Trash collection has always been a job full of dangers. Not only do workers have to handle heavy materials that could possibly contain sharp or hazardous objects, but they spend their day getting in and out of the garbage truck with other vehicles constantly trying to pass them by.
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Just recently, a truck caused a chain reaction accident which left a trash collector fighting for his life.
The victim was busy going about his day with his partner. His partner was driving and he was on the back of the truck, emptying trash cans as he went. At one point on their route, his partner stopped the truck and he went around the left side of the truck to grab a can. Behind him, a chipper truck stopped and another passenger car also stopped. While he was walking around the truck, the passenger car attempted to pass both trucks at the same time that the chipper truck pulled out and the two collided. The collision caused part of the passenger car to spin, hitting the victim and pinning him against his own truck.
The impact crushed both of his legs and almost complete severed his right leg above the knee. The femoral artery in the right leg was also severed and he began to lose blood quickly. Luckily a bystander was a trained Army medic who applied a tourniquet, otherwise, he may have bled out before the ambulance arrived.
He was rushed to the hospital where he was given blood transfusions to replace the blood he had lost and he underwent immediate surgery on both legs. Sadly, the surgeons were unable to save his right leg and it was amputated. The left leg was saved however it took several additional fixation surgeries to repair the orthopedic damage.
He now wears a prosthetic and suffers from phantom pain in his right leg as well as chronic pain in the left. He has been unable to go back to work because of his injuries.
The victim chose to file a lawsuit against the driver of the chipper truck and the company that owned the chipper truck, alleging that the driver failed to keep a proper lookout and that if he had, the victim would be unharmed.
The company and the driver admitted liability prior to the trial and the parties were able to settle for $11 million.
Yes, the insurance company will cover some of the victim’s medical expenses but depending on how much the policy limits offer, they may not cover all of his medical bills. At this time, he has already had more than $600,000 in care and will likely need more in the future.
In addition to this, the car insurance will not cover things like physical pain and suffering or the emotional trauma that the victim has endured.
There is no amount of money that can truly help a victim get over the emotional pain and stress that is caused by both an accident and the injuries they sustained. However, monetary compensation can help the victim pay for therapy to treat their anxiety, depression, and PTSD as well as antidepressants and anxiety medications.
This is a very difficult question to answer. There are benefits to accepting an offer to settle - the plaintiff knows exactly how much money they will be receiving and they typically get that money within 30 days of the agreement.
However, not every offer is large enough to provide the plaintiff with the compensation that they need and sometimes, no offer is made. Then, it may be better to take the case to court.
The decision is entirely up to the plaintiff and they must do what is best for them.
As soon as possible, not only is there a statute of limitations which means that victims only have a certain amount of time to file their complaint but the longer that a plaintiff waits the harder it is to collect evidence. Evidence that can help support a case may include photographs of the scene, witness statements, and video surveillance. An attorney can help collect this evidence.
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