Yesterday the Fulton County Daily Report reported that pre-trial mediation in Floyd County resulted in a $5.4 million settlement for Amanda McAdams, who was seriously injured by an out-of-control tractor trailer truck in 2007.
McAdams, who was 32 at the time, was driving on GA Route 20 in Bartow County when a tractor trailer coming the other way swerved, went off the road into a ditch, and struck several trees before crossing the center line. The large truck hit McAdams’ car, and she was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital after the accident injured her in several places. Her attorney Michael Werner explained, “Ultimately, she required a total hip replacement due to bone loss and destruction of her hip.”
The truck driver said that he swerved to avoid a red car approaching in his lane. McAdams sued the trucking company, Vend Service Inc., in Floyd County Superior Court because the company is located in Rome. She also sued the driver of the truck and the driver of a red car, know only as John Doe. Two of the witnesses, however, said that there may not have been a John Doe driver. Defense attorney Thomas Brennan suggested that this was one reason for the settlement, along with the fact that “their expert said she’d be in a wheelchair most of her life.
McAdams’ attorney Werner said, “The expert testimony was all over the place. Our doctor was saying she was going to need a hip revision every 10 or 15 years. The defense expert said no, she would be fine, it would only be one more, and she would be able to resume an active lifestyle.” As this case illustrates, expert testimony is not always consistent. In personal injury cases, the attorneys for large trucking companies often find experts who will make their case stronger.
The $5.4 million settlement was reached on July 16 during a pre-trial mediation conference at Henning Mediation and Arbitration Service in Atlanta. Not all cases go to trial; many are settled out of court. A mediation service provides a neutral third party to facilitate discussion between the parties and their attorneys. The neutral party or mediator also helps in settlement negotiations but does not have any decision-making power. In a mediation, both parties must voluntarily agree to a settlement.
At MLN Law, we explore all avenues of just compensation, including mediation and, if necessary, litigation. While some cases are settled out of court, we prepare for every case as if we’re going to trial. We want to get the best possible settlement for our clients; that entails securing important evidence as well as expert witnesses. If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident, time is of the essence. You need to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can preserve evidence. If you have any questions about tractor trailer injury law, all MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.