Truck Driver Claim for Injury Compensation Resolved by Mediation

A man from Porterville, Tulare County, who sustained serious injuries when he swerved his vehicle to avoid hitting a hay bale that had fallen from a tractor, has resolved his truck driver claim for injury compensation without a court hearing.

On May 12, 2012, Chris Alcantara was driving a loaded milk tanker along a back road near to the town of Pixley, when he swerved to avoid hitting a hay bale that had fallen from the back of a tractor and overturned his Freightliner as it came off the road.

Chris suffered serious injuries in the accident including broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, broken jaw, broken nose, dislocated shoulder and a severe tear in his rotator cuff ligament. He was trapped inside his vehicle for 45 minutes, and had to be cut free by emergency personnel.

Chris was taken by helicopter to the Community Regional Medical Centre in Tulare, where he was treated for his injuries and the cuts he had sustained in the accident. He was discharged from the medical center after four days, but re-admitted on May 18 because of the severe pain he was experiencing from his broken ribs and facial injuries.

Later in the year, Chris underwent two surgical procedures to repair the damage to his left shoulder and he still suffers from chronic post traumatic headaches which prevent him from sleeping for more than a few hours each night. He has also been prescribed Cymbalta to help cope with his subsequent anxiety and depression.

After seeking legal advice, Chris made a truck driver claim for injury compensation against the owner of the John Deere tractor from which the hay bale had fallen – Alden Nunes Inc of Tulare, California – claiming that the tractor driver employed by the company, Enrique Avila, had been negligent in allowing the hay bale to fall onto the road.

Both the company and the driver denied their liability for Chris´s injuries and filed nine separate defenses with the Superior Court of California in Tulare. Being too ill to attend a court hearing, Chris requested the assistance of a mediator to help resolve the truck driver claim for injury compensation and, after a month of negotiations, a negotiated settlement of $1.9 million was agreed.