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Truck Accident Case Results

Truck Accident On Interstate 80

A million-dollar recovery for the husband of a young woman who was killed in a truck accident on Interstate 80. The weather was bad and the truck driver was going too fast for conditions when he slammed into the rear of one car and then crossed the center line and crashed into the car occupied by our client.

One of the big differences between trucking accidents and regular car accidents is that there is usually much more information available about the truck and the driver than in regular automobile cases. This case was no different. This truck was equipped with a GPS system that not only tracked the route of the truck but also provided valuable information concerning operational details such as its speed and braking in the minutes before the accident. It is always critical in a trucking case to find out early on if that sort of data exists. Other information that was important in this case was the driver's log information. Even before the days of computers, trucking companies and drivers were required to keep a handwritten log as to how much time they spend behind the wheel because there are federal regulations, which limit how many hours they can be on the road. In this case, the state trooper who came to the scene of the accident seized the log and cited the driver for exceeding the allowable number of driving hours. Obviously, this raised the question of whether the driver was sleepy at the time of the accident. Lo and behold, when we got involved in the case and took the deposition of the driver, the pages of the log covering the day of the accident were missing! The trucking company claimed that the state police were in possession of the log immediately after the accident and when they got the log back, the pages were missing. The state police, of course, claimed that they never removed any pages of the log. The pages never were found, but we were still able to rely on the issuance of the citation to establish that the driver had violated federal regulations on driving limits.

Trucking companies are also required to keep detailed records on the driving history of their truck drivers. In this case, the record revealed that the driver involved in the accident had multiple moving violations for speeding in recent years. According to company regulations, he was supposed to be sent for re-training because of his many violations but that never occurred. Also, when we took the deposition of the trucking company's safety manager, he was unfamiliar with the number of moving violations the driver had. All of this evidence helped to show that the trucking company itself was careless in the way they were monitoring their own drivers. That is an important point to remember in trucking cases, i.e., it is not enough to focus just on the driver of the truck as being the "at-fault" party, you also have to look at the company that employed him.

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