Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

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armored truckIn Hospadales v. McCoy, the defendants appealed a judgment in a truck accident case that awarded the plaintiff damages in the amount of $292,000 for past pain and suffering, past medical expenses, and past lost earning capacity. Among other things, they argued the evidence was insufficient not only to show causation but also to support the jury’s damages award and finding that the plaintiff was not contributorily negligent.

The plaintiff worked to transport cars from one location to another location, using a 30-foot trailer pulled by a pickup. He and his wife were driving on I-45 to pick up a car when the defendant was driving an armored truck for his employer. The armored truck had data that included the speed and movements of the truck, as well as a system to record data related to the plaintiff’s operation of the vehicle.

A video from the armored truck showed the armored truck driver was driving behind the plaintiff in the same lane, then switched lanes, and went faster, trying to pass on the left of the plaintiff. The left side of the armored truck driver’s truck and trailer were directly on the white dividing line between lanes, although it didn’t cross.

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SUVIn Blevins v. Pepper-Lawson Construction, the plaintiff appealed after a jury awarded him $170,850 for injuries suffered when he hit a construction vehicle driven by an employee of a masonry company.

The case arose one evening when the plaintiff was driving near a high school under renovation. A subcontractor of Pepper-Lawson Construction was doing some masonry. The plaintiff tried to pass a car but instead hit the mason’s construction vehicle. He was hurt and sued Pepper-Lawson, the mason, and the driver of the construction vehicle.

At trial, he argued that the construction vehicle should not be driven on a public road without a road kit (headlights and tail lights), and there was a failure to warn. A witness testified at trial that she was driving in the same area, which was well lit. A motorcycle sped around her in the right lane, followed by the plaintiff’s truck, which was also speeding. She believed they were racing and stopped her car because she saw that the plaintiff was driving as if he didn’t see the construction vehicle and was going to hit it.

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big rigTrucking companies often deny liability in truck accident cases, and in some cases, they even destroy or falsify evidence to avoid liability. It is important to retain an attorney who understands how to obtain discovery in a Texas truck accident lawsuit. In Greenwood Motor Lines, Inc. v. Bush, a trucking company and its driver appealed a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

The trucking company argued a number of things, including insufficient evidence and incorrect handling of allegations of spoliation of evidence.

The case arose when the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendants’ tractor trailer while driving east on I-20 one night. The plaintiff suffered physical and neurological harm that necessitated surgeries and caused her pain up to and through the trial. Her two dogs were killed.

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fire truckIn Freer Volunteer Fire Department v. Wallace, a Texas appellate court considered a sovereign immunity case. The case arose when an ambulance driver was driving a man who was suspected to be having a heart attack to the hospital in an ambulance owned by the Freer Volunteer Fire Department. The ambulance hit the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff’s daughter was a passenger in the car.

The plaintiff sued the driver and the city, claiming that the driver’s negligence injured her and her daughter. The driver filed an answer, claiming to be in the course and scope of his employment as a volunteer fireman and arguing he was immune from suit. The plaintiff added the Freer Volunteer Fire Department as a defendant. It filed an answer, also claiming that the driver was in the course and scope of his employment as a volunteer for it and that it was immune from suit. The plaintiff amended her petition again to drop the city as a defendant.

The driver and the Freer Volunteer Fire Department moved jointly to dismiss the driver under section 101.106(e) of the Texas Tort Claims Act (“Act”). This code section specifies that if a lawsuit is filed against a governmental unit and its employees, the employees must be immediately dismissed once the governmental unit files a motion for dismissal. In this case, the motion stated the driver was a volunteer employee and asked for dismissal. The plaintiff did amend and dropped the driver as a defendant.

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truck accidentIn Swearinger v. Guajardo, the plaintiff was hurt when a truck driven by the defendant and owned by United Van Lines hit his car. The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence and brought in the defendant’s employer under a theory of respondeat superior and negligent entrustment.

The jury found the defendant employee negligent and awarded the plaintiff damages for past physical pain and mental anguish, future physical pain and mental anguish, and past and future physical impairment. The defendant and his employer filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied.

The defendant and the employer appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s damages award. The appellate court explained that it would sustain a no-evidence challenge on appeal when there is no evidence or only a scintilla of evidence to support a vital fact, the court is barred from giving weight to that evidence, or it conclusively establishes the opposite of the vital fact.

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Common Links to More and More Trucking Accidents

For more information about common links and the underlying causes of accidents involving 18 wheelers call Carabin Shaw at 1-800-862-1260. The call is free, the consultation is free.

With a 20% increase in trucking accidents over the last two decades according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), there are more and more trucking accidents occurring across Texas.

