Why Hiring PR&A for Your Motor Vehicle and Truck Accident Case Can Make All the Difference

By: Attorney Sherri L. Warfel
Many people do not realize that the lawyers you retain can and often do make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. In today’s environment, it takes a law firm with financial and personnel resources and experienced and aggressive lawyering to assure that you get the best settlement or verdict in your motor vehicle or truck accident claim. PR&A brings all of that to each client. A complex truck accident case this firm recently settled for a significantly injured plaintiff illustrates that principle. PR&A, for the reasons explained below, was able obtain an excellent result in a matter that could have easily resulted in no recovery for the plaintiff in the hands of other lawyers.

In that case, a young woman employed by Verizon was driving a company van down a heavily traveled road in Pennington, New Jersey. The road was composed of two lanes in one direction and two lanes in the opposing direction. In the opposing lanes of travel, several events began to unravel. A mail truck was traveling in the right lane of traffic stopping at each residence to deliver mail. This mail truck was causing traffic in the right lane to slow. Some of the traffic in the left lane was also slowing in anticipation of cars changing lanes.

A dump truck entered the road from the highway about a half a mile away from what eventually became the scene of the truck accident. The driver of the truck joined the traffic in the opposing lane of travel. An unknown vehicle that was behind the mail truck suddenly changed from the right to the left lane. The dump truck driver, now approaching in the lane behind this vehicle, attempted to bring his truck to a dramatic stop to avoid hitting the vehicle that had changed lanes. In doing so, the dump truck driver skidded over the double yellow dividing line between the opposing lanes and caused a head on collision between the Verizon van and the dump truck resulting in the truck accident.

A firm that has been in the civil litigation business as long as Pellettieri Rabstein and Altman brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to a file that is hard to match. For instance, a fact of which you may not be aware is that a recovery can be obtained from the unidentified vehicle, which abruptly switched lanes setting off the course of events leading to the truck accident. This can be done through the pursuit of a matter under the UM or uninsured motorist provision required in the injured person’s own insurance policy. This firm pursued that claim and also pursued a recovery through Verizon’s UM coverage.

It might appear at first glance that the primary case to be made was against the unknown vehicle, which switched lanes in a hurry. However, the firm was able to obtain a large portion of the recovery from the dump truck driver. That route was more advantageous to our client because the dump truck had significant insurance coverage through its commercial policy.

Even though the dump truck driver denied fault in the matter, PR&A proved that he was at fault. The dump truck entered the opposing lane of travel in the left lane-the fast lane. The truck driver had a clear view of the events transpiring ahead of him for at least half a mile. That distance may not sound like a lot but the firm was able to show that the distance and clear view was sufficient for the truck driver to have avoided the accident if he was vigilant. We showed that through diagrams, plat maps and retaining both an engineer and photographer to re-create the line of vision of the dump truck. Moreover, the truck driver was operating a heavy vehicle in the left passing lane seeing cars in both lanes ahead slowing down, and he made no attempt to bring the truck to a stop until it was too late. An added fact is that it came out though our questioning at the truck driver’s deposition, that the truck driver began to brake in a manner that would have been unsuccessful in bringing the truck to a complete stop, something referred to as “jake braking.” Knowing from our expertise that such manner of braking is prohibited in many towns, we researched and found an ordinance in the town where the accident happened prohibiting jake braking. As a result of our investigation, research and work, it became clear that the truck driver had sufficient time within which to bring his vehicle to a stop and avoid the collision.

Through all of the above work, our lawyers were able to recover $650,000.00 for the injured plaintiff, $550,000.00 of which was recovered from the dump truck driver. This is a significant settlement considering the injured plaintiff progressed well with treatment and was able to return to her previous position with Verizon. This result was achieved because this firm has the resources, capability and experience to build a winning case despite the many obstacles posed to a successful recovery. So hiring the right lawyer does make a difference. PR&A can make that difference in your case!

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