Articles Posted in Semi-Trailer Truck Accidents

David Lee Johnson, an employee of Universal AM-CAN Ltd. and Louis Broadwell LLC, was driving a truck owned by his employers above the speed limit while on a suspended license.  Johnson crashed his vehicle into a Jeep in front of him driven by the plaintiff, James Denton.

The crash pushed Denton’s car into a semitrailer tractor truck. Denton eventually managed to crawl out of the rear passenger window, but he suffered multiple traumatic injuries, including severe nerve and spinal damage. He required nine surgeries that were not altogether successful. His injuries have left him with a neurogenic bladder and he is unable to work. Denton also was required to see a counselor for depression and anxiety.

The driver of the truck, Johnson, had nine traffic-related offenses in the seven years before applying to work at Universal as well as four counts of felony reckless aggravated assault when he tried, with a wooden club, to break the headlights of the car occupied by four women who he claimed were tailgating him.

Continue reading

Jorge Amparo was traveling on an interstate highway in rainy conditions during heavy traffic. Evans Delivery Co. driver Jose Ayala was operating an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer in the roadway’s middle or left lane while he was talking on his cellphone.

As Amparo stopped for traffic in the left lane, Ayala’s tractor-trailer rear-ended his vehicle, causing it collide with another vehicle in front of him.

Emergency workers used the Jaws of Life to extract Amparo who was taken to a nearby hospital. He underwent a discectomy to treat a herniation at L5-S1 and required physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Continue reading

Scott Stevenson, 52, was driving his utility van on a busy interstate highway when his vehicle rear-ended a broken-down truck that had been stopped in the middle lane for fourteen minutes.

Stevenson died from the injuries he sustained in the impact of the vehicles. He had been a self-employed plumber earning about $120,000 per year. Stevenson was survived by his wife and adult daughter.

The Stevenson family sued the truck driver, Richard Delcore, and Simpson Group Inc., which leased the truck and employed Delcore.

Continue reading

Johnny Williams, 67, was operating his tractor on a roadway when a dump truck driven by Rubin Harvey for Oxford Construction Co. rear-ended his tractor at a high speed. The impact caused Williams to be thrown off the tractor and into a ditch. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures and other injuries.

Williams spent six weeks in a hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility. He now requires 24-hour care and suffers from memory loss and seizures.

He had earned approximately $15,000 per year and incurred $1.2 million in medical expenses.

Continue reading

Each year, 3,000 people on average die and 450,000 are injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. Ten percent of all drivers who are 15 to 19 years of age involved in fatal crashes were distracted when the car, truck or motorcycle crash occurred. The significant safety problem of distracted driving has grown very rapidly over the past ten years.

Without regard to where it may rank on the list of the most distracting and dangerous activities drivers engage in, there is no dispute that using a cell phone, sending or receiving texts, or trying to use hand-held devices while driving are high on the list. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating cell phones while driving.

There are three main types of distractions while driving:

  • Visual: The driver actually looks away from the roadway.
  • Manual: The driver temporarily removes his or her hands from the wheel.
  • Cognitive: The driver’s mind is taken off of driving and goes elsewhere.

 

Continue reading

Kerry Hogland was 36 years old when driving her sedan on a highway near Fredericktown, Mo. An employee of Town & Country Grocers of Fredericktown drove onto the highway from an on-ramp. The driver of the Town & Country Grocers vehicle did not heed a stop sign at the end of the ramp and crashed broadside into Hogland’s sedan on the passenger side.

Hogland’s vehicle spun out of control and landed in a field next to the highway.

She suffered an intracranial hemorrhage, an epidural hematoma that necessitated a craniotomy and a skull fracture that left her deaf in her right ear. A craniotomy is a surgical procedure where a bone flap is removed from the skull to allow access to the brain. The surgery removes a part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain. The bone flap is temporarily removed and then replaced after the brain surgery is completed.  Obviously, this is a very serious and dangerous surgery.

Continue reading

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) concluded at an all-day conference that deadly truck underride crashes could be prevented when passenger vehicles crash into a tractor-trailer truck or straight struck from behind.

