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18 Wheelers (FMCSA) and Truck Accidents

Jury verdict in case involving injury caused by truck backing up.
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County

    The client was a paint salesman who was referred to us by one of the largest law firms in Dallas. A lumber truck stopped in the right turn only lane at the red light on northbound Douglas at Northwest Highway. The client stopped behind the lumber truck. Another car stopped behind the client. The inexperienced driver of the lumber truck wanted to continue north on Douglas, so he backed up to be able to change lanes. A long piece of lumber extended back beyond the bed of the truck. The client’s car was trapped by the car behind. The piece of lumber penetrated the client’s front windshield at eye level. The lumber did not strike the client, but it caused him to strain his back trying to lean over to get out of the way. The client’s pain persisted despite physical therapy, medication and other conservative treatment. Two years later MRI testing showed the existence of a lumbar disk herniation. The client underwent back surgery. Before trial our client offered to settle for a moderate amount. The lumber company declined. At trial the defendant aggressively disputed that the herniated disc first diagnosed two years after the accident was caused by leaning over in the seat. The jury returned a verdict, to which the court added pre-judgment interest. The Defendant elected to forego appeal and paid the full amount of the judgment.

 

Four vehicle collision on rain slick bridge on Interstate 75 involving eighteen wheeler
Suit filed in District Court of Navarro County

    The case was referred to us by a Dallas commercial attorney. Three members of an Oklahoma family were traveling in a rental truck near Corsicana. A van in front slid into the right guard rail and started a chain reaction. An SUV following the van stopped suddenly. The rental truck occupied by our clients spun out of control, bounced off the left guard rail, hit the SUV and came to a stop facing sideways, blocking both lanes of the bridge. The defendant’s 18 wheeler hit the driver’s door area of the rental truck. We represented the surviving spouse, two sons and parents of the fatally injured rental truck driver, and his injured sister and nephew. The sister had multiple fractures. Her ten year old son was not significantly injured but he did suffer significant bystander mental anguish damages. The recovery in this case was achieved despite the initial findings of the TDPS Highway Patrol officer who investigated the accident that the driver of the primary defendant’s 18 wheeler was less at fault than the front vehicle and no more at fault than our own deceased driver. The front vehicle carried inadequate insurance coverage. We immediately filed suit and requested production of the driver’s logs, the driver’s application for employment and other evidence from the files of the trucking company. We engaged a competent accident reconstruction expert witness. (The trucking company’s accident construction expert was in Corsicana taking pictures and interviewing witnesses less than 24 hours after the collision.) We proved by testimony of the driver, the driver’s brother, managerial level employees of the Missouri based trucking company and other out of state witnesses that the trucking company hired the driver despite having actual knowledge that his CDL (commercial driver’s license) had been suspended by the State of Arizona for driving while intoxicated. (Arizona authorities failed to report the DUI conviction to Missouri, so an official check of the defendant driver’s driving record came back clean.) We proved by driver’s logs and electronically recorded dispatch records that the 18 wheeler was speeding over the legal limit during a ten hour period on the day preceding the collision and again over the last 52 miles from Pleasant Grove to Corsicana leading up to the collision. For more than a year after the collision the defendant trucking company offered zero in settlement. The case settled shortly after the trial court granted our motion for sanctions against the trucking company for spoliation of evidence.

 

Slow speed collision between two 18 wheelers
Suit filed in District Court of Denton County

    The case was referred to our office by a Texas attorney. The rear end collision occurred in the parking lot of a truck stop. We represented a passenger who was resting in the sleeping compartment of front truck. The client’s low back was injured, and she later required surgery.

 

18 wheeler jackknife collision
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County.

    A tractor trailer rig coming south from I 35E entered the downtown Dallas mixmaster at a speed too great for the stop and go traffic conditions. The trailer jackknifed around to the right and hit the rear of the car occupied by our client, knocking it off the road onto the grassy right of way. Our client experienced a lumbar disk herniation that led to low back fusion surgery.

 

Rear end collision on Highway 67 near Cleburne
Suit filed in District Court of Johnson County.

    This case was referred to us by a prominent Dallas attorney. The recovery was obtained despite the finding of TDPS accident investigator officer that our client was at fault in following too closely behind a stopping vehicle, swerving onto the right shoulder then back onto the highway into the path of the defendants’ plumbing truck. The client’s automobile went out of control across the center stripe and collided head on with another motorist. Before the collision the elderly client was able to live independently, drive a car and care for himself. It appears that the debilitating effect of the accident trauma will necessitate permanent residency in a nursing home.

 

Eighteen wheeler / pedestrian collision on LBJ Freeway
Suit filed in District Court of Dallas County.

    Our client was a young athlete who had started 42 consecutive games as offensive lineman during his college football career. Through no fault on his part his car was involved in a collision with another automobile and became disabled on the freeway late at night during heavy rain. The client got out and walked to the other car to see if the driver needed help. An SUV stopped some distance behind and turned on emergency flashers. The defendants’ tractor trailer rig approached from behind at a speed too great for the rain slick conditions. One of its dual tandem trailers jackknifed to the right, hit the SUV and propelled it into the two disabled cars and the client. The client experienced injuries to his teeth and a broken leg that required surgical insertion of a metal rod through the length of his tibia.