$1.425 Million for Passengers Killed or Injured in an I-65 Trucking Accident

In April 2012, the skill and experience of Whiting Law Group’s winning truck accident attorneys brought justice to the family of two young men who were killed in a truck crash in central Indiana. The firm is pleased to announce that it has secured a $1.425 million settlement against a truck driver and his employer, a trucking company based in Julian, North Carolina, and against the rental van company in which the victims were occupants. The case was concluded in just over 24 months from the date of filing.

A Deadly Truck Crash

This computer-generated video demonstrates how the truck crash happened, as viewed from in front of the accident.

This computer-generated video demonstrates how the truck crash happened, as viewed from behind the crash.

On January 24, 2010, the 13 victims were passengers in a van being driven by Defendant Ashokkumar Patel. Mr. Patel had hired a van, owned by defendant Enterprise, to carry his family members to and from a kite flying content in Georgia. At 3:00 am on the 24th January, Mr. Patel was driving the Plaintiffs home, traveling north on I-65 in Edinburgh, IN. As rain began to fall, Mr. Patel slowed his van to 5 mph remaining in the right lane (the driving lane) of the interstate. At or near the same time and location, the Defendant truck driver, Randall Chriscoe, was en route to pick up a load in Indiana and was travelling in the same direction on I-65. Mr. Chriscoe, rear-ended Mr. Patel’s van at the speed of 69.5 mph.

As a result of the crash, two victims were killed and 11 were injured. Sadly, Vijay Patel, 19, and Sujal Patel, 20, died on scene. The other 11 Plaintiffs suffered injuries that varied from minor scrapes and bruises to injuries such as spinal injuries, a skull fracture and a broken leg. Three of the victims required complex surgeries as a result of their injuries.

The total amount of medical bills for all 13 victims was $556,099. Fortunately, of the surviving Plaintiffs only one required future medical treatment, and none suffered permanent injuries. None of the victims made a claim for lost wages.

A Complex Truck Accident Case

There were a number of significant hurdles in progressing the case on behalf of the Plaintiffs. A selection of the more difficult issues are highlighted below.

  • The rental car agency from which the Defendant hired a van, Enterprise, demanded to be excused from litigation as the Defendant had more than the allowed number of passengers in the rental van. There were 18 people in the 15-passenger van at the time of the crash.
  • The driver of the van carrying the Plaintiffs made conflicting statements about his speed, location on the highway and his use of flashers at the time of the crash.
  • The case was moved from Cook Co., Illinois (where the Plaintiffs live and were convalescing) to Shelby Co., Indiana where the accident occurred, which is a state that has restrictive limits in wrongful death cases of $300,000.00.
  • Indiana law does not have joint and several liability which further complicated winning the case if the jury found the van driver mostly at fault, the plaintiffs would not collect anything in the case.

Depth of Experience, Skill and Expertise

To overcome these major difficulties, Whiting Law Group brought its considerable experience in trucking crash litigation to gain a fair and reasonable settlement. The trucking crash lawyers at the firm were able to successfully argue that the car rental agency, Enterprise, should remain in the case given that the driver of the van (in which the Plaintiffs were riding at the time of the crash) paid for additional and comprehensive insurance coverage when he rented the van.

Mr. Tim Whiting, the firm’s Founder and Managing Partner, utilized his extensive knowledge of the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Regulations, and his research into the North Carolina Commercial Driver’s Requirements, to demonstrate that the truck driver was driving well over recommended speed limits, especially in light of the extreme weather conditions. Tim argued that the Defendant truck driver, Randall Chriscoe, was driving too fast for conditions and, as such, failed to maneuver his truck so as to avoid a crash with the van in which the victims were riding.

The firm also retained the services of a nationally recognized engineering and accident reconstruction firm to produce digitally generated recreations of how the accident occurred – and more importantly, how easily it could have been avoided if the defendant, truck driver had complied with federal and commercial driver’s license truck regulations and rules. This amazing video is shown below.

The above video shows how easily the deadly truck crash could have been avoided.

The firm’s legal skills combined with the expert knowledge, testimony and video evidence produced by the expert reconstruction specialists, empowered Whiting Law Group to secure a significant and fair settlement for the Plaintiffs. Whiting Law Group obtained the maximum settlement for wrongful death in the State of Indiana for the two passengers who tragically died in the accident. Additionally, the firm won a large figure settlement for the victims of this truck crash.

Commitment to Justice

After the settlement process was agreed and signed off, Timothy Whiting reflected on the case:

“This truck crash was a tragedy for the Patel family. So much death, pain and hurt. We knew that we had to work our very hardest and to use of our significant skills and experience in handling trucking cases to achieve justice for the Patels. And after much time and money invested in this case, we did just that. The Patels received a fair and just settlement for the tragedy that happened to them.”

As a firm, Whiting Law Group has more than a decade of experience protecting the rights of those injured in trucking accidents in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and in fact, across the country.

If you or a loved on have been injured as a result of a truck crash, please contact Tim Whiting for a free consultation about your case. Call us toll-free on 877-936-7200, email us on or complete our FREE case review form.

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