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Caring And Attentive Service.
Tireless Pursuit Of Justice.

Notable Recoveries

The team at The Houghton Law Firm, LLC, has recovered millions for its clients over the years and represents victims of severe injury and wrongful death arising from tractor-trailer and auto accidents and wrecks.

Click on a case below to see the details.

$15 Million: Tractor-Trailer Crash / Wrongful Death

Confidential settlement (a record recovery in that venue)

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Trucking Collision

Outcome: $15 Million

Description: Attorney John A. Houghton was brought in as co-counsel in a disputed liability tractor-trailer death case in which the plaintiff’s decedent was the rear-striking vehicle in an early morning wreck. The defendant truck driver had pulled over near an overpass during the darkest part of the early morning hours to attempt to re-set his electronic logging device (ELD) hours. He was dispatched at a time when he was showing that he was completely out of hours. While the defendant was attempting to merge back onto the roadway, the plaintiff’s decedent struck the rear of the tractor-trailer, causing a significant fuel-fed fire from the plaintiff’s punctured diesel tank. The plaintiff’s decedent passed away after a significant struggle with catastrophic burn injuries.

After extensive discovery, it was determined that the defendant driver’s chassis lights had not been illuminated while merging over the fog line. We obtained this evidence from both scene witness testimony and expert hot shock analysis. This case settled a month after an unsuccessful mediation with the primary and multiple layers of excess coverage being tendered. The plaintiff’s decedent was survived by his widow and their 2-year-old daughter, who was a newborn at the time of the wreck. Suit was filed in a small rural Georgia county, and the settlement is a record for that venue.

$1.35 Million – Dram Shop litigation:

Outcome: $1,350,000.00

Description: Mr. Houghton was brought in on a motorcycle fatality that occurred during the darkest part of the early morning hours on I-20 west of Atlanta. The at-fault driver struck Plaintiff’s decedent in the rear causing him to lay down his bike resulting in massive bodily trauma that caused his death at the scene. After extensive investigation into the evening of the Defendant driver, it was determined that he had spent several hundred dollars at a local bar shortly before the wreck, and his BAC at the scene was well-above the legal limit. After an initial fight by the dram shop on liability, all available limits were paid by both the liquor liability carrier for the bar and the at-fault driver’s auto insurance.

$976 Thousand (remaining limits) – Box Truck Wreck

Outcome: $976,000.00 (remaining limits)

Description: Mr. Houghton handled this red light case from start to finish that arose when a non-CDL box truck driver broadsided Plaintiff in a Gwinnett County intersection. John was able to obtain the dash video from the box truck early on, although there was some concern that the tape was partially edited by the insurance carrier. Nonetheless, the video unequivocally showed that the trucker ran the red light. John took depositions of the safety director and corporate rep, and there was significant evidence that this driver had never been properly screened prior to hire and dispatch. The driver himself was fired and went AWOL after he was served with summons and complaint, and likely would have been an empty chair at trial. Plaintiff sustained inoperable rib fractures and a hip injury, along with a concussion that he had made a reasonably good recovery from just prior to trial. He had approximately $120,000.00 in medical expenses which included a lot of diagnostics and soft tissue PT. Case resolved for the remaining limits of coverage a few days after a failed mediation.

$775 Thousand – Disputed liability passenger wreck

Outcome: $775,000.00

Description: Disputed liability passenger wreck, Jackson County venue This case arose before the pandemic on a rural stretch of I-85 in Jackson County when the at-fault driver seemingly fell asleep at the wheel and veered left into Plaintiff’s lane of travel causing a P.I.T. maneuver of Plaintiff’s Ford truck. Plaintiff’s truck flipped and Plaintiff sustained significant non-life threatening injuries. The responding trooper disregarded an independent scene witness’s account of the Defendant driver veering into Plaintiff’s lane, and assigned both vehicles at-fault on the crash report stating on video ‘Let the insurance companies figure this out’. For nearly 4 years, the insurance carrier for the Defendant vigorously disputed liability and fought tooth and nail to exclude the scene video because the witness could not be found. Deposition of the Defendant driver revealed that he himself was not sure what happened in the wreck consistent with dozing off, but maintained many of the lawyer-created liability defenses until the end of the case. A month before trial, Mr. Houghton finally located the scene witness through a friend and was able to take his deposition which destroyed every liability defense in the case. This non-commercial vehicle case settled for $775,000.00 three (3) days after a failed mediation just a week prior to jury selection in the very conservative venue of Jackson County.

