$2M Verdict to Man Injured When His Pickup Was Rear-Ended by a Truck

A 44-year-old Pennsylvania man has been awarded a $2 million verdict by a jury after he was severely injured in November 2013 when his pick-up truck was rear-ended by a truck being operated by a drunk driver on Interstate 81 in Guildford Township, Franklin County.

The plaintiff, Francisco Ramos-Becerra, was parked along the shoulder of I-81, refilling his Ford pickup truck with fuel around 5 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2013, when his vehicle was rear-ended by a truck tractor traveling at about 50 mph, according to a Jun 8 story by The Legal Intelligencer. The tractor, which was being operated without a trailer, had veered off the highway and smashed into the victim’s pickup.

The truck driver, Ricky Hatfield, was an independent contractor for JB Hunt Transportation and was between deliveries when the crash occurred, the story reported. Hatfield, who operated his own company, Hatfield Trucking, was later cited for operating a motor vehicle under the influence and was sentenced to prison.

The lawsuit filed by Ramos-Becerra alleged that JB Hunt was negligent in contracting with Hatfield as a driver and had not conducted an adequate background check on him. Had the company checked his background well, it would have learned of an earlier DUI by Hatfield in 2009 while operating a tractor-trailer, the plaintiff’s alleged.

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

The victim suffered a wide range of injuries in the crash, including fractures to his nasal bone, skull, right tibia, 12 rib fractures and a left anterior cruciate ligament tear. The tibia and rib fractures required open reduction and internal fixation surgery. After about three weeks in a hospital, he was transferred for inpatient rehabilitation therapy for several weeks. He continued with in-home and outpatient physical therapy and underwent mental health therapy with a psychiatrist. He was also diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome after developing extreme pain in his legs, according to the story. Ramos-Becerra, who now uses a cane to walk, claimed he is permanently disabled due to his injuries from the crash.

His lawsuit sought to recover $282,000 in medical costs, $115,500 in past wages and $918,000 in future lost earnings.

Following the trial, a jury ruled in favor of Ramos-Becerra, awarding him and his wife $2 million in damages, while also finding Hatfield and his company 100 percent liable in the crash. JB Hunt was found to have no liability in the incident.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle accident or incident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-789-9346 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

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