A jury in York County Court has awarded $500,000 to a South Carolina woman after a tractor-trailer t-boned her, causing multiple injuries. Joye Law Firm attorneys Sydney Lynn of Columbia and Milton “Milt” Stratos II of Charleston represented the victim with assistance from case manager, Shawn.
Left Turn T-Bone by a Tractor Trailer
When the plaintiff, a 64-year-old woman, got in her car that September 2018 morning to head to work, she had no idea that her life would change drastically. As she was driving North on Highway 321 in Clover, South Carolina near the border of North Carolina, a tractor-trailer was driving Southbound on the same highway. The driver of the truck attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Ridge Rd., failing to yield and causing the truck to crash into the side of the plaintiff’s car.
The plaintiff was then transported to CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department and it was determined that she suffered multiple injuries including a mild traumatic brain injury and worsening of herniated discs in her spine.
The driver of the semi-truck and Intermodal Bridge Transport, Inc. were named as defendants in the case. The defendants were insured by Protective Insurance Companies and represented at the trial by attorneys from Sweeny, Wingate & Barrow. While the insurance company offered $250,000 to settle the case, due to the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries and the cause of the wreck, attorneys Lynn and Stratos believed the case was worth taking to trial to receive fair compensation for their client.
Joye Law Firm Takes the Case to Trial
Making the decision to take a trial is not trivial, a trial before a jury can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. This was exacerbated for the victim by her brain injury which caused memory problems and confusion. She prided herself on her independence before the wreck and was nervous to take the stand because she did not want anyone to perceive her symptoms as ignorance.
The trial was originally set to occur in October. However, after the Joye Law Firm team spent years on the case and the prior weekend in York County preparing for the trial, when they arrived Monday morning they were informed that one of the defense’s expert witnesses had COVID and the trial was rescheduled.
The trial began on Monday, February 27th, 2023. During the trial, the defense argued that the truck driver was not at fault, although they admitted to seeing the plaintiff’s car traveling down Hwy 321 before the wreck occurred.
“If you messed up and caused a wreck when logically it was your fault, it would be ridiculous to walk into a jury trial and deny liability, but that’s exactly what they did” explained Stratos. “I tell my kids that being honest is the most important thing, you double the harm when you don’t tell the truth. A real apology has three parts: acknowledging what happened, a sincere and open apology, and taking steps to make it right.”
The defense tried to use the plaintiff’s past injuries against her and only wanted to cover medical expenses during the first year after the wreck, roughly $32,000. Recovering from brain and spine injuries can take a significant amount of time and under South Carolina case law if there is a reasonable amount of evidence that a person would need future medical care for injuries resulting from an accident those estimated future expenses can be recovered. The victim had already accrued over $55,000 in medical expenses with more treatment planned. See Haltiwanger v. Barr, 258 S.C. 27, 186 S.E.2d 819 (1972) (holding that future damages may be recovered in a personal injury action so long as the damages are reasonably certain to result in the future from the injury).
On March 6th, 2023, after a grueling 6-day trial with 19 witnesses, the jury went into deliberation. After approximately 3 hours they came back with a decision, awarding the plaintiff $500,000. The Joye Law Firm appreciates the hard work and time of everyone who played a role in this case including our attorneys, staff, the victim, the jurors, the judge, the witnesses, and the defense.
Seek Legal Help After a Car Accident
We are grateful that the victim chose to be represented by Joye Law Firm because we believe in making things right. If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries from an auto accident, please seek legal guidance. Joye Law Firm practices across the entire state of South Carolina and has five office locations to best serve our clients, we can take your call day or night for a no-obligation, free review of your case.
Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future outcomes.