Illinois Rear-End Crash With Pickup Truck and Semi-Truck Results in a 100K Verdict in Gallaugher v. Arrow Specialized Carriers, Inc.

On May 25, 2005, the defendants’ 79,000 lbs.Mack truck rear-ended the plaintiff’s Toyota Tundra pickup truck at 10-15 mph. The impact, considered hard by the plaintiff, caused a C4-5 herniation in Keith Gallaugher’s neck and a tear in the posterior longitudinal ligament. The trucking accident eventually led to the filing of Keith Gallaugher v. Roy Cranmer, Arrow Specialized Carriers, Inc., 07 L 172.

About five months after this truck and pickup truck collision, Gallaugher, the driver of the Toyota pickup underwent an interior cervical fusion at C4-5 with bone and plate fixation.

Mr. Gallaugher sought at trial the recovery of $100,000 for loss of normal life and $200,000 for past and future pain and suffering. This was to go along with his medical expenses of $57,366 as well as lost time from work of $6,250.

The defendant admitted negligence, but denied causation and contested the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. The defendant used a biomechanical scientist to dispute the low-speed impact caused the cervical herniation. In low impact cases, it has become a common occurrence in jury trials for defendants particularly, to present biomechanical expert testimony to dispute the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries.

This practice has led to the rebuttal by many plaintiffs who hire their own experts to contest the opinions of defendants’ experts. In this case, the plaintiff also called an expert to rebut the defendants’ expert, plaintiff’s expert was also a biomechanical engineer. After considering all of the evidence, the jury reportedly deliberated for five hours before returning its verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

The breakdown of the jury’s verdict was $57,366 for past medical expenses, $4,167 for past lost income; $10,000 for past loss of normal life; $28,468 for past and future pain and suffering.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck and automobile accidents and crashes for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding counties, including Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Kane and other areas including, Oak Lawn, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Crestwood, Deerfield and Harvey, Illinois.

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