$725 Thousand – Tractor-trailer collision

Outcome: $725,000.00

Description: Mr. Houghton handled this disputed liability truck wreck from start to finish, as this client was referred to him directly from a prior client. Case arose from a red light collision in a county north of Atlanta when a trucker simply grew impatient and drove through an intersection early in the morning shortly after dispatch. Liability was disputed as there was some evidence that Plaintiff was on her phone at the time of the collision, and the Defense raised the possibility that she had the last clear chance to avoid the wreck given how large and conspicuous the truck would have been crossing the intersection. Nonetheless, Mr. Houghton uncovered multiple problems in deposition with the Defendant driver’s hours of service and numerous federally required documents were not preserved following this wreck. Client had approximately $125,000.00 in medical expenses and had made a good recovery at the time the case resolved for approximately 6 times her meds at mediation. This case was filed in one of the most conservative jury venues in the state.

$5 Million: Dram Shop / Wrongful Death

Drunk driver case settled prior to trial

Case Conclusion Date: 2019

Practice Area: Dram Shop Liability

Outcome: $5 Million (Primary And Multiple Excess Layer Resolution)

Description: Mr. Houghton was associated as co-counsel in this tremendously sad case involving the continued service of alcohol to a noticeably intoxicated customer who had driven to the restaurant in plain view of multiple servers on the back patio of a large national chain. Shortly after the customer’s departure from the restaurant, she struck our clients’ son head-on in a collision, which resulted in no survivors. In the context of dram shop cases, this matter was unique in that the defendant establishment had multiple layers of liquor liability coverage responsive to this loss. Additionally, local law enforcement did a tremendous job in obtaining video footage by warrant from the restaurant, which was instrumental in proving the noticeably impaired state of the now deceased defendant driver.

The case resolved just prior to trial after a failed mediation. Mr. Houghton took multiple depositions of servers, managers, bar patrons, law enforcement and toxicology experts prior to achieving a just resolution for the family.

$340 Thousand Truck Wreck (Disputed liability / Non-surgical soft tissue injuries)

Outcome: $340,000.00

Description: Mr. Houghton was brought in as co-counsel to prepare the liability case for trial in this lane change collision involving a tractor-trailer. Defense vehemently disputed both liability and the extent of Plaintiff’s damages in this case. Mr. Houghton took multiple depositions in Northern Mississippi over the course of a few days and determined that the driver had falsified the entirety of his hours of service around the wreck, and being paid by the mile, did over 600 miles worth of runs into lower Alabama during time he claimed as personal conveyance. The GPS and mileage reports on his electronic logs were completely inconsistent with his log grids, and the corporate representative safety director agreed that he had falsified his hours of service just prior to this wreck. And the Defendant had previously been warned about this issue, as he had done it before while driving for the company. Despite all of the aggravated liability, the Plaintiff in the case had a consistent history of degenerative problems and pain complaints in his back from prior wrecks with a significant criminal history, and the Defense’s primary objective was to attack his damages and credibility at trial. After a failed mediation, Mr. Houghton was able to negotiate an equitable settlement for a good multiple of the medical expenses in a non-surgical case with a lot of risk on both sides.

$2.395 Million: Tractor-Trailer Crash/Multiple Claimants/Severe Injuries

Settled with trucking company prior to trial

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $2.395 Million (Aggregate Settlement Amount For Both Clients)

Description: Mr. Houghton was associated as co-counsel in this difficult liability case in which the plaintiffs struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that had significant mechanical issues while on the roadway. The initial accident report indicated that the plaintiff, who was driving a non-commercial passenger vehicle, had taken her eyes off the roadway to change radio stations when her vehicle came upon the tractor-trailer that had powered down on the highway and was traveling at low speeds. Both clients sustained severe compound fractures to multiple bones in their legs, which may have been exacerbated by their failure to wear their seat belts.

Initially, this case appeared to be one in which no liability could be assigned to the tractor-trailer driver or the motor carrier. However, after taking depositions in multiple states of company personnel for the motor carrier, it became clear that the company was aware of the exact same turbo issue that was contributing to the power loss of the tractor. In fact, the company had refused to pay or reimburse the driver for the required repairs on the power unit and dispatched him anyway after prior instances of power loss.