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truckIn the 2016 case of Rayner v. Dillon, a Texas Court of Appeals considered a truck accident case involving the long-haul driver of a tractor-trailer rig who had years of gaps and mistakes in his required driving logs. The driver had 30 years of experience as of the date of the accident, and he was hired by his employer three years before the accident.

The case arose when the truck driver hit the left-rear of a woman’s car on I-30 after changing from the center to the right lane. The woman initially refused medical care but went to the ER that night, complaining about pain in her head, neck, and lower back. She eventually had an anterior cervical discectomy and other spinal surgeries. She sued the truck driver and his employer for personal injuries. The driver argued that she was in his blind spot. He had received a citation for changing lanes unsafely.

In order to recover exemplary damages, a plaintiff must prove gross negligence by the defendant. The plaintiff in the current case presented evidence to support a claim of gross negligence. This evidence included the driver’s repeated falsification of his log book, admissions by the employer that the driver was the second-worst perpetrator of log book violations among its employee drivers but was not terminated, and 48 safety-related violations by the employer’s drivers in April 2010, among other egregious actions. The plaintiff was awarded over $1 million in compensatory damages as well as exemplary damages of $2,000 against the driver and more than $1 million against the driver’s employer. The jury found gross negligence by both the driver and the employer.

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truck-accident-584005-m-2In Imamovic v. Milstead, a Texas appellate court considered a rear-ending case in which the jury awarded zero damages. The case arose when the 42-year-old plaintiff was working as a vehicle-for-hire inspector for a city, traveling around the city to inspect cabs, limos, and buses. While she was stopped in her Prius at a red light, a truck struck her car from behind. She claimed the force caused her to want to black out. Later, an investigator concluded that both her car and the truck were stopped at a red light when the truck moved and hit the back of the car.

When the police responded to the scene, the plaintiff told them she didn’t need medical care, and she drove away in her Prius. She woke up feeling sore, and the day after that, the pain in her neck was unbearable. She made an appointment with a doctor who worked for her primary medical provider. He prescribed her pain medication and anti-inflammatories and ordered x-rays. The plaintiff claimed the doctor ordered physical therapy, but the doctor didn’t note this order.

The doctor’s notes said he put the plaintiff on light transitional duty and told her to come back for follow-up. She went to physical therapy but didn’t go back to work and waited two months before coming back to see the doctor. Her excuse when testifying was that she didn’t think the doctor would do anything for her, and she didn’t control when the medical center scheduled its appointments. Continue reading →

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moving-baggage-1570395-1-e1461089674859In CMH Set and Finish, Inc. v. Taylor, a defendant appealed a Texas court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiff on personal injury and property damage claims. The defendant was a parent corporation of multiple entities, one of which manufactured cabinets. It owned a warehouse where lumber was cut to match certain manufacturing specifications, and this lumber was towed to plants.

In 2010, the company asked one of its truck drivers to take a trailer of lumber from a warehouse to a manufacturing facility. The driver used a flashlight to look at her assigned truck and trailer, and then she left for the plant. Two hours into the drive, two of the wheel-and-tire assemblies (each about 200 pounds) slid from the left side of the trailer’s rear axle and crashed into the plaintiff’s pickup truck.

The plaintiff sued the company and the driver, claiming their negligence was the cause of the accident. He also sued his insurer for benefits under his uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. He filed in Grayson County and claimed that this venue was appropriate under the Texas Insurance Code. The company and driver filed motions to transfer the case to another venue on the grounds that it should be brought in Collin County, where the accident took place. The trial court denied their motions.

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highway-1536866-e1462296828279In Hoke v. The Campbell Group, LLC, the plaintiff appealed the granting of summary judgment to defendants The Campbell Group, LLC and Crown Pine Timber 1, L.P. in a premises liability lawsuit. The case arose when the plaintiff’s car crashed into a logging truck while they were both traveling on Highway 96.

The plaintiff was in the right lane, and the logging truck was in the left. The truck tried to turn onto a private logging road that was owned and managed by the defendants. It turned in front of the plaintiff and hit the brakes, thereby stopping in the road. The plaintiff hit the back of the truck and suffered injuries.

She sued, alleging that (1) the defendants failed to use adequate signs to warn the public of any unusual commercial activity, (2) the defendants failed to inspect the site for possible hazards that would interfere with those traveling through the area, (3) the defendants failed to use a safe worksite plan to reduce hazards to the public, and (4) the defendants failed to provide a safe entrance for logging trucks trying to get onto their property. The petition didn’t reference negligence per se, negligent activity, or any statute.

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