Jury Awards $3 Million to College Student Injured in New Jersey Trucking Accident

February 24, 2015

A jury in New Jersey has awarded a college student $3 million for injuries she sustained in a multi-vehicle car accident in January 2011. According to a news report on NJ.com, Chanttel Ortiz was 19-years-old in 2011 when she was one of three people in a vehicle that collided with two tractor-trailers on Routes 1 and 9 South by the merger with Route 78 and McCarter Highway in Newark. Ortiz was a rear passenger in the vehicle. According to the car’s driver, a SUV came up on him and cut him off, forcing him to veer to the right and collide with a tanker truck on the shoulder. The driver told authorities he braked, but impacted with the right rear of the tractor-trailer and careened across a grassy area and into another parked tractor-trailer. Ortiz suffered severe injuries to her face, fractured vertebrae in her neck and a fractured wrist, according to the suit. Her attorney said she had four operations so far and would “probably need six more.” The jury found the car driver was 30% responsible for the accident and the first truck driver was 70% responsible. During trial, expert testimony revealed that the truck driver was not permitted to park along the shoulder of the merge.