In underride crashes, a passenger car crashes into the rear of a tractor-trailer truck and the car ends up jammed under the truck, flattening the passenger compartment and injuring or killing the car’s driver and passengers. Underride crashes are extremely dangerous and many times lead to serious injuries and/or death. Underride incidents also can occur when bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists slide under the truck body.

There are federal rules and regulations that require trailers and some straight trucks to be equipped with rear underride guards, which are steel bars designed to prevent vehicles from sliding under the backs of trucks or trailers. The same rules and regulations imposed by the federal government have been in place since 1953. Now there is movement to amend rules of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is considering a new standard for the guards to make them stronger.

Continue reading

Petar Kuzmanov, 23 at the time of a car accident, was a backseat passenger in a car driven by Hristo Hristov. Lauren Weiner was in the front seat passenger side allegedly engaged in a sexual act with Hristov while he was driving. Distracted, Hristov swerved onto a grassy median. As he moved the vehicle back onto the roadway, it overturned, struck a guardrail and was hit by 3 other vehicles including a fully loaded tractor-trailer and a pickup truck.

 

Kuzmanov was comatose for several months after the crash. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, which has affected his speech and cognitive abilities. He now requires therapy and assistance with daily living activities. He also suffered an amputation of his left index finger, degloving injuries to his right foot and a fractured right femur that required surgery. His medical bills were $530,000.

 

The guardian for Kuzmanov filed a lawsuit against Hristov and Weiner, the drivers involved in the subsequent collisions and the owner of the pickup truck, alleging negligent failure to safely operate their respective vehicles. It was also claimed that the defendants were traveling at an unsafe speed and made other claims of negligence. The lawsuit did claim lost income.

Continue reading

A driver of a tractor-trailer owned by J.M. Leasing was traveling on an interstate roadway where the conditions were poor because of snow. The tractor-trailer driver passed a slow-moving vehicle in the right lane. When the truck driver attempted to return to the right lane at about 55 mph, he lost control of the vehicle and the truck jackknifed. The plaintiff in this case, Christopher Spunar, was driving a sedan on the highway and was able to stop in time in front of the jackknifed truck. However, another tractor-trailer operated by Arthur Medeiros for Medeiros Trucking Inc. crashed into the Spunar vehicle. Yet another tractor-trailer driven by L.W. Miller Transportation also collided with the Spunar sedan.

 

Hope Spunar, 70, a passenger in Christopher’s vehicle, suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a traumatic brain injury and fractures to her neck at C2, her coccyx and her sacrum.

 

Her medical expenses were $85,000. Christopher Spunar, who was in his 50s at the time, suffered a fractured sternum, a bulging disk at C5-6 and a fractured clavicle among other injuries. Another passenger in the Spunar vehicle was Nicholas Spunar, 18, who suffered a hematoma, a fractured rib and a closed-head injury resulting in post-concussion syndrome.

Continue reading

Daniel DiNardi was a State Department of Transportation supervisor who was pulling his orange Department of Transportation pickup truck onto the right shoulder of a highway to remove debris. Before getting out of his truck, he activated the emergency lights and yellow strobe lights on his truck. After he placed the debris into the pickup truck bed and was walking to get back into his truck, Gina Davis, driving a tractor-trailer for PTX Services LLC, drifted off the road and struck DiNardi. He suffered multiple blunt-force trauma injuries and died shortly thereafter. DiNardi was survived by his parents and two minor children.

Davis pleaded guilty of misconduct with a motor vehicle and was sentenced to five years in prison, which was suspended after two years.

DiNardi’s family sued Davis and PTX Services claiming that Davis was negligent in choosing not to pay proper attention to her driving, keep a proper lookout and remain in her lane of traffic. The family also made a claim that Davis was fatigued from driving and had falsified her truck’s log book. The family presented evidence, including Davis’s own admission, that she had falsified her logs for the two days leading up to the collision. Davis also admitted at deposition and at trial that she drove onto the shoulder.

Continue reading