Trucking Accidents

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 The Duffy Firm 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.

  • The Duffy Firm 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 in Pennsylvania that year, enabled Mr. Whittlesey to move into a home specially constructed to accommodate his ongoing physical needs.
  • A young woman on her way to work was struck from behind by a box truck and subsequently died from her injuries. The Duffy Firm brought suit against the driver and his employer and successfully obtained a confidential $9,000,000 settlement after it was shown through discovery that the corporate defendant provided little or no supervision over the driver who had repeated motor vehicle violations.
  • In Kelly, The Duffy Firm 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.
  • The Duffy Firm recovered $5,000,000 for the estate of a family whose wife/mother died when construction debris fell off the back of a passing truck, killing her instantly. She was a passenger and her husband, who was driving, witnessed the entire horrific event.
  • A $3,750,000 settlement in Mathis was obtained during the fourth day of trial for a 44-year-old man who was injured in a low speed, low impact crash. There was only $750 in property damage, and no traumatic injury was established on any x-ray, MRI or other study. However, during trial, The Duffy Firm, through expert research and testimony, established that the minor accident triggered a genetic response in Mr. Mathis known as Ankylosing Spondylitis, a condition of which even he was unaware. By the time of trial, Mr. Mathis walked with a cane as this genetic condition had caused a progressive fusing of his spine.
  • In Sawyer, The Duffy Firm 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 Schramm, The Duffy Firm negotiated 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.
  • The Duffy Firm recovered $2,900,000 for a minor who was injured when an erratic commercial van struck her, fracturing bones in both of her lower extremities.
  • A young schoolteacher 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. The Duffy Firm settled the matter for $2,200,000.
  • A confidential settlement of $1,800,000 involved a traumatic brain injury victim who was forced off a road in Delaware by a tractor trailer operator. While the plaintiff returned to her pre-accident job and did not have any wage loss, The Duffy Firm was able to establish a significant impact on the plaintiff’s cognitive 
    function through sophisticated diagnostic testing. Additionally, although the accident occurred in Delaware, the plaintiff lived in New Jersey, and the defendant was from Wisconsin, The Duffy Firm was able to institute and maintain this action in Philadelphia County.
  • In Wardrop, The Duffy Firm 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, The Duffy Firm 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, The Duffy Firm 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 ultimately came shortly before trial.
  • In Moyer, a Philadelphia jury awarded $850,000 in damages to our client, who had been struck and knocked down by a delivery truck as the truck was pulling out from the loading dock. The defense argued the driver had looked in his mirrors within seconds before the incident and Ms. Moyer was not present; however, The Duffy Firm successfully argued that whether she was present for merely seconds or longer was immaterial as one should not move a truck without confirming it was safe to do so.
  • A $750,000 settlement was secured for a truck driver injured when he rear-ended a disabled vehicle in front of him, causing him to not only strike the disabled vehicle, but be rear-ended himself by the vehicle behind him.
  • In this confidential case, the firm obtained a $500,000 settlement for an individual who rear-ended a slow-moving tractor trailer, which had been previously pulled over by the police for operating at a slow speed. While the incident occurred in Lehigh County, The Duffy Firm successfully instituted the action in Philadelphia County and was able to have the action remanded after it was removed to federal court on an unsuccessful fraudulent joinder argument.

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