Recently in Truck Accidents Category

Georgia Truck Crash Due to Possible Brake Failure Nets $3.2 Million Verdict

January 21, 2014

A jury of 12 deliberated for 12 hours before returning to the courtroom with a favorable verdict for the plaintiffs, a husband and wife from Flowery Branch, Georgia who were the unfortunate victims of a horrendous truck accident. After almost three years and countless hours of preparation, the Parks received an award in the amount of $3.2 million - but only after allegedly faulty brakes on the Defendant driver's truck forever changed their lives. During the summer of 2011, the Parks were traversing I-85 when they noticed a HERO truck partially blocking the roadway. Ever-cautious, they stopped for the truck, as did another driver in front of them. However, a third vehicle, a truck owned by Atlanta Dealer Trades, failed to stop when the driver, Jessie Arnold, unsuccessfully applied the brakes. He proceeded to plow into the Parks' car from behind, "pushing their car 60 feet ahead and into another vehicle," according to the Daily Report.

The truck then proceeded to strike the car that had been in front of the Parks' car as well as the HERO vehicle, before finally coming to a rest on the highway. The truck had been recently purchased from another company, JCF Autotransport, Inc., and Atlanta Dealer Trades accordingly sought to have some degree of fault apportioned to that second company due to their alleged failure to maintain the truck's brakes. The Plaintiffs, however, dropped the second company as a defendant after their investigative efforts turned up no evidence of faulty brakes and the DeKalb County Court subsequently declined to allow the company to be included on the verdict form. Defendants plan to file an appeal and challenge both the Parks' claims for damages and the apportionment issue.

In total, the Parks accrued $200,000 and $154,173 in medical bills, respectively, with the need for additional medical services anticipated in the future. Damages requested included those amounts as well as attorney's fees, and estimated lost wages for six months (in the amount of $5,000 per month). All claims for punitive damages were dropped once it became clear that the jury was struggling to justify such a move. Once they were taken off of the table, the jury rendered the remainder of its verdict with relative ease.

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Three-Year-Old Truck Accident Personal Injury Case Presents Additional Questions Regarding Liability

December 9, 2013

It was almost three years ago that Kevin Boyer of North Dakota was driving his three children home in the family van when they were suddenly struck by a tractor-trailer with a double-trailer rig. Two of his children perished in the crash, leaving both Boyer and the third child, a three-year-old son, critically injured. One son was ejected from the vehicle and into the snow, while Boyer's daughter was discovered partially ejected through a rear window. Boyer and his surviving child were taken to the hospital, where they eventually recovered, but the effects were long-lasting and included the demise of Boyer's marriage. Although Boyer and his wife began divorce proceedings only weeks after the devastating truck accident, they finally came together in 2012 to file a civil lawsuit against the truck driver.

A local publication, The Grand Forks Herald, reports that Plaintiffs allege the driver "violated federal regulations by driving too many hours without rest and using a prescription painkiller that causes drowsiness." The driver, Steve Nelson, has not disputed those claims and, in fact, served a one year sentence after pleading guilty in 2011 during a related criminal case which encompassed two counts of negligent homicide and one count of reckless driving, with all but 60 days of his sentence being suspended. The remaining 60 days were spent on house arrest and an additional 100 hours were spent doing community service.

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Truck Driver at Fault in Fatal Atlanta Truck Accident: Negligence to Blame

October 28, 2013

Even the most skilled motorists occasionally experience a modicum of nervousness when passing big rigs - also known as the behemoths of the road. The sheer size of trucks, tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers and semi-trucks has inspired the common belief that a truck accident with one of those vehicles necessarily results in a proportionally larger number of fatalities and/or debilitating injuries when compared to car accidents. Factor in truck driver negligence, couple that with unsafe driving conditions or other unexpected, outside influences (such as distractions, fatigue or defects in loads or vehicles), and any capable truck driver attorney would immediately tell you you've concocted a recipe for disaster.

Truck driver negligence, which is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents, is typically be attributed to the feeling of invincibility engendered by the insulation a cavernous truck cab seemingly provides against the world. That particular feeling, as one tractor-trailer driver in Gwinnett County, Atlanta recently discovered, is a mere illusion. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that over the weekend, Gwinnett police arrested 35-year-old truck driver Raymond L. Hatt Jr., 35, of Manton, Georgia for his purported role in a fatal truck accident.

According to police officials, Hafiz M. Ilyas, 40, of Marietta, was traveling southbound on I-85 in the far right lane when Hatt's 18 wheeler cut off his vehicle. In attempt to avoid hitting the truck's trailer, Ilyas swerved his green Toyota Camry onto the shoulder of the highway before losing control and striking Hatt's truck as his Camry reentered the roadway. His car became trapped under the trailer and caught fire. Ilyas, unfortunately, perished at the scene. Hatt was subsequently charged with making an unsafe lane change, failing to signal and second-degree vehicular homicide.

