Our 63 year-old client, a self-employed plumber and part-time musician, suffered serious injuries and incurred thousands of dollars of medical bills and lost wages due to the negligence of a Caltrans highway worker who had received improper supervision and training.
About the Caltrans Accident
On September 20, 2016, our client was westbound at 11a.m. on I-580 north of the city of Castro Valley in an unincorporated area of Alameda County. He was traveling at or near the speed limit in the no. 1 (fast) lane when a car traveling ahead of him in his lane moved quickly into the adjacent lane without signaling.
At that moment our client saw for the first time the Caltrans truck ahead of him in his lane. Closing on the state vehicle he realized it was stopped in front of him. Our client took immediate evasive action, swerving to the left but was unable to avoid colliding with the left rear-end of the Caltrans truck. Our client’s truck eventually slid to a stop on its left side a distance of 130 feet from the point of impact.
It was ultimately determined that the driver of the Caltrans truck, in violation of California Department of Transportation policies, procedures, and manuals, had not activated any of the on-board equipment (i.e. flashing, rotating, or strobe lights, or arrow boards) to warn motorists of the hazard, nor had the driver’s supervisor instructed the maintenance crew to implement the appropriate work-site procedures.
Our client was taken by ambulance to Eden Hospital Medical Center, Castro Valley, for treatment in the emergency trauma unit. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, a nondisplaced left ulnar fracture, imbedded glass shards, and exposed arm bone.
GJEL Accident Attorneys Andy Gillin and Jim Larsen responded to inquiries from the plaintiff and his wife concerning:
- Could the State of California be responsible for the injuries to the plaintiff?
- Would our client and his wife be able to recover all of their damages that resulted from the accident?
Caltrans attorneys initially took the position that our client was inattentive and struck the state vehicle while it was moving and had its warning lights operating. Extensive investigation conducted by GJEL attorneys, however, discovered the identity of two independent eye-witnesses. Each witness confirmed the plaintiff’s account that the Caltrans truck was stopped
in the travel lane without the on-board cautioning equipment in operation. Additionally, the GJEL attorneys worked with expert consultants to eventually confirm that department policies and procedures had not been followed, overcoming the testimony of the Caltrans supervisor.
Plaintiff underwent surgical procedures to repair the ulnar fracture and to remove the imbedded
glass shrapnel. Due to his brain injury, he also suffered from memory loss and significant self-employed business losses.
Following multiple depositions and additional analysis of experts the completion of the investigation and analysis experts, lead attorneys Andy Gillin and Jim Larsen obtained a settlement prior to trial in the amount $250,000.00.
|Insurance Company Names: ||State of California|
|Location of Accident: GPS Coordinates & Map (Casey provides)||I580 north of Castro Valley, unincorporated Alameda County|
|Vehicle Types||Toyota Tundra pickupCaltrans maintenance truck, International|
|Hospitals and Medical Centers Visited||Eden Hospital Medical Center|
|Types of Injuries (Specific as possible)||Traumatic brain injury,left arm fracture, imbedded glass shrapnel|