Accidents that involve tractor trailers can be incredibly serious.
While the driver of the semi truck may walk away with minor injuries, drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles can sustain catastrophic injuries. And unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these accidents to result in death.
This is one of the many reasons why it is so important for trucking companies and their drivers to understand the gravity of the job that they do, and take all of the necessary actions to prevent accidents and keep other drivers safe. When drivers and their employers fail to do so they can be held liable for the injuries or wrongful death that occurs as a result of the accident.
One example of such an incident was a case in California in 2008. A jury awarded one motorist $12.2 million after he sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident with a YRC tractor trailer on Interstate 15 in San Diego County. The man was driving a Chevrolet Metro that was struck by two wheels which came off the rear axle of the tractor trailer he was driving near. As the wheels hit his vehicle, the man, who was wearing a seat belt, struck his head hard against the roof of his car.
The accident caused injuries to the man’s neck, spine, back, and brain. He needed surgery on his neck, and will most likely suffer from chronic pain for the rest of his life. Before the accident he worked as an airplane mechanic, but lost his job because he was unable to perform necessary functions. Additionally, his brain, memory, ability to concentrate, or focus his attention, as well as his personality were all affected by the accident.
His resulting medical bills were in excess of $235,000 at the time of the trial, and were expected to eventually exceed $1.2 million.
The trucking company admitted their liability in causing the accident, but claimed that the man’s injuries were exaggerated and were actually caused by a condition unrelated to the accident, and this was the real reason for his neck surgery. Experts testified that the man did truly suffer from a brain injury and physicians who treated him verified that the injury significantly impacted his life. Still, throughout the trial the trucking company maintained that his traumatic brain injury was not real.
The jury, however, disagreed with the trucking company, finding that there was sufficient evidence to prove them wrong. They returned with a verdict for the plaintiff of $12.2 million. The jury recognized that the man’s ability to earn a living would be jeopardized because he could no longer do the work he was trained to do. For this reduction in wage earning capacity, medical care, pain and suffering, the jury awarded him the $12.2 million.
Missouri Truck Accidents
If you are injured in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, contact an experienced Missouri truck accident attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We will work to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
photo credit: SoulRider.222