At 2:50 p.m., one hour and 40 minutes prior to the collision, the National Weather Service issued an updated Winter Storm Warning stating the freezing rain had developed. Yet Werner never communicated this update to its student driver, allowing Ali to average over 60 mph while driving unsupervised through the icy conditions because Ali was on a Just-In-Time (JIT) load, requiring delivery to California by the next day. A JIT delivery is one with an expedited delivery deadline. These are priority deliveries for which Werner expects its drivers to provide 100% on-time delivery.”
$101 Million Verdict in Texas Trucking Crash
A Texas jury awarded $101 Million to Joshua Patterson, who was injured as his pickup was hit from behind by a semi truck driver who was under the influence. The 2013 crash was caused by FTS International Manufacturing truck driver, Bill Acker, as he hauled fracking sand to Ore City, Texas. The truck driver smashed into the rear of Patterson’s pickup causing Patterson to suffer multiple back and neck injuries, requiring numerous surgeries, treatment, therapy and rehabilitation.
On July 19, 2018, the Texas jurors delivered the unanimous verdict in the amount of $101 million to be paid by FTS International: $75 million punitive damages; and $50,000 from truck driver, Bill Acker. Tests revealed that Acker was intoxicated with a mixture of marijuana and methamphetamines while driving the truck, had three moving violations within a few months of his hiring date and was on the trucking company’s probation for being involved in three other wrecksTrucking Accident Answers
Tragic trucking accidents nationwide account for more injuries and fatalities than any other vehicle accidents. Many are caused by overworked, underpaid, reckless truck drivers failing to obey traffic laws and industry standards. In the aftermath of a trucking collision, the injured and grief-stricken are most concerned with their health and safety.
Conversely, the trucking company is well on the way to building a defense against any claims the injured person may assert. Trucking companies have a “crash team” which is notified immediately by the driver when a collision occurs. The purpose of the crash team is to miminize the trucking company’s liability and protect their interests in case any of those injured people sue the company. The crash team is dispatched to the scene of the accident to begin immediate damage control despite the fact that victims are in the process of being extricated or treated at the scene.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, immediate action needs to be taken to protect your legal rights. A trucking case is vastly different from an automobile accident. There is crucial evidence that needs to be preserved from a trucking accident, such as the black box, driver logs, and radio communications. To effectively handle your case, the lawyer must have extensive knowledge of the trucking industry and commercial vehicle law.
The truck drivers and their employers have teams of lawyers to limit their liability, so contact us to preserve your rights, collect the evidence and begin your medical rehabilitation and road to recovery.We have trademarks of success litigating 18-wheeler trucking accidents involving catastrophic injuries and deaths to our clients.Our firm will immediately investigate, videotape, record, document and preserve evidence of the accident that will hold the responsible parties liable for your injuries.
We assemble an experienced team of medical, legal, accident reconstruction and rehabilitation specialists to aid in your physical recovery and receive maximum compensation for your damages. Lawyers consult with engineering and safety experts to recreate the collision. Computerized graphics are utilized to instruct the judge and jury and defendants about the critical elements in the accident.
We consult with treating doctors, nurses, psychologists, rehabilitation and occupational therapists about our client’s injuries. Our medical legal team researches the medical records to reveal the onerous struggles our clients experienced from the moment of impact, during hospitalization throughout the rehabilitation process.
Trucking Accident Litigation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does it cost to review a case?
Nothing. Reviews by our medical legal team are FREE. We advance the costs necessary to investigate and file the claim, if the case appears to have merit. Costs advanced are reimbursed to us at the case’s conclusion, after we make a financial settlement. If your case does not receive a jury verdict in your favor or settle before trial, we charge you nothing as a fee or expense.
How much money can I receive from a settlement or judgment?
Case value depends upon many factors, including, liability of the defendant, nature and extent of the injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, lost wages and medical bills, property damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle, funeral costs, loss of support and loss of companionship. Each case has individual damages and liability and amounts we receive in past verdicts or settlements cannot guarantee the future outcome of a case. However, we take cases that we believe we can win for the plaintiffs.
What is a contingency fee?
A contingency fee is not paid until, and unless, there is a successful financial outcome of a claim. Most personal injury cases use a contingency fee contract because plaintiffs often can’t afford to pay an attorney for services rendered on an hourly basis. If we do not receive a jury verdict or settlement for a client, we don’t charge a fee or expense to the client.
Someone from the trucking company contacted me. What should I do?
Do not talk to anyone about the accident. You have a right to an attorney before making any statements, so tell everyone to contact your lawyer. Insurance companies are working for the trucking companies whose goal is to settle your case for little to nothing so that the insurance company wins and you lose.
But, the insurance company said they want to help. Isn’t that true?
Absolutely not. The insurance representatives want to help the insurance company, not you!