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Federal Study on Motor Carriers and Trucking Accidents Suggests Link to CSA Violations

July 5, 2012

The American Trucking Associations have finally put enough pressure on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), compelling it to "make available a study of the links between Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) violations and crash risk used to develop its methodology for assigning carriers' CSA scores," says The Trucker. In a recent statement, FMCSA indicated that it would soon make the Violation Severity Assessment Study Report, which was published in 2007, publicly available through the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program docket found at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The Associations allege that they have been requesting the results of the study in writing since 2010. The research, the motor carrier publication The Trucker reports, examined the use of police reports to determine accountability when it comes to trucking accidents. The various associations came together in a demand for the study in the hopes that it would allow them to "evaluate CSA and other substantial proposals to improve it."

For many Atlanta truck accident attorneys the FMCSA's delay in granting the requests of the Associations comes as a surprise, especially since the agency purports that its primary goal is to strengthen commercial vehicle and driver safety. Created in 2000, the agency was designed to regulate trucking practices in the United States.CSA is a comprehensive program administered by the FMCSA under the authority of the Department of Transportation. The CSA program is meant to improve motor carrier and bus safety by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities by providing evaluations of the safety performance of carriers and drivers and identifying behavior patterns that may result in unsafe operations.

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Women's Hockey Team Bus Crash Lawsuit Results in $36 Million Dollar Settlement

December 23, 2011

On January 29, 2005, The Windsor Wildcats, a Canadian women's youth hockey team from Windsor, Ontario, was traveling through New York, on their way to a ski resort for the holidays. As they traveled, it is likely that they never expected that their trip would end in anything but merriment. However, unfortunately for them, their trip ended in tragedy instead. As the team's bus traveled through Western New York, it collided with a tractor-trailer truck, causing an auto accident that ended in the death of 4 individuals, and the injury to 19.

According to The Washington Post, the bus, which was carrying a women's hockey team, comprised of young women ranging from 19 to 21 years of age, swerved on Interstate Highway 390, and slammed into a tractor truck that was parked on the side of the highway on Jan. 29, 2005. The trucking accident occurred about 30 miles outside of Rochester, at dusk.

The Washington Post reports that the police initially suspected that driver fatigue and inexperience led to the crash. The 24 year old bus driver, Ryan Comfort had only driven for the bus company for two months. Although the bus driver escaped criminal charges because a grand jury declined to indict him, witnesses said he was driving erratically before the crash. The bus driver pleaded guilty to a logbook violation and a traffic violation of failing to stay in the proper lane and was fined $300.

Four individuals were killed as a result of this tragic collision. Those individual include: Richard Edwards, the coach of the Windsor Wildcats women's hockey team; his 13-year-old son, Brian; a third passenger, Catherine Roach; and the driver of the tractor trailer truck, Ernest Zeiset Jr. All of the remaining passengers on the bus sustained injuries. Those nineteen individuals suffered injuries which ranged from broken bones to brain trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Two Persons Injured in Atlanta Truck Accident

July 17, 2011

Two people were injured earlier in an accident involving a truck that crashed into a railway bridge. The impact of the accident caused a huge block of concrete to fall off from the bridge, and onto the truck as well as another car below. The truck driver and the occupant of another vehicle sustained injuries in the accident.

According to authorities, the accident occurred at about nine in the morning, when the truck was trying to clear the railway bridge. It was a 13-foot high truck with a hydraulic lift, and it was trying to clear the bridge which is just about 13 feet and 5 inches high. The lift struck the bridge, leading to a large chunk of concrete breaking off and collapsing. The heavy 25-foot chunk of concrete fell on the truck, trapping the driver inside. Some more bridge debris fell onto another vehicle that was just behind the truck.

The driver of the truck was trapped inside for more than an hour. It took fire fighters that long to extricate him from the truck. He has suffered injuries to his leg and feet. The driver of the other vehicle that was also struck by the concrete debris has also suffered injuries. None of the injuries are reported to be life-threatening.

Injury attorneys which handle trucking accidents regular deal with truck accidents in which a driver or shipper fails to secure their loads. In this case, the driver of the truck has been charged with failure to obey a traffic control device, and failure to secure loads. The bridge had to be closed down for more than 48 hours while authorities determined whether it was safe for traffic to flow again. However, according to authorities, the damage to the bridge seems to be merely cosmetic, and doesn't really affect the load-bearing capability of the bridge.

According to Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore, safety hazards with trucks striking the bridge have been a frequent problem over the past few years. There are several spots on the bridge where you can see damage denoting spots where trucks have collided with the bridge. According to Councilwoman Moore, she will look at finding ways to cut down the volumes of truck traffic underneath the bridge.

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