Case REview

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Car On I-95: Smith-Gordon Wins $900,000 Pre-Trial Settlement for Client

No one expects to be hit by an 18-wheeler.  

June 28, 2018, started as an ordinary day for Mr. Daley, a sheet metal journeyman who had ended his multi-month work on the West Coast and was driving back home to Florida for a short rest before his next assigned journeyman post. At approximately 3 am, headed southbound on I-95 near the Florida/Georgia line, an 18-wheeler plowed into the back of his small car, causing it to sway and spin from the far right lane to the median hitting the center guardrail before stopping. The jack-knifed rig blocked the highway.

Not understanding precisely what had happened, Mr. Daley was just glad to be alive. He was transported by ambulance to a nearby Georgia hospital and released within hours with “no broken bones,” no brain hemorrhage, and an initial muscle sprain/strain diagnosis.

Thinking he only had a bad headache, and symptoms of pain spasms and discomfort in his neck, shoulder, knee, and back would go away, he was able to get a rental car and drive home to Palm Beach County. 

However, the pain did not go away; it worsened. Mr. Daley was physically incapable of returning to work. The crash impacted his body, livelihood, and ability to provide for his family and household. 

He sought medical attention in Palm Beach County. His injuries included a shoulder rotator cuff tear. Mr. Daley also began dropping items due to radiating pain that reverberated from his arms into his hands because of cervical disc herniations. He had trouble walking due to knee pain. His leg began dragging due to a lumbar disc herniation. He endured multiple injuries and symptoms that did not manifest all at once, but rather over time. He knew that he had not had the sensations and symptoms before the crash.  

Mr. Daley hoped that the symptoms would improve with time, medications, epidural, and trigger point injections, but surgery became inevitable. He had previously undergone open-heart surgery and had managed his high blood pressure with medication before the collision, but now it unpredictably skyrocketed due to the pain. Mr. Daley finally underwent surgery for his knee and shoulder. Although Mr. Daley needed spine surgery, the doctors feared that he might have a stroke during the lengthy procedure. As an alternative, Mr. Daley received stem cell spine infusion which helped him significantly. 

It is important to note that the truck driver never checked on Mr. Daley after the crash. 

While the truck driver received several citations regarding the collision, the company attempted to blame Mr. Daley for partially causing the collision. Since the crash occurred around 3 am, they implied Mr. Daley was tired and switched lanes in front of the rig. 

Justice does not happen by accident. The Smith-Gordon Law Team would not back down and litigated against big trucking company SCTX, LLC and its driver. The trucking company carried $1 million of liability coverage. Mr. Daley was made whole for his lost income, medical costs and care, pain, and suffering. The case settled for $900,000 at mediation ending the uncertainty, expense of time, fees, and trial risks. We are honored that Mr. Daley chose us and that he was pleased with the outcome and our legal representation. 

“Attorney Salesia was there for me from the beginning to end. She and [paralegal] Robert took [the] time to explain what was happening and listen to me. Miss Salesia was really worried about my health and looked at all my medications and explained what was important and why. She also explained to me what the doctors said that I didn’t understand. She cares. Miss Salesia took time and stood up for me. She is a really good lawyer.” – Steve Daley