In the pursuit of personal injury justice, certain cases stand out as emblematic battles for accountability. Dalal v. Brown Trucking Company is one such landmark trial, where the attorneys at Fried Goldberg were able to secure a groundbreaking $16.66 million verdict.
In this blog, we delve into the details of the trial which unfolded over four intense days. We describe the legal arguments that shaped the narrative and the profound implications of the jury’s decision on our client who is surviving with a severe traumatic brain injury.
If you need proven legal representation for a semi-truck accident lawsuit, contact Fried Goldberg at (877) 591-1801 as soon as possible. This case is a triumph of justice for an injured driver dealing with the aftermath of a life-altering collision. We’re ready to handle your case with the same dedication.
The Incident: Semi-Truck Accident Collision
The incident occurred on I-285 in Decatur when Evans Tshongwe, driving a Brown Trucking big rig, abruptly braked to avoid colliding with a passing van. The truck’s emergency braking system caused it to stop in the middle of the highway.
Avnish Dalal, then 21 years old, who was traveling behind the big rig, swerved to avoid Tshongwe’s vehicle but clipped it, subsequently colliding with another tractor-trailer and ultimately ending up beneath the Brown Trucking vehicle.
The Trial: Dalal v. Brown Trucking Company
During the trial, the focus revolved around Tshongwe and Dalal’s driving decisions leading up to the crash.
Defense attorney John Dixon argued that Tshongwe acted appropriately under the circumstances, using evidence such as video and vehicle data to demonstrate that Tshongwe had insufficient time to evaluate alternative maneuvers as the van passed through his lane.
The plaintiff’s attorneys for Dalal, led by Fried Goldberg’s Michael Goldberg, asserted that Tshongwe violated industry standards by not applying brakes promptly and failing to accelerate once the van left the lane. In this case, the trucking technology that was supposed to prevent human error and avoid a crash instead set up a collision. “You’re going to start seeing a lot more cases that involve some failure of that system because it’s not intuitive,” said plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Fried.
Our legal team at Fried Goldberg faced the challenge of overcoming bias associated with rear-end collisions. Attorney Joe Fried also highlighted the necessity of relying on trucking industry standards and statistics to counter preconceived notions surrounding liability for rear-end accidents.
The case strategically centered on the violation of industry standards, presenting a compelling argument that proved effective in persuading the jury.
In a semi-truck accident lawsuit, compensation may include payment for medical expenses, damages for lost wages or diminished earning capacity, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. In cases of extreme negligence or willful misconduct, punitive damages might also be sought to punish the responsible party and deter similar actions in the future.
The Result: $16+ Million Semi-Truck Accident Verdict
After approximately five hours of deliberation, the jury found Brown Trucking Company 60% responsible for the crash, with Dalal bearing 40% of the responsibility. This apportionment suggests that the awarded $16.66 million will likely be reduced to around $10 million, a substantial amount much needed to secure dignity and care for Dalal’s future.
Notably, this amount significantly surpasses the pre-trial offer of $2 million made by the trucking company’s insurer.
Following the verdict, Joe Fried commended the defense attorneys for their professionalism. However, he criticized Brown Trucking’s insurer for settlement negotiation decisions that, according to him, forced the case to a jury trial: “They never should have put our client through this. I am just happy that we didn’t let him down.”
Despite challenges, the legal team at Fried Goldberg expressed satisfaction in securing justice for Dalal and emphasized the importance of educating the jury about trucking safety standards.
Contact a Lawyer for Help With a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement
The $16.66 million verdict in Dalal v. Brown Trucking Company marks a significant win for justice and highlights the importance of holding trucking companies accountable for adhering to industry standards.
This case also underscores the complexities of legal battles surrounding truck accidents and serves as a reminder of the lasting impact such incidents can have on individuals’ lives.
Truck accident lawsuits can secure vital compensation for medical care and loss of income, even if the other side’s insurance agents refuse a fair settlement. At Fried Goldberg, we do not rest until our clients have what they need to both survive and thrive. Contact us by calling (877) 591-1801 to work with attorneys who deliver proven results.
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