I got the honor of being asked to help another lawyer, Mike Sarratt, with a tractor-trailer accident case. His client, Eddie Ross, got hammered by a trucker who was “bobtailing”—the industry term for driving the cab with no trailer attached. Despite the lack of extra weight, the massive cab still caused a fearsome collision.
A Fearsome Crash
Eddie Ross is driving to work on South Carolina Highway 14. As he carefully drives through an intersection at 15mph, the trucker attempts to exert her will to turn left in front of him, smashing into his driver’s side at 45mph with her tractor truck. The impact shreds Eddie Ross’s car. His head slams into his window, knocking him out. First responders had to cut him out of the car.
Eddie Ross gets rushed to the hospital. He requires an overnight stay for a broken vertebra in his neck, a collapsed lung, and a gash on his right knee from the dashboard shoving into his leg. For several months, he struggles with nagging pain from his neck and his knee injury and PTSD-like symptoms of anxiety from reliving the nightmarish impact and depression from the stress of dealing with his symptoms.
How We Worked Together to Get it Resolved
When Mike and Eddie Ross asked for my help, negotiations had stalled. The trucking insurance company had gone beyond keeping hardball negotiations in-house. They’d hired a defense attorney to handle them.
While Eddie Ross wasn’t critically injured, he still had a story to tell. We made sure that story got told through the important people in his life, who witnessed the physical and emotional toll the crash took on him. Once we’d told that story, the defense attorney made it clear the insurance company wanted to resolve the case.
While some long, tough negotiations followed, we remained true to our strategy. Our commitment to achieving Eddie Ross’s settlement goal kept us focused and patient.
Eddie Ross is a bright fella who stayed highly engaged throughout the process. He made a great choice in hiring Mike, and I’m thankful they brought me in on their team.
Pre-lawsuit negotiations are delicate—you don’t want to make the insurance company think you’ll settle cheap. But you aim at easing the insurance company into paying proper value. We realized we could get there, and we did. Most of all, I’m thankful we got a satisfying result for Eddie Ross.