Prove Who Caused Your Truck Accident
Our Lawyers Know How To Find The Facts You Need To Win
Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks kill or injure thousands of people every single year across the country. Although personal injury protection (PIP) benefits provide some financial relief regardless of fault in no-fault states like Massachusetts, recovering any damages (financial compensation) beyond that might require proof of negligence.
In many cases, the cause of such accidents might seem obvious. Even so, many accident victims often have a hard time getting the money they deserve for their crash. That's why it's critical that you have an experienced truck accident attorney working for you, someone who knows how to prove negligence in truck accidents.
At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone in Massachusetts and the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli in Connecticut, our truck accident attorneys know how to gather the evidence you (as the plaintiff in the case) need to prove that someone else (the defendant) caused your accident. As your attorney, we can gather the facts that prove:
- Defendant owed a duty to plaintiff;
- Defendant breached that duty by failing to conform to a certain standard of conduct;
- Defendant's negligence was the cause of harm to plaintiff;
- Plaintiff was harmed or damaged.
What this means is no matter how serious your injuries, the only way to collect damages is to prove that the defendant was negligent. Only then is the trucker or trucking company responsible for compensating you for expenses associated with your accident, including medical bills, lost income and more.
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Example of Complications Involving Truck Accident Negligence
A recent truck accident lawsuit (Moreno v. TLSL, Inc.) before the Mississippi Supreme Court illustrates just how complicated establishing negligence can be in such cases. Specifically, the court was asked to consider whether the trial judge erred in granting a directed verdict in favor of defendant on the grounds plaintiff had not made a prima facie showing (based on the first impression) the defendant was negligent.
Plaintiff argued the case should have been allowed to go to a jury, as there were central questions of fact in dispute between the two sides. Ultimately, the state high court affirmed.
Here's what happened: In November 2011, early in the morning, four men were on their way to work in a pickup truck. They were on a highway, when a 75-foot tractor trailer merged from a county road.
It was still dark when the crash occurred. The truck driver testified that earlier on his shift, he checked to verify all the lights on his truck were working. As he approached the intersection to merge onto the highway, he slowed, allowing two cars to pass before proceeding at about 35 mph. He said it was only at that point that he saw the headlights of a vehicle approaching over the hill. The two vehicles collided, and three of the four occupants inside the car were killed.
A motorist behind the pickup truck testified she witnessed the accident, and did not see the headlights of the truck. She also indicated it was a side-impact collision. The truck driver, however, would later say it was a rear-end collision, with the pickup truck striking him from behind.
The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her husband, who had been driving. She asserted the truck company was vicariously liable for the driver's failure to properly inspect his vehicle and for failure to yield. She sought damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and punitive damages.
At trial, the other motorist testified and evidence from the highway patrol was presented. The only surviving occupant of the pickup truck said that while he was asleep until seconds before the crash, he did not see the truck's lights.
After testimony concluded, the defendant filed a motion for directed verdict on the issue of negligence. The plaintiff objected, arguing there was sufficient evidence to support a verdict in her favor. The judge granted directed verdict.
On appeal, the plaintiff argued this was an error. She argued the question of negligence was one for the jury, and there was enough evidence in her favor from which the jury could have concluded the tractor-trailer truck driver failed to yield and that his tail lights were not working. These were the two elements on which the issue of negligence rested.
As to the issue of the tail lights, the state high court concluded there was no evidence to establish or contradict whether the lights were working, and neither of plaintiff's witnesses were actually in a position to see the lights. Thus, plaintiff had not met her burden of proof in that regard.
Similarly, on the issue of failure to yield, the court noted that while the other motorist's testimony conflicted with the truck driver's, her account also conflicted with the conclusions of the state highway patrol. It was further determined her drawings didn't accurately depict the accident. The statute doesn't require drivers who have already entered an intersection through a highway to yield the right-of-way to an approaching vehicle that hasn't entered or approached the intersection closely enough to constitute a hazard.
Many car accidents involving commercial vehicles turn out to be far more complex than they may seem on the surface. Your case may require an extensive amount of investigation, accident reconstruction and expert witness testimony in order to be successful - which is why you should only trust a legal team with proven results. Contact our law firm to find out how we can help you. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 right now.