They will take your statement and spin the story to suggest the crash was caused by the plaintiff in order to minimize your injuries, deny your claim and pressure you into accepting the lowest sum possible, even if your injuries are catastrophic. Do not speak with them and only let your experienced trucking accident lawyers handle speaking to them.
How do we find out what happened in the accident?
As attorneys, we can subpoena evidence of the contents of the truck driving compartment, unaltered truck driver’s logbooks, unbiased statements of witnesses, crucial photographic evidence of skid marks, debris and property damage. Although this evidence is often lost to the injured family and rests solely in the custody of the trucking company, we can use subpoenas and hire investigators and accident reconstructionists that will recreate the accident from the viewpoint of the plaintiffs.
What if the truck driver says the plaintiff caused the accident?
Don’t be surprised as that is a common truck driver’s defense. Blaming the victim and other defenses are common tactics of the trucking companies. Don’t worry, if the police report states the plaintiffs bear some responsibility, that does not necessarily absolve the defendant from liability and damages. We will review other details and to strengthen our case. In some states, an injured plaintiff may still receive a verdict or settlement in proportion to the plaintiff’s fault.
How do we find out about the truck driver?
The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) and Regulations govern the truck driver and trucking company. There are strict rules that must be followed and often the rules are violated causing serious accidents and injuries. For example, truck drivers cannot drive more than 14 consecutive hours with no more than 11 hours in actual driving time. The driver must then take 10 consecutive hours off duty without driving. This rule is often ignored causing truck driver fatigue which leads to accidents, death and injuries.
Is the truck driver or the trucking company sued?
The trucking company employing the truck driver is customarily held liable and the truck driver, also. Trucking companies may be responsible for inadequately training the truck driver, hiring a driver with a unsafe driving record, misleading log books, miscalculation of records, etc. The trucker driver also may be held solely or jointly responsible for an accident.
What if the claimant is deceased?
In most circumstances, we can assist the surviving spouse, child or another close relative to become qualified to serve as the personal representative of the estate of the decedent.
Will I have to give a deposition and go to trial?
You may be subpoenaed to give a videotaped deposition with sworn testimony before a court reporter. Do not stress over this as you will be prepared before the deposition by our attorneys.
The vast majority of claims nationwide settle before trial, but we prepare our cases for trial. In our experience, the defendants will settle our claims, rather than risk going to trial with us. Since no one can predict whether or not a case will settle, our attorneys stay ready and prepared for litigation.
What is mediation?
Customarily, courts order the parties to mediation to present each side of the case before a mediator, Special Master or former judge. This process reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and risks and benefits of settlement or trial.
Why should I hire your firm?
With decades of trial experience, we have successfully represented thousands of clients across the United States. Our firm was founded in 1971 and lead by Howard Nations, a quadruple board certified trial lawyer and we have the vast legal and medical expertise plus financial resources to fight for our clients against the defendants. We have a team of 120 case managers, paralegals and legal assistants and video production team to support our lawyers. The Nations Firm lawyers appear in courts across the nation and thousands of lawyers, clients and medical professionals refer clients to us.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit or claim?
Most states have a one year, two year or three year time limit from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit, but it varies with each type of case. For example, in Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the injury, or when the injury could have been reasonably discovered. In some instances, the time can be tolled by agreement. If you believe that you have a claim where the statute of limitations may be running, we urge you to contact us immediately.
What are your credentials?
Howard L. Nations is the Regional Director of APITLA Association of Personal Injury Trucking Lawyers for the states of Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The regional directors are part of an Trucking Emergency Response Team comprised of the most highly-respected trucking lawyers in the country. Howard is quadruple board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocates, inducted into the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame and successfully represented thousands of deserving clients in litigation for fifty years. Attorneys, medical professionals and other clients from all over the nation refer their clients to The Nations Law Firm. He has authored hundreds of legal articles and videos, including, “After the Crash – How and Why You Must IMMEDIATELY Start Rebuilding Your Life” from Truck Accident Magazine and “Winning A Trucking Accident Case” and “Resources to Pursue a Trucking Accident Case.”
Carolyn St. Clair was a briefing attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas and her nursing experience at The Texas Medical Center assisting heart surgeons, Dr. Denton Cooley and Dr. Michael DeBakey, has served an essential role during the past thirty years in litigating trucking, railroad, boating, medical device and pharmaceutical wrongful death and personal injury cases. Carolyn has been involved in multiple successful high profile lawsuits against defendants and corporations and her legal skills have resulted in change to improve industry standards in the effort to avoid future harm to other individuals. She is of counsel to The Nations Law Firm and elected to The National Trial Lawyers, American Association for Justice, New York and Texas Trial Lawyers Associations, University of Texas Health Center and Nursing Associations.
Contact us now
We can’t help if you don’t call. It costs you nothing to consult with us about your trucking accident case. If you or a loved one has suffered major injuries from a catastrophic trucking accident, contact us for a free case evaluation at 1-800-814-4540 or fill out our contact form.