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Goldberg Noone Abraham, Reaches $12.5 Million Settlement For Veteran With Spinal Cord Injury

Goldberg Noone Abraham, reached a settlement just a few weeks before trial on a case in which a dump truck left our client with catastrophic injuries.

Our client was driving on a rural road in southwest Florida one afternoon. The weather was clear and dry as he slowed down to make a left turn into a driveway. At this time, a large commercial dump truck was traveling behind our client at a high rate of speed, when the truck driver suddenly entered the lane of oncoming traffic to pass our client. This resulted in the truck striking the left side of our client’s vehicle as he was making his left turn. The horrific impact of the crash sent our client’s minivan into a ditch on the west shoulder of the highway.

Our client was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and was thereafter rendered a complete quadriplegic at the C4 level. This condition tragically left him with no motor or sensory function below the C-4 level.

The injuries from this crash took away our client’s ability to speak, so he could not even share his account of the accident with the Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of the dump truck did not speak English and had difficulty communicating with witnesses who stopped to help after the crash. Based on the limited information available, the investigating officer actually found our client at fault and issued him a traffic citation.

However, lead attorney Michael Noone knew that a more thorough investigation was necessary, and quickly hired investigators and accident reconstruction engineers to interview witnesses, inspect the vehicles involved and preserve other important information. It was discovered that the dump truck driver was talking with friends on his cellphone while he was undertaking the dangerous maneuver that resulted in this crash. In representing clients over the years for crashes involving large trucks, Goldberg Noone Abraham attorneys know that truck drivers are often poorly trained and ill-prepared to handle the long hours, stressful routes, and as a result, end up putting time ahead of safety. Attorneys Scot Goldberg and Elizete Velado ensured the traffic charge was properly dismissed. “The evidence our team uncovered, in this case, confirmed that the dump truck driver was undoubtedly negligent,” says attorney Michael Noone. However, the insurance company did not agree.

Although the family offered to settle for the insurance company’s policy limits, the insurance company declined their offer and actually denied any responsibility for this crash.

This terrible crash altered the life of our client and those of his family forever. A hard-working and dedicated family man will never be able to support his family again and is now confined to a hospital bed to spend birthdays, wedding anniversaries and holidays.

But as if all that wasn’t horrific enough, “the insurance company’s complete lack of diligence on this case was poor,” Noone says. “First they denied the claim and then they rejected our multiple attempts to resolve the matter for policy limits.”

Goldberg Noone Abraham retained a renowned medical doctor who is board-certified in the field of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine to ensure that our client’s future medical needs would be evaluated. As this crash involved a veteran, attorney Sheba Abraham worked closely with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Justice during the resolution of this matter.

Attorney Noone goes on to point out that case could have been settled for much less, had the auto insurance company acted fairly. “Nothing will ever restore the quality of life that was forever stripped away from our client and his family, but we are thankful we could bring some peace of mind to a family fighting to make sure their loved one gets the medical care he deserves.” The entire Goldberg Noone Abraham team of attorneys and dedicated staff worked tirelessly on this case and are proud to see the family gain some financial security as their difficult journey continues.