Illinois Truck Accident Resulting in Brain Injury and Paralysis, Results in $23.56 Million Jury Verdict

In an Illinois truck accident the jury awarded $23.56 million to a plaintiff who suffered a traumatic brain injury, bilateral pelvic fractures, fractures of arms, legs and collar bone, as well as later suffering from quadriplegia as a result of a head-on collision between a van and a tractor trailer.
The plaintiff was 25 years old and riding in the front seat of a van traveling on the Interstate highway. The truck crossed the median and entered the van’s lane of travel, the truck struck the passenger side of the van, severely injuring the plaintiff. The plaintiff incurred past medical expenses of approximately $560,000 and according to the life care plan, had $14 million in future life care costs. The plaintiff had been a forklift operator but was unemployed at the time of the injuries and was now completely unable to work. She claimed $30,000 in past lost wages and $450,000 in future lost income.
The plaintiff sued the driver of the truck, its owner, and the company that operated it. The plaintiff claimed that the driver failed to remain in his lane and fell asleep at the wheel after he took a prescription sleep aid. The lawsuit claimed that the truck’s owner and operator negligently retained and entrusted the vehicle to the defendant driver. Plaintiff claimed the company failed to properly investigate the driver’s medical history and evaluate whether he was fit to drive a tractor trailer.
Plaintiff’s experts were Gary M. Warkony, life care planning, Lake Forest, IL; Roy Adair, physical medicine and rehabilitation, Oak Lawn, IL; David Sallmann, accident reconstruction, Libertyville, IL; and Phillip Rushing, economics, Campaign, IL.
Defendant’s expert was Harry W. Schwartz, physical medicine and rehabilitation, Philadelphia, PA.
The jury awarded $23.56 million. It is reported that the parties reached a post verdict settlement of $22.1 million.