Attorney Mike Brown represented a self-employed truck driver who was injured in August 2012 when his tractor-trailer was struck head-on by another vehicle in a two-lane exit and entrance ramp connected to Interstate 81 near Homer, N.Y., in Cortland County.
Mike’s client was exiting I-81 southbound when the other driver, operating her vehicle on an entrance ramp to I-81 northbound, crossed into our client’s lane and collided with the truck while driving 60 miles per hour.
Mike’s client was transported by ambulance to Cortland Regional Medical Center with pain in his lower back and left thumb. The driver of the vehicle apologized to Mike’s client in the emergency room, saying she had fallen asleep while driving. She verbally accepted responsibility for the crash. Mike’s client said he saw the vehicle approaching and tried to avoid it but was unsuccessful.
Mike’s client was initially diagnosed with sprains in his left thumb, wrist, and back. His pain worsened in the months ahead, and he reported lower back pain that radiated into his left leg. It wasn’t until June 2013 that a neurosurgeon diagnosed a disc herniation, but surgery did not offer any relief.
Additional treatments, pain medications, physical therapy, and surgeries also failed to offer any relief and he continues to have pain and numbness in his left leg and foot. He is no longer able to drive a tractor-trailer and now has a part-time driving position.
The vehicle driver, initially charged with Failing to Drive on the Right Side of the Roadway, eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, a Stopping/Standing violation, according to court records. The driver was convicted of DWI in 2006 and struck another vehicle from behind that had slowed in traffic in 2011.
At deposition, the vehicle driver, a medical doctor, adamantly denied falling asleep at the wheel, saying she had never fallen asleep while driving. She also claimed that our client drove into her lane.
The insurance company also argued that Mike’s client’s injuries were not related to the crash, but the insurance company settled in 2017 for $300,000, one week before the trial was scheduled to start.