The final chapter has been written on the tragic accident we shared with readers previously that killed five Georgia Southern University nursing students and injured two others. Two years have passed since the truck crash that brought shock and sorrow to many across Georgia and the entire nation. The fatal truck crash occurred when a truck driver from Louisiana slammed into the students’ vehicle which had stopped in traffic due to a wholly unrelated accident. The truck’s destruction was so significant, it literally and violently compressed two vehicles in its path. The nursing students were returning to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro after their duties at a Savannah, Georgia hospital. Ironically, the student nurses were on their final rotation at the hospital.
On several posts in the past, we have discussed the fact that in trucking accidents, not only the driver, but the trucking company or companies and others can often be held liable when a tragedy like this occurs. Those entities in this case had settled with the families of the deceased victims. They also settled with another survivor. But the final victim sustained traumatic brain injuries and claimed that these injuries had continued to make her life difficult. Last week, a jury awarded her $15 million. Both the trucking company that owned the truck and its parent company were held to pay the survivor, now a nurse. In this case, the driver took a plea and was given a reduced sentence of five years in jail. He pled guilty to all five first-degree vehicular homicide counts among other serious violations. It is reported that he apologized to the nursing student for the accident that injured her and killed five of her cohorts.
The plaintiff in the case has been quoted as saying her injuries are present for her on a daily basis. We have often posted on the lasting and significant impact a traumatic brain injury can have on an accident victim. These injuries can also be very impactful when they are what is called mild traumatic brain injury. Even in a rear-end accident, a person can suffer a mild traumatic brain injury that can cause memory issues, headaches and, as a result, make everyday life more difficult.
The life-changing impact of a serious brain injury that the surviving nurse in this case has suffered may present different and lasting symptoms and consequences. Just as we have learned with the concussions suffered repeatedly by football players over their lifetimes, a serious brain injury can require years of rehabilitation of memory and other functions. Although researchers have learned more and more over the years about how to treat these injuries and what causes them, their impact on the life of the victim can be essentially catastrophic.
Sometimes victims of an accident are not fully aware of the injury they have sustained. Only after a week or two or longer, do the symptoms become recognizable. It is always important to be treated after an accident that might have caused injury. Insurance companies often try to get victims to talk with them about their symptoms or to settle their cases prematurely. This can be very problematic to the victim since the injuries could take time to become evident and clear. For example, you might feel a “foggy” feeling or have headaches and not associate them with a concussion or other brain injury. It is very important that victims not talk with insurance representatives, but rather seek medical and legal support.
Scholle Law can protect you from the constant attempts by insurance companies to contact you and to press you for answers on how you are feeling. Contact our law offices to speak with a member of our legal team so that we can help you get treated for your injuries, manage your recovery and help to get you back on track with your life.