$1.2 Million Jury Verdict Where Truck Causes Five Car Chain Reaction Crash

On May 20, 2008, Timothy Balota, 31, was driving southbound on Interstate 55 in Collinsville, Ill., when traffic came to a stop approaching a construction zone near Route 157.  Collinsville is a near east side suburb of St. Louis.  A truck was stopped behind the plaintiff’s car when the semi-tractor-trailer driven by defendant Lewis Casey rear-ended the truck at 20-30 mph.  That crash triggered a chain reaction collision, which included five vehicles. 

At the time of the crash, Balota was on his way to have staples removed from a surgery necessitated by a life-threatening accident just 13 months earlier. 

As a result of the impact of this crash, Balota sustained cervical disc injuries at C5-6, C3-4 and C6-7 with future surgery recommended by his treating physician.  Balota also suffered aggravation of pre-existing conditions in his lumbar and thoracic spine. He claimed past and future lost time as a carpenter of $485,299. 

At the trial, the defendants contested liability and damages.  The jury heard expert testimony for the plaintiff, one in economics to support the wage loss of Balota as well as another expert witness testifying as to the vocational rehabilitation that would be necessitated by Balota’s injuries.  The defendants countered those experts with experts of their own, including two mechanical engineers. 

The attorneys representing Balota were Robert W. Schmieder II and Bradley M. Lakin.  The jury’s verdict of $1,285,299 was made up of the following damages:

  • $400,000 for pain and suffering;
  • $200,000 for past medical expenses;
  • $200,000 for future medical expenses; and
  • $485,299 for past and future loss of earnings.

Timothy Balota v. Lewis Casey, Trans Am Trucking, No. 10 L 179 (St. Clair County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck accidents cases and car crash cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, Lawndale, Little Village, Englewood, Washington Park, Chatham, Ashburn, Austin, Polish Village, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Uptown, Rogers Park, Pulaski Park, Lincoln Square, Roscoe Village), Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Villa Park, Yorkfield, Oak Brook, Darien, Palos Park and Orland Park, Ill.

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