Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Mom Gets $90M Jury Verdict after a Truck Crash Leaves Her With One Child Dead and Another Permanently Paralyzed

| Feb 21, 2019 | Automobile Accidents |

Cars often weigh around 2,700 to 4,000 pounds. Pickup trucks, vans and SUVs weigh 4,000-6,000 pounds. A commercial truck carrying a full load might weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Clearly, the unavoidable physics associated with these numbers tells you that, in a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, the amount of damage to the driver and passengers of the car/pickup/van/SUV can be catastrophic as the smaller vehicle will likely bear the brunt of the impact. The harm these people suffer can be horrific and permanently life-altering. The accident may create a need for a lifetime of medical care, and perhaps permanent disability. To get the financial recovery you need as a result of such a wreck, you may need to avail yourself to the legal system. If that happens to you in Illinois, be sure you have retained a skilled Illinois truck accident attorney to help you with your case.

A recent case that made news headlines demonstrates just how severe these damages can be. J.B., a mom of three, lost control of her pickup truck along a stretch of eastbound Interstate 20 in west Texas when she allegedly hit a patch of icy roadway. The pickup skidded across the roadway and into the westbound lanes. At that point, a commercial truck driver was headed westbound. The big rig slammed into the pickup.

The results of the crash were tragic. A report from indicated that the mom and the one child suffered substantial brain injuries. J.B.’s 12-year-old daughter was left with permanent paralysis that meant that she would be a quadriplegic for the rest of life, forever requiring 24-hour care. The accident killed J.B.’s 7-year-old son.

The terrible outcome demonstrates just how horrific the results of a commercial truck accident can be. With J.B.’s family, there were several types of injuries and several types of damages. One child was dead, which meant that the mother was entitled to pursue a claim for wrongful death. Here in Illinois, this state has something called the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. This law says that you can pursue monetary damages from the defendants for their negligent acts that took the life of your loved one. You can obtain damages for “loss of support,” which means the economic contributions the deceased would have made to your family. You can also get loss of consortium damages, which is the loss of your loved one’s companionship, in addition to getting damages for grief, sorrow and mental suffering. Certainly, the last of these three would be very high when, as was the case for this mom in Texas, the deceased is a young child.

Even when injuries are non-fatal, damages can be extreme. J.B.’s daughter survived, but will be a quadriplegic for life, meaning that she will need round-the-clock care for as long as she lives. In this circumstance, that means that the child likely had incurred considerable past medical expenses and that her future medical and care expenses would be extremely high. All of these costs are potentially compensable in a personal injury claim.

You might wonder how J.B. was able to succeed when it was her pickup that skidded into the oncoming lanes of traffic. This mom’s successful litigation demonstrates just how important getting all the evidence can be. The plaintiff had proof allegedly showing that the trucking company had not given the driver a thermometer to monitor road conditions and had not provided him with a CB radio. The mother also had evidence that she claimed showed that the driver was speeding and should never have been on I-20 at all (due to the icy conditions), but rather should have been traveling an alternate route.

All of that evidence persuaded the jury and resulted in a verdict against the trucking company and the driver, totaling roughly $90 million.

If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, consult the skilled Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been providing effective and thoughtful representation for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

A Chicago Driver Receives a $4.75M Settlement After Her Collision With a Municipal Garbage Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 10, 2018

Southern Illinois DOT Worker Receives $2.3M Damages Award After Injury Arising From Near-Collision With a Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 10, 2018