Lessons learned: how to choose your legal team after a vehicle crash

June 28th, 2018

By Dean I Weitzman, Esq.


Auto accidents happen all the time, but they are not always accidents.

In most cases, vehicle crashes are the result of the negligence or poor decisions of others.

The problem is that such negligence and poor decisions can have grave impacts on others – including you and your family members – causing horrific injuries, pain and suffering and even death.

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Image credit: ©

Such was the case of a 36-year-old central Pennsylvania man, who was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Aug. 18, 2007 near Harrisburg when a speeding tractor-trailer rig overturned and dumped its heavy cargo of wooden pallets laden with stacked paper bags onto the man’s car.

It only took an instant.

Yet it was an instant that changed the lives of so many – the man who died, his 41-year-old wife, who was left alone to care for their two teen-aged daughters, the truck driver and many more.

Last month, the case was settled for $6.5 million, according to a story in The Legal Intelligencer, but that settlement wouldn’t have happened had the family dealt directly with the insurance companies.

The man’s death and the resulting settlement are stark reminders of the importance of having a skilled, relentless, knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney on your side when your case goes to court.

This particular case was incredibly tragic.

The victim, Todd Black, who worked as a senior IT client services analyst for Cingular Wireless, was simply driving his van that day on a highway ramp making his way from I-83 to I-81, The Legal Intelligencer story said. Just at that moment, huge, heavy wooden pallets of paper bags were tossed from a ramp above by an overturning tractor-trailer. The impacts from the pallets and bags crushed Black’s van, killing him.

The tractor-trailer’s driver was driving at 72 mph at his rig attempted to traverse a curve on a highway ramp above where Black was driving, according to the lawsuit. The truck driver “did not slow down despite posted signs warning that the ramp curved and reducing the speed limit to 50 miles per hour,” according to the legal briefs.

In another tragic turn for the victim’s family, the trucking company that was sub-contracted to deliver the load of paper bags to York, Pa., that day had received poor driver safety and safety management ratings for its operations, according to the briefs in the case.

The trucking sub-contractor tried to blame the truck driver’s actions for the crash.

The plaintiff’s attorney’s however, pointed out the negligence of all the trucking companies involved, from the primary carrier to the sub-contractor and related parties, none of whom took the time to ensure the quality and safety records of the transportation firms with which they did business on that fateful day.

The plaintiff’s legal team also had uncovered that the truck and trailer involved in the crash had expired inspections and that the driver had not rested the mandatory amount of time he was required to rest before the crash occurred, according to the legal briefs.

The attorneys also claimed that the load of pallets and paper bags had not been properly loaded or secured within the tractor-trailer’s confines.

Why is all of this relevant in this case?

Because it attests once again to the critical importance after such a tragedy to seek out qualified, extraordinary, compassionate legal help if and when such a horrific event befalls you or your loved ones.

You want to be sure that you have the right legal team to get to the heart of your case, to get to all the pertinent facts and to uncover ever relevant piece of information that can increase your damage award and give you what you deserve.

A skilled legal team, like you will find here at MyPhillyLawyer, will help you and your loved ones recover the damages to which you are entitled after a vehicle crash that harms you or your family.

We will be there from the start of your case to help you, support you, advise you, console you and represent you with decades of legal experience, compassion and trial savvy.

At MyPhillyLawyer, you will never be alone as your case progresses. We will be there every step of the way, keeping you up-to-date on the progress of your case at every juncture.

When losing isn’t an option, call MyPhillyLawyer.

We will not let you down.

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