Case settled after a failed mediation just prior to the trial date.

$1.375 Million: Tractor-Trailer Collision

Confidential settlement for spinal injuries

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Areas: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $1.375 Million

Description: High-impact bobtail tractor-trailer collision that resulted in a three-level cervical fusion surgery to client. Mr. Houghton took multiple liability depositions in three different states of company safety personnel. These depositions revealed a systemic regulatory compliance failure by the motor carrier as well as multiple unsafe practices that resulted in this collision. This case settled just prior to jury trial.

Confidential amount – Tractor-Trailer Crash/Wrongful Death

Recovery obtained after failed mediation

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: Significant Confidential Settlement

Description: Tragic wrongful death tractor-trailer case involving the fatality of an over-the-road truck driver in a wrong-way collision very early in the morning. The at-fault driver had a medical condition that he had reported to dispatch and had previously disclosed on his medical card to the motor carrier. There was considerable evidence that the at-fault driver’s condition and the medication he had taken contributed to this collision. Further, under the circumstances of this wreck, there was likely sufficient evidence to support an independent claim against the trucking company for a forced dispatch. The case resolved a number of months after a failed mediation.

$1,106,165: Rear-End Collision / Wrongful Death Of Teenager

Jury verdict: Nelson v. Muldoon

Case Conclusion Date: December 13, 2007

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $1,106,165.02 Jury Verdict In Forsyth County

Description: Rear-end collision that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old boy in Forsyth County. One of two named defendants was driving a Ford F-150 with large mud tires and a lift kit when he struck the rear of a Mitsubishi that had stopped to turn left. The plaintiff’s decedent was sitting in the rear of the Mitsubishi when it was struck, and he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter. In deposition, the defendant driver refused to admit responsibility in causing the collision and blamed an unknown vehicle driving in front of him for obscuring his view and then making an improper lane change. The unidentified driver was named as a party to the lawsuit as a John Doe motorist and was defended by an uninsured motorist (UM) carrier at trial. The jury ultimately found the unidentified driver to be 90% responsible for the loss in awarding a total verdict of $1,106,165.02. The UM carrier attempted an unsuccessful appeal, and the verdict was paid in addition to pre-judgment interest.

$1 Million: Dram Shop (Drunk Driver) Case/Double Fatality

Settled for policy limits: Z.C. v. S.J., Inc. d/b/a T.M. & J.F.

Case Conclusion Date: September 22, 2014

Practice Area: Wrongful Death – Dram Shop

Outcome: $1 Million

Description: Dram shop case resulting in a tragic double fatality in Douglas County. The defendant driver was a patron at a well-known local bar and restaurant after consuming numerous alcoholic beverages at an Atlanta sporting event. Defense counsel disputed that the bar knew the defendant would be driving soon. Time-stamped surveillance video, along with testimony from other patrons, law enforcement and the defendant driver himself confirmed that he was served additional alcoholic beverages while noticeably intoxicated. Case settled with a $1 million policy limits tender split evenly between the two families of the decedents.

$1.1 Million: Tractor-Trailer (Bobtail) / Pedestrian Fatality

Confidential settlement after lengthy mediation

Case Conclusion Date: January 30, 2012

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $1.1 Million

Description: Our firm was associated as co-counsel on the eve of trial in a disputed liability pedestrian death case that occurred on a local interstate involving a tractor-trailer driving bobtail. The defense contested where the decedent was located in relation to the roadway in the late evening hours when this tragedy occurred. Settlement was reached with the insurer for a nationally recognized motor carrier at the end of a long mediation.

$976,217.50: Jackknifed Tractor-Trailer Crash

Settled for remaining policy limits

Case Conclusion Date: November 11, 2020

Practice Area: Trucking Accident/Motor Carrier Liability

Outcome: $976,217.50

Description: At The Houghton Law Firm, LLC, Mr. Houghton was proud to represent a local law enforcement officer who was injured when his cruiser was struck by a tractor-trailer that had jackknifed on I-85 on a winter day in early 2020 just prior to the pandemic. After discussions with opposing counsel and the liability insurer, Mr. Houghton immediately sent his accident reconstructionist to the tow yard to perform an extensive inspection on both the tractor-trailer and the county cruiser struck in the incident. The inspection revealed that there were major maintenance issues with the front drum brakes on the tractor-trailer that may have contributed to the severity of this wreck. The motor carrier itself was a small operation with only one layer of primary liability coverage.

