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North Carolina truck crash injures judge, daughter

A North Carolina circuit court judge and her teenage daughter sustained injuries after being struck by a semi-truck on their way to a college orientation. While the crash ultimately prompted the mother and daughter to seek treatment at a hospital, they said they felt "fortunate to have escaped it without injury or death."

The truck accident occurred when an 18-wheeler slammed into the pair's vehicle from behind, causing the car to spin out. The judge said the driver was driving excessively fast and passing multiple vehicles. "He was totally out of control," she explained. The tractor-trailer was badly damaged in the crash, blocking the roadway and delaying traffic until police arrived at the scene.

After the crash, the judge and her daughter rented a car and continued on their trip, believing they were healthy enough to do so without first seeking medical attention. However, they decided to visit a doctor upon returning home. The judge was ordered to rest by her doctor, and is still undergoing therapy and various tests. She says she still has pain in her shoulders, back, head and neck and cannot sit for long periods of time. As such, the North Carolina Supreme Court has appointed a substitute judge to cover her duties until she has fully recovered from her injuries. She is still participating once per week in court.

While it is unclear whether the truck's driver was cited or charged for his involvement in the dangerous accident, the judge could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit against the man in order to seek compensation for her injuries. Personal injury lawsuits allow plaintiffs to demand damages from parties whose negligence lead to the plaintiffs' injuries, helping them to cover medical bills and other expenses.

Source: Charleston Daily Mail, "Judge, daughter involved in tractor-trailer crash," Cheryl Caswell, Aug. 2, 2012

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