The collision reportedly happened one afternoon last month, when the bucket truck, traveling north, reportedly careened into the southbound lane, and into a Ford Ranger, driven by a 20-year-old man. Inside that Ford truck was also an 18-year-old female passenger. Both young adults suffered critical injuries and had to be flown by helicopter to a nearby trauma center. The 18-year-old has since been upgraded to good condition, but the driver remains in critical condition, and has not yet awoken from an accident-induced coma.
Martinsville Bulletin reported that the 54-year-old driver of the bucket truck was charged with his second intoxicated while driving offense, second refusal to take a breath or blood test and reckless driving/ failure to maintain control. The crash occurred in Martinsville, VA, about one hour north of Greensboro via US Highway 220.
The car accident lawsuit was filed less than a month after the crash, likely because liability in this case is very clear and there is definite insurance money available through the at-fault driver’s employer.
The young driver’s father, who has been appointed by the court as guardian and conservator of his son, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit. A conservator is someone who has been appointed by a judge to oversee the affairs – legal and otherwise – of a person who is incapacitated. The father has described his son’s injuries as “catastrophic,” most notably massive head injuries for which he has undergone numerous head and brain surgeries. He remains in a comatose state, and it is not known at this point if he will regain consciousness from that state or if he does, what the extent of his recovery will be. That’s in addition to the torn internal organs, broken hips, legs and shoulder injuries.
According to the complaint, the driver was incapacitated as a result of the significant personal injuries he sustained in the crash. Comcast, a cable company that operates nationally (including North Carolina) employed the driver, whose negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the accident and the driver’s injuries.
Plaintiff contends the cable company is not only vicariously liable for the actions of its workers, but it was directly liable for negligently entrusting the vehicle to the allegedly impaired worker. The company is also accused of negligent hiring because superiors at the company reportedly had full knowledge that not only did the driver have a problem with habitual consumption of alcohol, but also that he had a history of driving after drinking. That’s because during his employment with the cable company, the driver was convicted of DUI and refusal to take a blood/ breathalyzer test. He ultimately pleaded guilty to DUI in that first case. As a result of that conviction, defendant driver reportedly had a restricted driving license, which allowed him to drive to-and-from work and while on-call with the cable company. His employer reportedly knew of his license restriction and the reason for it.
His father alleges his son has been rendered permanently disabled and permanently disfigured as a result of the injury. He is asking for $20 million in damages, plus prejudgment interest. He expressed reservation of rights to amend the complaint if the extent or full nature of injuries reveal even further damages.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Suit seeks $20M in wreck involving Comcast truck, May 3, 2016, By Paul Collins, Martinsville Bulletin
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North Carolina Trucker Falls Asleep, 50,000 Pounds of Potatoes Cake the Highway, May 15, 2016, Greensboro Truck Accident Lawyer Blog