The client sustained significant injuries and underwent an anterior cervical disc fusion surgery, but had made a reasonably good recovery by the time the demand was made. Mr. Houghton rejected a proposal to mediate the case made by the defense, and they agreed within the time-limited period to pay all of their insurance limits on the $1 million policy. With less than $150,000 in medical expenses, Mr. Houghton was able to get this case done for the policy limits of $976,217.50 (after deduction of the property damage claim for the destroyed vehicle). This resolution represents nearly seven times the client’s medical expenses in one of the most conservative venues in the state of Georgia. Mr. Houghton was pleased to be able to obtain civil justice for this deserving law enforcement officer.

$650 Thousand: Car Accident/Under The Influence Of Medication

Jury Verdict: N.J. v. M.A.

Case Conclusion Date: January 29, 2015

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $650,000 Jury Verdict

Description: Broken leg, non-commercial auto case involving a defendant driver under the influence of prescription medication. Jury verdict obtained in Polk Superior Court after a two-day trial. Mr. Houghton put up 11 witnesses in one day and presented his closing argument before the jury returned the verdict in just under two hours.

$500,000: Truck Wreck / Contested Liability

Confidential settlement

Description: Complex motor carrier case involving a truck driver who was apparently using the defendant motor carrier’s Department of Transportation (DOT) number/placard and operating authority on equipment that was not listed under his lease agreement with that company. Case arose from a failure-to-yield left-turn collision when the tractor-trailer pulled out in front of our client. The insurer for the motor carrier insisted for over two years that the driver had no affiliation with the trucking company he was actually driving for under a lease agreement. Mr. Houghton was associated as counsel in this case at a point in time when both the insurer and motor carrier were vehemently denying any responsibility for this loss. After Mr. Houghton took the deposition of the motor carrier’s owner and safety director in Chicago, it became clear that the company’s position was not supported by the evidence produced in discovery. There was considerable evidence that the company was vicariously responsible under DOT regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) for any loss arising from this independent contractor’s use of its interstate operating authority (even if he was not doing a run for the company at the time of the loss). Multiple instances of prior and subsequent DOT inspection reports received by the defendant motor carrier established that it knew or should have known that the defendant driver was continuing to use its DOT operating authority during the time frame surrounding this collision. The case settled a month after mediation for a significant multiple of the client’s medical bills.

$450 Thousand: Tractor-Trailer Accident (Federal Diversity Action)

Confidential settlement after pre-suit offer of just $5,000

Case Conclusion Date: June 1, 2021

Practice Area: Tractor-Trailer Accident/Motor Carrier Liability

Outcome: $450,000 At Mediation One Week Before Trial

Description: Mr. Houghton was proud to represent a gentleman in his 60s who sustained injuries in a 2017 tractor-trailer side-swipe incident in which the truck driver was attempting to merge across two lanes of traffic to hook onto I-20. The incident itself resulted in minimal damage to the passenger side of the client’s vehicle, and the defense disputed liability and the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s back injury throughout the course of the litigation in federal court. The Houghton Law Firm, LLC, received this case from another attorney who had received a maximum pre-suit offer of $5,000, and not a single additional offer was made throughout the course of the federal litigation until a week prior to trial.

The case was complicated by the fact that the client had prior lower lumbar fusion procedures in the same area of his back 20 years before the collision and had sought Social Security Disability for the precise type of back pain he attributed to this wreck. Mr. Houghton took out-of-state depositions of the truck driver and the motor carrier’s safety director, which revealed that all hours of service data/driver’s logs and dispatch records surrounding this collision had been unilaterally disposed of after the plaintiff’s initial letter of representation requesting these items be preserved. After extensive motions practice, Mr. Houghton was able to defeat the defense’s summary judgment motion seeking to dismiss the punitive damages claims, as the court agreed that a jury issue remained as to whether the company destroyed the driver’s logs either intentionally or in bad faith. The case settled for a significant multiple of the medical expenses, and the client was overjoyed with the outcome.

$425 Thousand: DUI Collision / Multiple Injuries

Settled after mediation

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $425,000

Description: Aggravated liability collision in which the defendant driver failed to yield in causing the wreck. He was subsequently charged with DUI. Client had multiple injuries. Case resolved after mediation for nearly seven times the medical expenses. Venue was Cobb State Court.

