Verizon Distracted Driver Case Settles for $3 million

3728958637_989f57407c

A female driver who was severely injured when her car was struck by a Verizon truck has settled her case for $3 million. According to The Intelligencer, the female driver settled with the major telecommunication company after seven days of trial before a 10-person jury in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The female driver alleged she was stopped at a red light the morning of February 27, 2012, when an eight-ton Verizon bucket truck slammed into the back of her car. The force of the crash was so great that she was knocked unconscious and the car caught on fire. She was rescued by a passerby who dragged her out the car to safety. The female driver suffered very severe injuries and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. She suffered spinal injuries as well as memory loss and now has difficulty sleeping, eating and dressing herself. The extent of her injuries forced her to end her 32-year career as nurse.

The complaint alleges that the Verizon truck driver was talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident. The driver recalls speaking on the phone with a Verizon tester after completing a job and momentarily taking his eyes off the road to obtain the completed job’s ticket number. Before he knew it, the plaintiff’s car was right there and he had no time to avoid the crash.

The plaintiff blamed Verizon for allowing its employees to engage in a policy – talking while driving – that posed such a threat to the community. The recent settlement highlights the continued problem and threat of distracted driving. It also highlights the power of negotiating settlements.

To Settle or Not to Settle?

In the above mentioned case, Verizon offered to settle the case before trial for $200,000 and then again on the day of jury selection for $300,000. Settlements are often encountered in personal injury cases, as well as employment and business law matters. However, the art of settling is intricate and takes much skill.

More often than not, cases are settled before going to court and getting a judgment. Approximately 95% or more of most civil litigation matters are resolved without trial, instead being settled before a verdict. There are many variables to consider when it comes to settling, and it takes a skilled attorney to settle in the client’s best interest.

There are many advantages to entering a settlement with the opposing party. First, litigation can be very costly. An attorney’s preparation for trial can include depositions, expert witnesses, travel and extensive time. Settling before trial can drastically eliminate or reduce these expenses. Furthermore, settlements can remain private, unlike trial court documents which are public records. The details of the settlement can be kept a secret and confidential to only the affected parties. Also, settlements provide a security of finality. Unlike court judgments, settlements can not be appealed. Lastly, settlements shorten the trial time, they are flexible because each party actively contributes to reaching an agreement and settlements are far less unpredictable than judgments. It is best to consult an attorney to determine if your case is best for settlement or full throttle litigation.

At Solnick & Associates LLC, we spend each day fighting on behalf of injury victims. Time is of the essence in all legal matters. Hiring a skilled attorney in Pennsylvania as early as possible increases the attorney’s ability to protect your rights and maximize the value of your case. The experienced team at Solnick & Associates, LLC can help. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We look forward to discussing your case.

Photo Credit: Skip&Nell via Compfight cc