Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Vacation Motor Home v. Tractor Trailer $1.08 Million Dollar Settlement

A pair of senior citizens from Antigo and Madison, Wisconsin suffered serious injuries when their RV was struck on the New Jersey Turnpike by an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer. After Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Garry R. Salomon proved that the truck driver negligently hit the RV, the trucking company paid $1.08 million dollars to the elderly women.

Three retired siblings were vacationing along the East Coast in a white Dodge Ram Conversion RV. The two sisters were passengers while their brother drove. As the brother approached the toll plaza at Carney’s Point Township, he slowed the RV and pulled onto the shoulder of I-95 to look for his ticket to pay the Turnpike toll. While slowing down onto the southbound shoulder, an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer struck the bumper of the van, causing significant property damage and injuries to the passengers.

At the time of impact, one sister sat in the front passenger seat while the other sister sat on the bed in the back of the van. One sister subsequently died from complications of the motor vehicle accident while the other sister suffered serious injuries.sketch of truck accident

Along with the responding police department—the New Jersey State Police at Mt. Laurel—the accident called the attention of numerous emergency medical responders: the State Police at Moorestown Station, Deepwater Fire Company, Carney’s Point Fire Company, Pennsville Ambulance, Carney’s Point Ambulance, and South Star Air Rescue. The Moorestown Station police investigation attributed the accident to two factors. First, the Dodge van did not pull fully onto the shoulder before slowing down. Second, the truck driver failed to see the potential hazard ahead of him and properly react. However, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Garry R. Salomon hired an accident reconstruction expert, who concluded that if the tractor-trailer driver had been traveling with proper safety precautions, such as traveling at a safe distance behind the passenger vehicles, operating his vehicle within the posted speed limit, and making proper observations about the roadway in front of him, then the accident would not have occurred.

After the truck accident, the surviving sister woke up in the emergency room, unaware of what had happened. Not only did she learn that she lost her sister, but also that she too suffered several life-altering injuries. She suffered from respiratory failure, hip fractures, a skull fracture, a brain contusion, hematoma, a concussion, and a traumatic brain injury. She also entered a 6-day coma. While in the hospital, the motor home passenger underwent a tracheotomy and two surgeries to her abdomen to insert and remove a feeding tube.

Despite the surviving sister’s injuries and her battle with accident-related depression, she has made significant physical recoveries since the accident. Although she experienced some pain, she no longer required consistent use of a walker and, while less frequently than before the accident, continued to spend time with her friends and family.

The defendant trucker’s insurance carrier alleged that the acts of the van driver proximately caused the accident and that he was comparatively negligent. Despite these claims, the insurance carrier was forced to pay their entire insurance coverage. This case involved several claims against a limited insurance policy for personal injuries, wrongful death, and survivorship damages. Wrongful death damages are the economic losses suffered by the deceased’s dependent family members while the survivorship claim is for the conscious pain and suffering that an injured person endured before they died from the accident-related injuries.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Garry R. Salomon. represented both sisters in action against the truck company. The parties to this action are protected by a qualified confidentiality agreement. Do you or someone you know have similar injuries or circumstances to this one? Our dedicated legal team of over 25 attorneys is here to help. Call now for a free case evaluation or reach out online and we’ll call you back.

Medical Term Glossary:

Contusion: a region of injured tissue or skin in which capillaries have been ruptured; a bruise

Fracture: the cracking of breaking of a bone

Traumatic Brain Injury: an injury that affects how the brain works

Tracheotomy: an incision in the throat made to relieve an obstruction to breathing

Depression: a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act