An Upstate trucking company has paid a $2.85 million settlement to an Anderson County woman after one of its drivers failed to yield right of way, causing the plaintiff to crash into a loaded dump truck, her attorney reports.
Thomas “Field” Dunaway IV of the Dunaway Law Firm in Anderson reports that his client, whose name was withheld pursuant to a confidentiality agreement, was driving uphill along U.S. Highway 24 when the truck pulled out of a residential neighborhood and turned left across the four-lane highway, directly into her path.
The 19-year-old client’s car slammed into the side of the truck, pinning her inside. She was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital (now Prisma Health), where she spent nearly two months being treated for injuries including several leg fractures, broken ribs, a liver laceration, lung failure, and severe internal bleeding. Dunaway said that she underwent numerous surgeries over the next year and has racked up nearly $1 million in medical bills.
At the time of the crash, the client had been transporting a friend’s 2-year-old son, who was ejected from the back seat but wasn’t seriously injured. The child was also taken to the hospital for treatment.
Dunaway said that the truck driver never looked before pulling onto the highway and causing the “violent collision.”
“The woman died twice on the operating table,” Dunaway said. “She will probably never walk without a limp again, and her injuries will be felt for the rest of her life.”
The settlement includes liability coverage on the truck and excess coverage from the company’s umbrella insurance. Dunaway said that the defendant has a checkered driving record and wasn’t a typical employee of the trucking company.
“They usually do well on hiring their drivers, but in this case they used a third-party company,” Dunaway said. “This guy didn’t care about anyone but himself. He told bystanders not to touch the baby because it might increase his liability.”
Dunaway said that the at-fault driver was later fired when his in-vehicle camera system showed him texting while driving just months after the crash.
Other details about the case, including the identities of the defendants and their attorneys were withheld pursuant to the confidentiality agreement. Dunaway said that the defense contended that the plaintiff had been speeding, but that there was little evidence to support that argument.
SETTLEMENT REPORT —MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
Amount: $2.85 million
Injuries alleged: Broken leg, broken pelvis, liver laceration, fractured ribs
Case name: Withheld
Court: Anderson County Circuit Court
Case No. Withheld
Mediator: Karl Folkens of Florence
Date of settlement: Feb. 16
Demand: $3 million
Insurance carrier: Withheld
Attorney for plaintiff: Thomas “Field” Dunaway IV of the Dunaway Law Firm
Attorneys for defendant: Withheld