$1,850,000 Settlement for Woman Injured in Sideswipe Accident With 18-Wheeler

Partner Stephen Murphy was successful in obtaining a $1,850,000 settlement for a 38-year-old woman who was hurt in a car accident. An 18-wheeler sideswiped our client's vehicle on the Throgs Neck Expressway in the Bronx, as our client's vehicle was passing it on the right. The defendant driver claimed that he looked right multiple times before he began changing lanes. As a result of the accident, our client suffered an exacerbation of preexisting back and neck injuries, as well as a shoulder injury.

COURT AND COUNTY:
Southern District of New York

AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF:
At the time of the accident, our client was 36 years old and worked as a secretary in a barber shop.

DESCRIPTION OF CASE:
Our client was driving her vehicle on the Throgs Neck Expressway in the Bronx when she was sideswiped by the defendant's 18-wheeler truck. During the case, our attorneys appeared for approximately 12 depositions, with many conducted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. At his deposition, the defendant claimed that he merged onto the Throgs Neck Bridge from the left lane and since trucks are not permitted in the left lane, he put on his signal and began preparing to get over to the right lane. He testified that he was traveling at only 35-40 miles per hour. He also claimed that he checked his mirrors at least three times before merging to the right. He claimed that, before he merged right, he saw another truck to his right, which flashed its lights, and he assumed that meant he was all clear to move into the right lane. He testified that as he slowly moved over into the right lane, he felt a slight nudge and saw our client's car "drifting" towards the right. The defendant's tractor-trailer made contact with the rear driver's side door and tire of our client's car.

INJURIES AND DAMAGES:
Our client drove away from the scene of the accident, but reported to the hospital emergency room two days after the accident with neck and back pain. She began treating conservatively with physical therapy and chiropractic care, and later with injection therapy. Diagnostic testing revealed herniated discs and radiculopathy in both her cervical and lumbar spinal areas, as well as a tear of the rotator cuff and other derangements of her right shoulder.

Approximately 10 months after the accident, the client underwent a cervical fusion surgery. Approximately a year after the accident, she also underwent an arthroscopic right shoulder surgery. Finally, nearly two years after the accident, the client ultimately also underwent a lumbar fusion surgery.

Prior to the accident, the client had experienced pain and injuries to her neck and back, which had caused her pain for several years before the accident. She was not feeling symptomatic from these preexisting injuries at the time of the accident.

Currently, our client still experiences pain and undergoes treatment for the injuries she sustained in the sideswipe accident. She had returned to work in a more limited capacity since the accident, but following her lumbar surgery, she has not been able to return to work.

RESULT:
The matter settled for $1,850,000 prior to trial.

HANDLING ATTORNEY:
This matter was handled by Partner Stephen J. Murphy.