$375 Thousand: Tractor-Trailer Collision / Cervical Injuries

Confidential settlement in mediation

Case Conclusion Date: April 30, 2018

Practice Area: Trucking Collision

Outcome: $375,000

Description: Client sustained injuries to her cervical spine in a wreck that resulted from a tractor-trailer attempting a wide left turn onto a side street. Our client underwent two separate surgeries for a cervical disk herniation and a resulting infection. Liability in the case was fairly clear. However, the dynamic of the impact did not create major damage to our client’s vehicle. One of the challenges in the case was attributing the biomechanics of the injury to the relatively low impact of the wreck. Additionally, there was a prior medical history and other issues in the client’s past that would have adversely affected the plaintiff’s damages presentation at trial. Mr. Houghton took liability depositions in multiple states that demonstrated that the motor carrier had effectively disposed of numerous federally required documents, including driver’s logs, trip reports and bills of lading. This disposed evidence would have given the plaintiff’s counsel a greater understanding of this employee’s hours of service and level of fatigue when he attempted this dangerous turn. The case resolved at mediation a couple weeks before a second wave of scheduled depositions of company representatives.

$300 Thousand: Tractor-Trailer Collision / Police Officer Injured On Duty

Confidential settlement

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $300,000

Description: Client was a police officer in a local Georgia municipality who was injured when a large tractor-trailer hauling doubles ran off the side of the highway and struck the client’s police cruiser. Client sustained multiple injuries, but did not sustain any major hard tissue damage. Nearly a year after the incident, the client underwent an ulnar nerve transposition procedure in his elbow. Multiple depositions taken by Mr. Houghton revealed that the motor carrier did not properly preserve the driver’s logs or post-collision toxicology testing records. Case resolved for over six times the client’s medical expenses prior to trial.

$300 Thousand: Falling Accident At Condominium

Pre-suit settlement: SS.D. v. C.B.C.A., Inc.

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Personal Injury

Outcome: $300,000

Description: Case involved a client who sustained severe and permanent elbow injuries resulting from a fall that occurred outside of her own condominium. Pre-suit investigation revealed multiple prior complaints about the area where the fall occurred. Photos taken at the scene demonstrated that there were numerous code violations for the manner in which the step was constructed as well as the material used to cover the step.

Client had multiple surgeries to repair the fractured elbow. The case settled pre-suit.

$245,000: Rear-End Tractor-Trailer Collision

Settlement in mediation: G.M. & K.M. v. L.E., LLC, et al.

Date: January 6, 2014

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $245,000

Description: The client sustained shoulder injuries and a concussion in a multi-claimant rear-end collision from a fully loaded tractor-trailer. Depositions of the safety director and operator revealed a significant history of regulatory compliance failures by both the company and its driver. There was also evidence that a shift of the driver’s loaded cargo created instability in the tractor-trailer, which contributed to the secondary impact of this wreck. Case was filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. Settlement was reached with multiple insurance carriers during mediation at the conclusion of the discovery period.

$225,000: DUI Collision/Under The Influence Of Medication

Settlement with client’s insurer: J.J. v. M.A.

Case Conclusion Date: July 8, 2013

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $225,000

Description: A DUI prescription wreck resulted in a significant external fracture of the client’s left femur, requiring multiple surgeries. All available layers of UM coverage were tendered by the client’s own insurer after months of litigation. The case is still pending against the defendant driver, who admitted to taking multiple central nervous depressing medications at the time of the wreck.

$225,000: Tractor-Trailer Collision / Multiple Injuries

Settled during discovery: R.S. v. A.R. & G.W.C.C., et al.

Case Conclusion Date: January 10, 2012

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $225,000

Description: Disputed liability failure to maintain the lane in a tractor-trailer collision involving an out-of-state motor carrier. At the time of the wreck, the tractor-trailer driver had seven to eight prior violations of the FMCSR. Deposition testimony taken from the driver, safety director and safety assistant indicated a clear pattern of ignorance of the DOT regulations. The company failed to administer the required post-collision alcohol and toxicology test as required under the FMCSR. The company additionally failed to properly review the defendant driver’s history prior to his hire. Client sustained a knee injury and a fractured rib, as well as back, neck, shoulder and jaw injuries. The case was filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta division, and resolved near the conclusion of discovery.

