Whiting Law Group, via winning truck accident attorney Tim Whiting, delivered justice to the family of two young men killed in a truck crash in central Indiana. The firm won a $1.425 million settlement against a truck driver and his employer, a trucking company based in 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.
Fatal 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, members of an extended family 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 to and from a kite flying contest in Georgia.
At 3:00, Mr. Patel was driving the Plaintiffs home, traveling north on I-65 in Indiana. As it began to rain heavily, Mr. Patel slowed his van to 5 mph – yet he remained in the right driving lane of the interstate. As Mr. Patel drove slowly north, the Defendant truck driver, Randall Chriscoe, was travelling in the same direction on I-65, en route to pick up a load. 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. Two young men in the van died on-scene, while 11 other Plaintiffs suffered injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to more egregious 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 will require future medical treatment, and none suffered permanent injuries. None of the victims made a claim for lost wages.
A Complex Trucking 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., IL (where the Plaintiffs live) to Shelby Co., IN where the accident occurred. The State of Indiana 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 successfully argued that Enterprise should remain in the case given that the driver of the van paid for additional and comprehensive insurance coverage when he rented the van.
Mr. Tim Whiting 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.
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, 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.
The firm has also won numerous cases that were either settled or tried before a jury and resulted in millions of dollars in recovery for the firm’s clients over the past 15 years.