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Diesel Mechanic, Crippled By Tractor, Settles For $1.7 Million

Car Accident

A Thibodaux diesel mechanic returning from a job in Cameron was struck by a left turning tractor on a rural road in Vermillion Parish, causing severe and disabling personal injuries to the mechanic. This 34-year-old man, who was making upwards of $106,000 per year plus fringe benefits, settled his case for more than $1.7 million in a marathon mediation conducted on Feb. 19, 2015, at Kopfler & Hermann’s offices.

The left-turning tractor, driven by a Mexican national whose familiarity with the rules of the road was less than competent, turned directly into the path of the mechanic, who was performing a legal passing maneuver at the time.

Many people don’t realize that a left turning motorist has a duty to see not only what’s coming ahead of him, but what’s coming from behind before make a left turn.

Our client, who worked on diesel engines in boats, barges and other maritime settings, was rendered unconscious after the accident, taken to the hospital and later released home. He came under the care of a local neurosurgeon who found that the man had spinal injuries in his back and neck. Two operations failed to solve the man’s spine issues, and a third surgery is scheduled in the near future.

To go from a life of full work and activity to a daily routine of pain and doctor’s appointments is a change many people are just not ready for. Our client, however, kept a positive attitude throughout, worked his way through mental and medical issues and had the support of a wonderful wife and family.

Our client has now gone from a job making more than $100,000 a year to a life of temporary, if not total, disability. His earning power has been reduced by half, and his physical restraints will no longer allow him to perform the demanding physical work of a mechanic. He is looking at computer work and other sedentary activities for his family’s future.

A big shout out to Jerald and Matthew Block who assisted during the mediation; and to Chuck Davoli who handled the worker’s compensation issues in the case. Without a team effort, this case would have been much more difficult to resolve.

If you, your family or friends ever need a personal injury attorney, give Kopfler & Hermann a call at 1-800-250-4436. It doesn’t cost you anything to call or come to our offices to discuss your personal injury case. We do not charge a fee unless we collect on your case. And we almost never charge a fee for settling your property damage case.