$220,000: Car Accident / Collision With Commercial Van

Settled after discovery: J.W. v. O.F., Inc., et al.

Case Conclusion Date: March 25, 2015

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $220,000

Description: The case arose from a failure-to-yield auto wreck in Sandy Springs involving a commercial van improperly attempting to make a U-turn. The plaintiff sustained a fractured right radius along with other injuries in the collision. The defense disputed the identity of the driver and whether he was operating the vehicle on behalf of the corporate defendant at the time of the collision. The case resolved for approximately seven times the client’s medical expenses at the close of the discovery period.

$215,000: Wrong-Way Driver/Head-On Collision

Settled for policy limits: C.G. & L.G. v. Pack

Case Conclusion Date: December 30, 2010

Practice Area: Personal Injury

Outcome: $215,000

Description: Wrong-way driver using a cellphone device crossed the double-yellow line, causing a head-on collision that resulted in serious injuries to a young husband and wife. In a Cherokee County venue, the case resolved pre-suit with a policy limits tender by bodily injury carrier and a settlement with a UM carrier.

$200,000: Motorcycle / Tractor-Trailer Collision

Settled in mediation: J.B. v. B.G.L., Inc., et. al.

Case Conclusion Date: March 10, 2016

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $200,000

Description: Disputed liability motorcycle collision with a tractor-trailer that resulted in significant shoulder injury. Case settled in mediation prior to pre-trial hearing.

$200,000: Rear-End Auto Wreck/Back Injuries

Settled for policy limits: D.F. v. E.L.

Case Conclusion Date: July 8, 2013

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $200,000

Description: Rear-end passenger vehicle collision, which resulted in the re-injury of client’s lumbar spine. Client had undergone a lumbar discectomy just months before the wreck related to a prior injury he had sustained. Defendant’s insurer initially offered a figure considerably less than the policy limits and suit was hand-filed later that same day. Defendant’s insurer unequivocally tendered all limits within 30 days of being served with process. A subsequent resolution was reached with client’s UM carrier.

$190,000: Tractor-Trailer Collision

Confidential pre-suit settlement

Case Conclusion Date: August 11, 2017

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $190,000

Description: Disputed liability collision in which our client struck the rear container of a well-known national motor carrier that had been disabled on the side of the road. The crash report stated that our client had been looking down at the radio at the time of the impact and failed to maintain a proper lookout. After closer inspection of this wreck, it became clear that the truck driver contributed to this collision by failing to put out warning triangles and maintaining a container with dirty conspicuity tape, both violations of the FMCSR. Case resolved for approximately five times medical expenses pre-suit.

$175,000: Trucking Accident (Federal Court Case) 

K.R. v. C.T., LLC, C.B., et al. – U.S. District Court, Northern District, Atlanta Division

Case Conclusion Date: January 12, 2018

Practice Area: Trucking Collision

Outcome: $175,000

Description: This federal court case arose when an over-the-road truck driver made an improper lane change without properly checking his blind spot while driving on I-285. The defense initially disputed that they were responsible for the wreck, but they ultimately amended their answer to accept fault for causing the collision. Mr. Houghton took depositions in multiple states of the truck driver and truck company owner, who both blamed each other for the DOT compliance failures that followed this collision. Although the client’s injuries were primarily soft tissue, Mr. Houghton was able to enhance the value of the case by illuminating to the court all of the federally required evidence that was destroyed. In particular, the defendant driver had a history of drug and alcohol disqualifications before this wreck. However, the company and driver failed to undergo any of the federally required post-collision drug and alcohol testing following this incident, thus destroying evidence that was invaluable to the plaintiff’s case. This case settled for a significant multiple of the client’s medical expenses on the eve of the sanctions hearing against the defense in U.S. District Court.

$175,000: High-Impact Auto Wreck

Resolved under uninsured motorists policies: A.B. v. G.B.M.

Date: February 19, 2015

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $175,000

Description: Failure-to-yield case resulting in a high-impact wreck in which plaintiff sustained a non-displaced fractured heel with additional back and neck injuries. The Houghton Law Firm, LLC, received this case on the eve of the statute of limitations and filed suit immediately. After conducting initial discovery, plaintiff determined there were three separate UM policies providing coverage for this loss. Defense disputed the causation of the injuries but resolved the case near the close of the discovery period.

$168,009: Elderly Couple Struck By Drunk Driver

Recovered policy limits under two policies: B.S. v. R.R.

