Earlier this year, a California state court jury awarded more than $11 million to the widow of a man who lost his life after crashing into the back of an illegally parked large truck.
The Case at a Glance
The crash occurred in Pomona at the transition between SR-60 and SR-71 freeways. The driver of the parked truck, an employee of a distribution service, had pulled over and illegally parked the truck onto the shoulder of the road.
The victim, riding in a box truck, crashed into the parked truck after barely missing another vehicle.
Attorneys representing the distribution service said the driver of the parked truck had pulled over because of mechanical failure. Evidence presented by the widow’s attorney, showed there were no mechanical issues with the truck.
Award Far Exceeded Settlement Demand
Throughout the case, the highest settlement offer from the distribution service was $700,000.
The actual award of just over $11 million is far more than what the victim’s widow was seeking (a $5 million settlement demand) and more than the $8 million maximum insurance coverage provided to the distribution service.
How to Avoid Them
In terms of severity, injuries from accidents involving large trucks can be far more serious than those involving other vehicles. That’s mainly because of the massive weight — typically more than 10,000 pounds – of most large trucks. While truck drivers and their employers are required to undergo specialized training, accidents can happen quickly.
As we wrote in a previous entry, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid accidents with large trucks. The first is to stay within the speed limit and be aware of what’s going on around you.
Other tips include:
- Staying away from a trucker’s blind spot
- Pass on the left side of the truck
- Not turning directly in front of a large truck.
If you are involved in an accident with a truck, and its driver was the cause of the accident, you may be able to seek justice and compensation from the driver, the employer, and the company that manufactured the truck.
When to Settle or Proceed to Court
If you’re injured due to another’s negligence, you definitely have the right to pursue justice and compensation. If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries due to an accident, it is imperative to retain the counsel of an experienced attorney to help navigate the system to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Similarly, if there were multiple parties involved in the accident, getting the compensation you deserve could become trickier as the settlement will be divided among the injured parties. With California being an “at-fault” state, fault must be determined and with multiple parties involved, it may mean that each is assigned a portion of fault which could impact your settlement.
A few things to keep in mind about settlements:
- Negotiations can occur even before a lawsuit is filed and continue right up until the point of a jury decision
- Agreeing to a settlement ends your claims against the at-fault person
- You’ll have your money quicker if you agree to a settlement because trials can often last months or even years
While the decision to accept a settlement or let a jury decide is ultimately up to you; it is in your best interest to work with a reputable personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who can represent and guide you through the process for the best possible outcome.
If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured by Another Driver, Call Ramtin Sadighim, the Leading Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Accidents on the road can happen in the blink of an eye. To make sure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve, call the law offices of Ramtin Sadighim at 888.999.8744 to schedule a consultation or visit www.CaliAccidentAttorney.com for further information.