Truck Drivers Blamed for Roadside Injuries Sustained by a Motorist
Most of the time, trucking injury lawsuits involve accidents directly on the road. For instance, perhaps a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into a car in front of him. Or perhaps the truck driver was speeding and was unable to stop when confronted with slow traffic ahead. However, there are other situations in which truck injury lawsuits can be brought, such as the one submitted by Richard L. Shunk III and his father, Richard L. Shunk Jr.
The Case in Question
According to the lawsuit filed in the Ohio court system, Richard L. Shunk III was experiencing car trouble and pulled off on the side of Interstate 70. He parked the car on the shoulder of the westbound lanes. Subsequently, a tractor trailer driven by Jeffery Goss struck the car. This caused serious injuries to the driver (Shunk), as well as property damage. Goss is then alleged to have fled the scene.
In the suit, Shunk alleges that after being struck by Goss’ truck, Shunk’s car was then struck by another tractor trailer, driven by an unknown driver, which also fled the scene. The upshot for Shunk was sustaining potentially permanent injuries, as well as serious damage to the car. Shunk, his father and Progressive Specialty Insurance are suing Goss, his employer Matheson Postal Services, and the unknown driver and his employer. They are seeking damages for negligence, as well as personal injuries and reckless driving.
Shunk and his father are seeking a jury trial, as well as both compensatory and punitive damages. The amount has not been set, and will be named in the trial. Depending on the findings during the trial, both truck drivers (Goss and the as-yet unnamed second driver) could face a number of charges, and both they and their employers could be guilty of a number of infractions. The cause of the accident could have been:
- Distracted driving
- Drug or alcohol use
- Driving too fast
A greater awareness of trucking infractions has developed today, thanks in large part to the number of incidents nationwide, as well as the greater seriousness and potential for devastating injury in these cases. Tractor trailers are far larger than passenger cars and trucks, and even when unloaded, can cause catastrophic devastation. Therefore, truck drivers must exercise immense care while on the road, and adhere to very strict requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Carriers Association and the federal government, as well as specific state mandates.
Depending on the findings within the case, the trucking company itself could face even greater repercussions. For instance, if it is found that the accident was the result of fatigue on the part of the truck driver because the trucking company was pressuring drivers to break federal rules about breaks and downtime, the company could face serious financial penalties. Of course, both trucking companies involved will have legal representation present, and it’s possible that they will pressure Shunk and his father to settle the matter out of court in order to limit the fallout from the case. It’s not unusual for trucking companies to send attorneys to visit accident victims when they’re most vulnerable.
Like the Shunk family, anyone involved in a tractor trailer accident needs to ensure that they’re working with a skilled, experienced trucking injury attorney. Such an attorney will provide the guidance needed to help ensure a positive outcome to the case. You can bet that the trucking company will pull out the “big guns”, so plaintiffs must do the same.