Elevator Mechanic Recovers $4.7M in a Motor Vehicle Negligence Suit

October 10, 2016 by personalinjuryatty.com

A 43 year-old elevator mechanic was pulled over by a police officer on Interstate Route 295 in New Jersey, when his car was struck by another vehicle and pushed into a concrete barrier. The vehicle that struck him was forced off of the road by a fuel tanker tractor-trailer. The elevator mechanic claimed the fuel tanker tractor-trailer negligently changed lanes at high speed causing the accident. He brought suit against the fuel tanker tractor-trailer trucker, not the driver of the vehicle that actually struck his car.

The elevator mechanic’s neuropsychologist asserted that he sustained a closed head injury which left him with a permanent brain injury. According to Brain and Spinal Cord.com, a closed head injury is a trauma in which the brain is injured as a result of a blow to the head, or a sudden, violent motion that causes the brain to knock against the skull. A closed head injury is different from an open head injury, in that no object actually penetrates the brain. Closed head injuries can be diffuse, meaning that they affect cells and tissues throughout the brain; or focal, meaning that the damage occurs in one area. Closed head injuries can range from mild to severe.“ The elevator mechanic’s injuries were severe, characterized by cognitive deficits, memory problems and emotional issues. The neurologist also reported that the man suffered a lumbar injury which necessitated a lumbar fusion surgery, as well as nerve damage to his left arm. The elevator mechanic stated that he was totally disabled as a result of these injuries.

The lawyer for the elevator mechanic highlighted the less-than-perfect driving record of the of fuel tanker tractor-trailer driver. The driver had been involved in several prior accidents and had his driver’s license suspended at least once before. The lawyer stated that the driver was not properly trained, and was negligently employed as a fuel tanker tractor-trailer operator.

The fuel tanker tractor-trailer operator maintained that the accident was caused by the driver of the vehicle which actually struck the elevator mechanic’s car, who was not a party to this lawsuit. The fuel tanker tractor-trailer operator argued that his vehicle never contacted the any other vehicle. He disputed liability for the accident, and for the extent and nature of the elevator mechanic’s injuries. He also argued that the mechanic’s lumbar condition and the necessity for his surgery were not related to the collision.

The mechanic had proven work history as a union elevator mechanic earning a salary of $100,000 per year, and claimed a total disability from employment. The police officer who pulled over the mechanic’s vehicle, as well as the driver of the third vehicle, were also injured in the collision and claimed a portion of the available insurance proceeds.

The case was settled prior to trial, in a mediation session, for a total of $4,700,000. It represents the remaining available insurance funds.


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