A jury finds a van driver negligent and fully liable for a crash that happened while transporting a stroke recovery victim from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility.
LAFAYETTE, LA, February 24, 2021 /Neptune100/ — Louisiana law firm Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers won a multi-million-dollar settlement for its client Lawrence Franks in compensation for injuries he received while traveling in a medical van.
Franks filed a lawsuit against Reliant Transportation, the company that owns the van, under a claim of vicarious liability, which makes an employer legally accountable for employees’ actions while they are on the clock. Franks also sued the company’s insurer, State National Insurance Co.
The Accident That Started It All
The collision happened when the medical van driver turned left off a two-lane, one-way road into a gas station. A pickup truck struck the van, consequently knocking Franks out of the wheelchair in which he was sitting. According to witnesses, the van driver attempted this turn from the right lane while the pickup truck was in the left lane.
Franks, who was recovering from a stroke, was traveling from Rapides Regional Medical Center to a rehabilitation center at Mercy Regional Medical Center. The force of the impact caused Franks’ seat belt to slip over him. It snagged around Franks’ neck and stretched it.
The Injuries That Persisted
An orthopedic doctor performed tests to follow up on a CT scan conducted at the hospital after the accident. He determined that the crash destabilized a previously stable congenital fracture of Franks’ C2 vertebra. Franks was treated with a fusion, followed by physical therapy and home health therapy.
The plaintiff continued to suffer from the injury, eventually developing radiculopathy in his arm, requiring another fusion surgery. Now, with a complete fusion of his neck, Franks began to experience headaches and difficulty maintaining his balance, for which he received neurological treatment.
On one occasion, he fell into a dumpster, suffering non-displaced fractures to his ribs and clavicle, which demanded even more physical therapy. Most likely, his fusion will also require revision. Franks has only limited movement of his neck, and his wife helps him walk. His injuries prevent him from running, an activity he once greatly enjoyed.
The Plaintiffs’ Demands
Franks’ lawyers at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers argued that Franks’ dumpster fall and the resulting injuries stemmed from the medical van crash. They demanded that the defendants cover Franks’ past and future medical expenses and sought damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, and diminished enjoyment of life.
Although the defense counsel argued that the plaintiff’s pre-existing conditions created the need for surgeries and ongoing disability, Franks’ attorneys contended that were it not for the medical van accident, their client would have made a full recovery.
The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, finding the medical van fully liable for the accident and that the plaintiff sustained damages and injuries from the collision. They awarded Franks a total of $3,316,42. In her derivative claim, Franks’ wife Robbie was awarded $500,000 for loss of consortium.
About Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is a personal injury firm serving accident victims in various parts of Louisiana, including Lafayette, Alexandria, Marksville, New Orleans, and surrounding parishes.
The team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers has 100 combined years of personal injury experience. We work to get you the compensation you deserve so you can get back to your life. Call today for a free legal consultation at (337) 777-7777.