$2.75 Million Recovery: Tractor Trailer Crash

Truck accident lawyer

The wife of a tractor trailer driver came to the Ritchie Law Firm after her husband, and father of her three children, was killed in a tractor trailer crash in Rockingham County, Virginia. The crash had happened on Interstate 81, killing three and injuring two others.
The wreck happened when a tractor trailer driver for a national trucking company left the roadway as he traveled north on Interstate 81. The truck traveled through the median and entered the southbound lanes of travel, striking a box truck and Honda Civic head-on. Our client’s husband was the driver of the box truck, and the front of his vehicle was crushed by the front impact. Our client’s husband was killed instantly as a result of the collision.
Of course, our client and her family were devastated by the loss of their beloved husband and father. But, because he was the sole provider for the family, his loss was even more deeply felt, as the fear of a lifetime of financial burdens loomed large.
Because the driver of the tractor trailer that left the roadway and caused the collision was also killed by the impact, this case required extensive evidence gathering as well as preparation of expert witnesses. An autopsy indicated that the tractor trailer driver had died of blunt force trauma, but there was also evidence of an enlarged heart. Lawyers for the trucking company seized upon evidence of the enlarged heart and claimed that the tractor trailer driver had a heart attack, which then caused him to leave the roadway and drive his truck into oncoming traffic. Under Virginia law, a driver may be relieved of liability for negligence if that driver suffered a verifiable medical emergency, such as a heart attack.
To combat the tractor trailer driver’s autopsy and position our client’s case for trial or settlement, the Ritchie Law Firm gathered black box data as well as other information from the tractor trailer’s data recording systems. We spoke with expert witnesses very soon after the accident occurred to assist with interpreting the data from the truck’s data systems. We also interviewed countless factual witnesses who either witnessed the tractor trailer driver’s driving prior to the wreck or had some knowledge about his actions just before the impact occurred.
As a result of all of the firm’s pre-trial work, we laid a strong foundation for an excellent recovery at either trial or through settlement. Our firm posed numerous discovery questions to the lawyers for the trucking company and conducted multiple days’ worth of depositions. Without all of this work by the team at the Ritchie Law Firm, this case may not have had a successful resolution. The case resolved for $2.75 million.



Posted on

January 15, 2024