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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Trucks/Tractor-Trailers vs. Passenger Cars/Pedestrians: Guess Who Wins?

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On September 1, 2009, at this location, I told the story of Mitchell Peebles, a trucker, ironically injured as a pedestrian, in a pedestrian/trucker traffic collision. The post created some interest and I decided to pay attention to cyberspace articles about traffic accidents involving trucks and truck drivers. I was not surprised to find that recent large verdicts and serious injuries have resulted from truck related accidents. Here is a small sample:

1. Mark Tiburzi, 53, was severely injured in a truck accident in Missouri, in July 2008, which killed three people and injured 14 others. The accident was caused by a truck driver who is facing involuntary manslaughter charges. Following a bench trial in August 2009, a federal magistrate awarded $13.8 million to Mr. Tiburzi and $4.2 million to his wife. The damages were awarded against the truck driver and the company he was driving for.

2. I previously reported about this accident in a post about tort reform in Maryland. Shannon Brown was awarded just over $1 million (reduced by tort reform caps to $729,000), in August, for multiple injuries including a crush leg fracture that requiring surgical insertion of a plate and 18 screws. The accident occurred in July 2006 when a gas tanker truck ran a red light and collided with her vehicle.

3. A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed in Texas resulting from a truck accident that killed 13 year old Casey hinkle and his 63 year old grandfather, Gervious Hinkle, while seriously injuring the child’s mother, Melissa Hinkle. A tractor trailer rear-ended their Ford Explorer on an interstate that was being repaired. The truck driver, truck owner, the Texas Department of Transportation and road repair construction company were all named as defendants in this wrongful death and serious injury lawsuit. Another accident happened on the same day, on the same highway, as this one with almost the same facts. In both cases, a traffic jam resulted from the road construction and both tractor-trailers failed to stop for slowed traffic. Three more deaths and two serious injuries resulted from the second accident.

Truck accidents almost always involve big trucks against smaller passenger vehicles or pedestrians, and, obviously, almost always have serious, sometimes tragic, consequences. A semi weighs upwards of 80,000 pounds or so and are often well over 50 feet in length. It is no wonder that these mammoth vehicles cause serious injury and death at greater frequencies than other types of traffic accidents.

The U. S. Department of Transportation keeps truck accident statistics; there are over 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S., each year. Fatalities from these accidents exceed 5,000, accounting for 12% of all U.S. traffic fatalities. Add "tractor trailer" to the word "truck" and the results are startling. A Driver or a passenger in vehicles colliding with "tractor trailers" (regardless of fault-truck drivers are not usually the at-fault driver in such collisions) are killed an astounding 98% of the time!

It should not surprise you that consumption of alcohol and drugs is a leading cause of truck accidents. Only a very small percentage of these can be attributed to the truck driver-the alcohol/drug consumer is usually the opposing passenger vehicle driver. However, a truck driver’s lack of sleep plays an important role in these accidents, as over 30% of them are caused or contributed to by a sleep-deprived truck driver.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious truck accident that is not your fault, and you have retained an attorney, Lawsuit Financial can help you and your family with truck accident lawsuit funding. You may qualify for a lawsuit cash advance and receive money in as little as 24 hours after your initial application . If you have not yet retained an attorney, Lawsuit Financial’s exclusive national attorney referral service can refer you to a specialist in truck accidents in all 50 states. Or, you can locate an attorney in your area by going to the InjuryBoard website and clicking on the state where you reside or where your accident occurred. Either way, it is important that you consult with an experience truck accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and options regarding these serious cases.