operate on public roads. While operating the dump truck in this case, the driver was an employee on the clock. He was performing his work duties. The company has no procedure or training in place to report when something is wrong.
The drunk dump truck driver was in and out of the company throughout the day. He picked up several deliveries during his work day. Several employees had the ability to recognize the driver’s condition. Yet, no one reported the driver was drunk.
The company should have regular random drug and alcohol screening. This company had a policy to remove drivers that had three strikes against them. But, in this case, the driver continued to haul loads despite his record with them.
Additionally, the company never offered to cover all of Mark’s medical expenses. Their driver caused physical harm to Mark, yet they expect Mark to pay those bills out of his own pocket.
Why We Fight for Injured People
Mark is still living through this hardship, every day. It’s physical and financial. His dump truck injury doesn’t just go away. He’s still regularly seeing the doctor because of this crash. As of writing, it’s been over 6 years – and he is still receiving treatment. The back injury requires an annual injection to manage the pain. Sure, Mark has health insurance. But, like the rest of us he has a high annual deductible. That’s money out of his own pocket every year for a health problem caused by this trucker. It’s not right that Mark should bear that financial burden!
We Want To Stop Drunk CDL Drivers
We shudder to think the damage that could have done with that dump truck! Imagine the damage he could have done to a school bus full of kids. Imagine it was your spouse in that car. Imagine the hardships it would cause for your family to lose a provider.
That’s why we fight for people like Mark. What he has been through matters. His quality of life matters. There should be consequences for those that put us in danger. There should be penalties for companies that turn a blind eye to dangerous behaviors.
The legal team at Haggerty & Silverman has invested a lot of time and energy into this case. We invest ourselves in every case. It becomes personal for us because we would want the same if the roles were reversed. We understand the hesitation to pursue legal action against another person or business. Consider, what motivation does any person or business have to keep others safe? When a person or business is responsible for another person’s injuries, who should pay?
Do you expect companies to go above and beyond to identify safety issues and correct them? Consider this. The at-fault driver did lose his CDL license for a state mandatory time. He did lose his job with this employer.
But, the drunk CDL driver admitted in court he still consumes alcohol. And, he quickly found another job driving truck, even before the state took his CDL license! His new employer knows about his DUI while driving truck. Yet, he’s out there on the road every day.
Winning The Case Against Drunk CDL Drivers
The jury returned after several days of testimony. After hearing the testimony involved in the case, the verdict was read. Mark was awarded $240,000 in this case. This is a win for Mark. It was the largest injury jury verdict in Lancaster County in 2017.
At the end of the day, we helped Mark. We also helped one company realize the problems with their policies. But, there are many more companies out there who will put profits before public safety.
Mark was awarded $240,000 in this case
Drunk Dump Truck Driver Injury Attorney
At Haggerty & Silverman, our award-winning legal team is here to help. If you have questions about a crash involving a drunk CDL driver, give us a call. We’ll explain your options so you can choose the best way to proceed. Call or text us at 717-397-3200. Or, fill out our online contact form and we’ll set up a free consultation.
We never charge for consultations. Also, we don’t charge you legal fees unless we recover money for you.
The names have been changed for this article to protect the anonymity of those involved.