Drunk Driver Slams into Tow Truck at 132 Miles-Per-Hour on Long Island Expressway
Our attorneys secured a $9,750,000 settlement for a 37-year-old tow truck driver following a devastating accident caused by a drunk driver speeding over 130 miles-per-hour on the Long Island Expressway. The collision resulted in severe injuries including bilateral knee fractures, torn ankle tendons, and head trauma leading to seizures.
Court and County
Supreme Court Nassau County
Our client is a 37-year-old man who resides in Suffolk County with his fiancée. Originating from Jamaica, West Indies, he completed his secondary education in his homeland before immigrating to the United States, where he achieved American citizenship and pursued a career as a tow truck operator.
Roadside Nightmare Caused by Drunk Driver
Our client’s harrowing ordeal unfolded on the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County, a traumatic incident that has left an indelible mark on his life. At the time of the accident, our client, diligently performing his duties as a tow truck operator en route to Connecticut, was driving in the right-hand lane of the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County.
Suddenly, the defendant, operating a 2019 Mercedes Benz, violently collided with the rear of our client’s vehicle. The force of the impact propelled our client’s tow truck off the roadway, causing it to collide with a guardrail and overturn. The next thing our client recalled was waking up in the hospital several days later.
How We Fought for Our Client
Our client was thrust into a challenging recovery journey. The defendant not only caused physical harm but also inflicted emotional and psychological distress that will impact our client and his family for a lifetime.
Our attorneys met with our client and listened to our client’s narrative about the accident and subsequent pain and suffering.
The investigation of the accident laid bare the reckless actions of the defendant. It was revealed that the defendant was operating the vehicle at an astonishing speed of 132 MPH at the moment of impact, all while under the influence of alcohol. Subsequent blood alcohol testing, conducted four hours post-collision, unveiled a staggering blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17, well above the legal limit. The severity of the defendant’s culpability was further underscored by the subsequent legal proceedings, wherein they were arrested, indicted, and pleaded guilty to charges including Vehicular Assault, Assault in the Second Degree, and Aggravated DWI.
We fervently sought justice and restitution for our client, emphasizing the need to hold the defendant accountable for their reckless and malicious conduct. Our legal team asserted that the defendant bore full responsibility, absolving our client of any contributory negligence. Our strategic advocacy led to the Court’s favorable ruling on our Motion for Summary Judgment, decisively establishing the defendant’s liability for the accident.
Additionally, we vigorously contended that the defendant’s egregious actions, namely operating the vehicle at an elevated speed while under the influence, constituted reckless conduct. In pursuit of justice and deterrence, we advocated for imposing punitive damages against the defendant.
Seizures, Multiple Surgeries, and a Life Forever Altered
The aftermath of the accident has cast a long and painful shadow over our client’s life. Following his ejection from the vehicle, our client was discovered unconscious on the roadside, necessitating an urgent airlift to Stony Brook University Hospital. The severity of his injuries became starkly apparent during the flight as he endured several seizures. Upon arrival at Stony Brook, our client, in a state of profound vulnerability, underwent intubation and sedation as medical professionals grappled with the gravity of his condition and identified a significant head injury.
During the subsequent three-week hospitalization at Stony Brook, a comprehensive diagnosis revealed the extent of our client’s physical afflictions. Bilateral knee fractures, torn tendons in the left ankle, and a laceration to the wrist were caused by the violent collision. Surgical intervention became imperative, leading to the meticulous repair of the bilateral knee fractures through Open Reduction and Internal Fixation.
The journey towards recovery, however, was far from over. Continuing under the vigilant care of orthopedic specialists, our client underwent further surgical procedures to address complications arising from the initial injuries. Left ankle surgery aimed at repairing torn tendons, coupled with the removal of scar tissue and the painful bone growth associated with heterotopic ossification, became unavoidable. Despite these interventions, the lingering repercussions persist, manifesting as ongoing bilateral knee pain, restricted range of motion, and difficulties in sustained ambulation. Ultimately, he is expected to require a total knee replacement in the future.
In tandem with the orthopedic challenges, our client struggles with the enduring consequences of the head injury, marked by frequent headaches and memory issues. Chronic low back pain and persistent discomfort in the left ankle further contribute to his physical tribulations. These relentless afflictions have rendered him incapable of returning to the activities he enjoyed before the accident, including exercise, gym visits, and sports.
Despite our client’s resilient spirit, he persistently endures challenges – left knee pain with limited range of motion, persistent pain in the left ankle and right knee, and ongoing low back discomfort. Post-concussive symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and cognitive deficits, further compound his struggles. Managing this intricate health landscape, our client relies on anti-seizure and pain medications.
Moreover, the toll on his professional life is devastating, as he remains unable to resume his role as a tow truck operator, presently classified as disabled. Our client’s plight demanded compassion and an unwavering pursuit of justice and restitution to alleviate the profound impact on his well-being and livelihood.
The matter was settled at a mediation prior to trial for $9,750,000.
Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue handled this matter.