Motor vehicle accidents involving commercial vehicles can be a terrifying experience for those involved and an exercise in frustration for attorneys who represent victims. Often, trucking companies have counsel present at the accident scene and make securing necessary investigative materials difficult.
Trucking accidents, more so than other litigation, require immediate attention to preserve relevant (and perishable) evidence and to ensure the integrity of the accident scene. Many things can be overlooked or altered, and electronically-stored information can be erased, even accidentally, within a short time frame. Specific requests regarding immediate evidence preservation, then, are essential to such a case. Further complicating the evaluation is the myriad of federal regulations potentially applicable to each accident.
The Philadelphia Lawyers of Duffy + Fulginiti have assisted many victims of automobile and trucking accidents, whose lives have been torn apart due to a moment of inattention or a trucking company’s relentless need to push truck drivers as hard as possible.
We know the laws. We have successfully used the electronic data from a black box, and other electronically-saved information to assist accident victims. We have established liability and successfully pursued actions against companies for everything from operator error, negligent vehicle maintenance and improper loading of vehicles to negligent hiring and training, and fraudulent record keeping, just to name a few. More importantly, we have a great deal of experience battling these corporate giants in pursuit of your rights, and we have the means to address your life-long injuries resulting from the accident.
- In Whittlesey, Duffy + Fulginiti obtained a $12,000,000 settlement for client Terry Whittlesey, a young man who, while a passenger in a car on his way to a vacation, was rear-ended by a commercial truck. The trucking company denied all fault associated with the accident and only agreed to the settlement after jury selection was completed and the trial was about to begin. The settlement, which was reported as one of the largest verdicts in the state that year, enabled Mr. Whittlesey to move from a trailer into a home that was specially-constructed to accommodate his ongoing physical needs.
- In Kelly, Duffy + Fulginiti settled Reverend Crawford Kelly, Jr.'s claim for $6,000,000, the full insurance policy limit available in the litigation, after Reverend Kelly’s vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer, causing his vehicle to flip and resulting in the traumatic amputation of his arm. The settlement for the incident, which occurred in New Jersey, was reported as one of the largest verdicts in the state that year.
- In Sawyer, Duffy + Fulginiti secured a $3,750,000 settlement for client Susan Sawyer, a former security guard at a port in Delaware County who was the victim of devastating injuries when a tractor trailer ran over her leg and foot.
- In Mathis, Duffy + Fulginiti obtained a $3,750,000 settlement during the fourth day of trial for a man who was injured in a low-speed, low-impact crash. There was only $750 in property damage, and there was no traumatic injury established on any x-ray, MRI or other study. However, during trial, Duffy + Fulginiti , through expert research and testimony, established that the minor accident triggered a genetic condition in Mr. Mathis, then 44, known as Ankylosing Spondylitis, a condition of which Mr. Mathis was even unaware. By the time of trial, Mr. Mathis walked with a cane as his genetic condition had caused a progressive fusing of his spine.
- In Schramm, Duffy + Fulginiti won a $3,400,000 settlement for a client who suffered massive leg injuries when the tractor-trailer he was driving was hit by another trucker's rig.
- In one confidential matter, Duffy + Fulginiti represented a young schoolteacher who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being struck in a multi-car pileup following a flash freeze involving multiple vehicles. Defendants denied wrongdoing since many vehicles were involved, and claimed that the plaintiff’s injury actually came from an accident some weeks prior. The firm’s accident reconstruction experts established that the defendant drivers were at fault, since the plaintiff’s car was positioned on the side of the road, and, had the defendants been operating at safe speeds for the weather conditions, they would have had time to react. This matter settled for $2,200,000.
- In Wardrop, Duffy + Fulginiti attained a $1,700,000 settlement for the family of a warehouse worker who was killed when the driver of a tractor trailer being unloaded by Bruce Wardrop moved the truck without warning, which caused the forklift being operated by Mr. Wardrop to overturn, causing his untimely death.
- In Staton, Duffy + Fulginiti settled client Stacy Staton’s suit for $1,100,000 against a company who improperly loaded items onto a tractor trailer he was driving, which caused the truck to tip over during a turn and which resulted in his suffering multiple injuries, surgery and ongoing physical limitations and pain.
- In Britt, Duffy + Fulginiti obtained a policy limits settlement of $1,000,000 in Lehigh County for an Upper Darby police officer who suffered a back injury following an accident with a lumber truck. While the defense disputed liability, causation and damages, and conducted countless hours of surveillance of Mr. Britt, an inflexible policy limit demand was made, and a tender of those limits ultimately came shortly before trial.