Case Conclusion Date: July 19, 2012

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $168,009.25

Description: Very sad case involving an elderly husband and wife struck head-on by a DUI driver with minimum limits insurance coverage. The case settled by demand of all available insurance limits of both the defendant’s liability coverage and the victim’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This included an additional layer of UM coverage that the insurer initially contended was not available. Venue was Fulton County.

$167,500: Tractor-Trailer Collision

Resolved on eve of trial: P.F. v. S.S.I.C., Inc., A.C., Inc.

Case Conclusion Date: September 11, 2015

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $167,500

Description: Tractor-trailer collision involving an improper right turn by a truck driver over two lanes of traffic that resulted in a blind-spot wreck in Clayton County. Plaintiff sustained all non-surgical soft tissue injuries, which she treated conservatively. Case resolved on the eve of trial for approximately six times the plaintiff’s medical expenses.

$161,799.04:  Wrongful Death / Texting While Driving

Recovered policy limits: L.B. v. A.M.

Case Conclusion Date: September 25, 2014

Practice Area: Wrongful Death

Outcome: $161,799.04

Description: Tragic fatality arising from an auto collision in which defendant was texting while driving. All coverage limits were tendered by both the liability insurer and the UM carrier in settlement of this very sad case. Venue was Forsyth County.

$150,000: Tractor-Trailer Collision / Shoulder Injury

Pre-suit settlement: T.W. v. K.T., Inc., et al.

Case Conclusion Date: November 20, 2015

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $150,000

Description: Low-impact tractor-trailer collision resulting from the at-fault over-the-road driver’s failure to yield. Resulted in shoulder injury with approximately $35,000 in medical expenses but a significant gap in treatment. Insurance carrier disputed liability, but the case settled for nearly five times the medical expenses pre-suit.

$150,000: Rear-Ended By Commercial Box Truck

Confidential resolution of judgment: J.W. v. Lanta Kitchen & Bath Ltd.

Case Conclusion Date: Not Disclosed

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $150,000 Judgment In Cobb County State Court

Description: Client was driving a friend’s car up I-75 North and came to a stop for rush hour traffic in front of him. A driver approached from the rear in a commercial box truck, and, failing to see the stopped traffic in front of him, crashed into the rear of the client’s car. The force of the impact pushed the client’s vehicle into the car in front of them, and sadly killed the client’s 6-month-old Chihuahua puppy. Client sustained a concussion and minor soft tissue injuries and had approximately $6,000 in medical expenses. Judgment was obtained in July 2008 and was subsequently resolved with the insurance carrier for a confidential figure.

$150,000: Auto Collision/Skull Fracture

Settlement reached before trial: M.W. v. R.P. Jr.

Case Conclusion Date: January 21, 2011

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $150,000

Description: Case arose from a left-turn collision that resulted in a non-operable tripod fracture on the left side of plaintiff’s skull as well as minor optic nerve damage to plaintiff’s left eye. Plaintiff had only $12,700 in medical expenses and sought very little medical treatment after the initial wreck. At the time of trial, he had made nearly a full recovery. Defendant’s minimum limits bodily injury coverage was tendered pre-litigation, but plaintiff’s UIM carrier failed to pay limits demand and suit was filed. Through discovery, three separate UM/UIM policies were revealed and case was specially set for trial in Cobb State Court in January 2011. UM carrier paid limits on the Friday before Monday jury trial. Total amount recovered was over 11 times the medical expenses incurred by plaintiff.

$149,500: Rear-End Collision On Freeway / Commercial Vehicle

Settlement reached just before trial: J.E. v. A. Inc. & S.M.

Case Conclusion Date: September 4, 2013

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $149,500

Description: Rear-end collision involving a defendant operating a commercial van attempting to pass the client on Stone Mountain Freeway. Client was struck in the rear and pushed into median wall. Client’s vehicle sustained minimal damage to the driver’s side wheel well, and EMS was not called to the scene. Client/plaintiff followed up with his primary care physician four days after the wreck with pain in his lumbar region. Plaintiff never visited the emergency room (ER). Defendants vehemently disputed the origin of client’s lumbar injuries, citing prior worker’s comp injuries to the same region of his back. Plaintiff never underwent surgery, and his medical expenses were approximately $28,000, a significant portion of which included MRIs and physical therapy. Plaintiff prevailed on defendants’ summary judgment motion on punitive damages, citing the considerable history of prior wrecks and aggressive driving of the defendant employee reported to the company. Case settled on the eve of trial for nearly six times plaintiff’s medical expenses.

