Youth Pastor Injured in Truck Accident After Driver Ran Red Light
The leaders in our community often put on a brave face to their followers in order to keep them from worrying. This was the case with a local youth pastor and friend of Mr. Buttafuoco who sustained serious injuries in a truck accident after a truck driver ran a red light.
Mr. Buttafuoco and our client were good friends who rode motorcycles together, played on the church softball team together, and worked on children’s ministry projects together.
The pastor was a tough man, he rarely showed any signs of physical pain when he would take a base hard in a softball game or sustain injuries on a ministry project. We were surprised when he came into our office one day, visibly in pain, but refusing to admit anything was amiss.
Discovering the Truth of a Serious Truck Accident
The pastor told us that he had been in an accident with a tractor-trailer that ran a red light, totaling his vehicle. He kept reassuring us that he was fine, and “only went to the emergency room.” The way he was walking and sitting clearly showed that he was in pain – he was certainly not fine. We tried to push him to go have a doctor check him out again, but he shrugged it off and told us, “God spared my life.”
True, God did spare his life, but that did not mean that he could not see a specialist and have a better medical exam and treatment. One thing about pastors is that they are typically against filing lawsuits. It took some convincing, but once we got him to admit, “Well, maybe I am in a little pain,” we were able to persuade him to protect his rights with a claim against the negligent truck driver.
Medical Investigations Reveal Severe Damages
Once we had his consent, we sent our new client to physicians in the area for evaluations and treatment. We told him the assessments from these doctors were “just to be safe” but in reality, we needed to make sure he was getting the treatment we knew he needed.
During the exams, doctors found that his legs still contained several shards of glass imbedded so deeply that they needed surgical removal. Even worse, doctors discovered severe orthopedic damage in his neck and back that required extensive surgery. The injuries and surgeries resulted in our client having to stop his work as a youth pastor during his recovery.
While our client was busy recovering from his newly identified injuries and resulting surgeries, we were building his case. After bringing it to the truck driver’s insurance company, their insurance adjusters began following the pastor to attempt to get evidence that his injuries were not serious. This may be due to his original claims that he “was fine” and the fact that he did not come to us about filing a claim until several weeks after his accident.
Nonetheless, we had the medical records and evidence necessary to bring the case. After three years of deliberation and negotiations, the claim settled after trial, but before the verdict, for $2,000,000. The pastor was overjoyed and is using his settlement to fund more ministry projects and continue his work now that he is healed and able to return to helping others.
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