$135,000: Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Police Cruiser

Structured settlement for deceased’s children: D.P. v. C.O.M. (Municipality)

Case Conclusion Date: August 14, 2012

Practice Area: Wrongful Death

Outcome: $135,000

Description: Case arose from a pedestrian collision that resulted in the death of a mother of three children. Liability was heavily disputed throughout this matter. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. in Henry County in an unlit area of an industrial highway. Decedent was apparently attempting to flag down a ride when a police officer for the defendant municipality struck her with the front right side of his cruiser. The defense throughout the case alleged that the decedent was severely intoxicated and was contributorily negligent in crossing the unlit roadway outside of any crosswalk. A post-mortem toxicology test performed by the medical examiner’s office revealed the presence of multiple narcotic substances in the decedent’s blood stream at the time of death. Decedent was unemployed with virtually no earnings history. Plaintiff took numerous depositions and determined that the officer involved in the wreck had taken central nervous depressant pain medication before going on duty and was speeding at the time of impact. No blood test was performed on the officer involved in this wreck. The case settled one week before a specially set trial in Henry County. Multiple structured settlements were created for the children of the decedent.

$125,000: Truck Wreck/Sanctions For Disposing Of Records

Settled on eve of trial: C.H. v. B.D.T., Inc.

Case Conclusion Date: July 23, 2014

Practice Area: Trucking Accident

Outcome: $125,000

Description: Disputed liability truck wreck case involving soft tissue injuries and no surgery arising from a blind-spot collision that the defendant driver vehemently claimed was caused by the plaintiff. Mr. Houghton prevailed on a crucial motion to compel and order for sanctions, which was granted against defendants, as virtually all federally required records were disposed of by the motor carrier. Case settled on the eve of the trial date for nearly six times the plaintiff’s medical expenses.

$100,000: High-Impact Auto Collision

Settled on eve of trial: M.M. v. S.R.

Case Conclusion Date: May 2, 2016

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $100,000

Description: High-impact collision resulting from at-fault driver’s failure to yield the right of way in Gwinnett County. Client sustained pre-surgical injuries to her right shoulder. Client had approximately $24,000 in medical bills, a majority of which were generated over diagnostic imaging. Case settled for over four times the medical expenses.

$100,000: Auto Accident / Orthopedic Injury

Settlement reached: Confidential v. J.R., et al.

Case Conclusion Date: September 11, 2014

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $100,000

Description: Policy limits tender for client who sustained a fractured femur in a disputed liability collision that occurred in Hiram, Georgia. Defendant failed to yield the right of way, although defense would contend that client was speeding and failing to maintain a proper lookout when approaching the intersection. Paulding County venue.

$100,000: Rear-End Collision At Railroad Crossing

Settlement after filing suit: D.S. v. S.V.

Case Conclusion Date: July 30, 2013

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $100,000

Description: Case arose from a rear-end collision that occurred at a railway crossing in Valdosta, Georgia. At the time of the wreck, client was 61 years old, and she had undergone two prior surgical procedures on her spine before this collision. Case settled shortly after suit was filed.

$100,000: High-Impact Collision / Stoplight Violation

Resolved for policy limits: L.S. v. G.H.

Case Conclusion Date: January 30, 2012

Practice Area: Car Accident

Outcome: $100,000

Description: Defendant disregarded a red light in Hull, Georgia, causing a high-impact collision. Client’s right passenger side door of the van was crushed inward, pinning her foot to the floor. Client sustained a fractured talus bone that required surgical repair as well as a fractured rib. Liability was vehemently disputed by the insurance carrier, and client’s attorney had to conduct extensive interviews with the state patrol officer and a scene witness. Case resolved for the insurance limits just prior to suit being filed.

Metro Atlanta, Statewide Georgia And Nationwide

Trial lawyer John Houghton has litigated trucking accidents, dram shop (drunk driver) and other personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Georgia and the U.S. Call 404-476-2541 to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation, or contact us online.

As you can see from the examples of above, the facts and circumstances of every case are unique, and so the results vary. We cannot promise a specific recovery, but we can promise to vigorously pursue your compensation to the best of our abilities.