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When will people learn...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
That money will not bring back your loved ones or ease the pain of losing them?

Current article:

Here is the original story from 2008:

This wreck happened on May 12, 2008. I remember seeing the pictures of the car after the cement truck rolled onto it. Every morning on my way to work, I see the two crosses in the grass by the rest area where the accident happened.

The family waited a year before filing a lawsuit against the truck driver, trucking company, DOT, and even the manufacturer of the cement truck. Yet it blatently tells you the 15 year old driving the car was at fault by making an abrupt lane change from an on-ramp lane [which eventually goes into a rest area] into interstate traffic. She could have easily kept going into the rest area (slowing down passing through of course), and come out the other side with a second chance to properly merge into traffic. Or switch places with her mother because she was definitely NOT ready to drive on I-26.

In my opinion, there is NO case. The girl driving the car was 100% at fault in this accident. There has been no record of the cement truck speeding, being overloaded, etc. In all honesty, the driver of the truck should be able to sue this family because he was a non-fault victim in this accident. The truck DID have cement in it, as it poured out onto the car once the truck rolled onto it. That late in the day, I doubt it was even close to full. Do people really think these vehicles can stop on a dime or swerve without consequence? Even empty, the truck most likely would have rolled in this situation.

Whats more is that the mother let her 15 year old daughter drive on an interstate just minutes after receiving her learner's permit. My parents would not let me drive on the interstate until I had my license at 17 (got my permit at 16.5, which is the law in NJ) and had driven on regular roads often. I certainly wasn't ready for the interstate right after receiving privileges to drive! There were alternate routes the mother could have had her daughter take once leaving the DMV. Or, she could have driven on the interstate herself instead.

I never stop being amazed by how sue happy many people are. I cant even believe a court would waste their time on this, and think that the judge should throw this case out the window - because really, I dont see a case at all. I know many people would probably say Rob and I would go sue happy if something happened to either of us in a wreck too, but we've both agreed that 1. it wont make our lives better; 2. it wont bring us back to life. And if the accident was either of our faults, we'd have NO place to even consider suing.

Whew. I've been following this story (and just mentioned it to Rob the other day, wondering if the other daughter wishes she had been driving in case she may have done something differently, or if she is glad she wasn't because she'd have done the same and died instead....sometimes I morbidly think of things like that), and I was actually somewhat shocked the lawsuits are coming out now, a year later. There had not been any charges filed against the driver of the truck then, and he has to live his life daily knowing he was involuntarily involved in this accident that claimed two lives.
post #2 of 7
Have you seen those billboards with lawyers advertising, "Had a wreck with a truck? I'll get you money!" That's how those lawyers make a living; file a suit, no matter what, because most trucking companies will give them a fair sum of money just to stay out of court.

We had one of our drivers involved in a fatality accident last weekend. His truck broke down, so he pulled onto the shoulder. He put out his safety triangles. He had his light flashing. He broke down at about 10 p.m. It took a few hours to get a tow truck out. The tow truck driver had him all hooked up and told him to pick up his triangles. While he was doing that, a cattle truck came up fast (as they always do). Our driver dive out of the way over the guardrail. The cattle truck hit the left rear of our truck, peeling the trailer open all the way to the cab and pushing it into the tow truck. The tow truck driver was between our truck and his tow truck, and he was killed. Our driver was largely uninjured. The cattle truck driver survived.

Now, here is what is going to happen. We will sue the cattle truck for the loss of the truck and any freight on it. The tow truck company and driver will sue the cattle truck company and us. The cattle truck company will sue us and the tow truck company. It may go farther than that. If the reason for the truck breakdown can be determined, whoever is responsible for that may be sued by everyone involved. If the tow truck company can be shown to have not been prompt in their response to a call-out, they will probably be sued by us.

This is very complicated.

Truck Accident 1

Truck Accident 2
post #3 of 7
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Have you seen those billboards with lawyers advertising, "Had a wreck with a truck? I'll get you money!" That's how those lawyers make a living; file a suit, no matter what, because most trucking companies will give them a fair sum of money just to stay out of court.
This is SO true. Several years ago we had a terrible accident here where a driver lost control of a big truck and crossed lanes and a young lady in an SUV was killed. It was awful, suites were filed, and it was eventually settled out of court.

But ever since then, we've had 3 local lawyers who have commercials airing like every commercial break that goes like..."injured by an "18 wheeler"...call us to get the money you deserve..."

One fatality, and those commercials have been playing a dozen times a day ever since.
post #4 of 7
And the reason the trucking companies settle is because they know that, even if they go to court and win, they'll be out hundreds if not thousands of hours of lawyer's fees. This basically lets the ambulance chasers bully everyone around because they know it's a lot less trouble and possibly cheaper to settle.

I think the way to make this problem at least somewhat better is to tighten up the frivolous lawsuit statutes. Then, if someone sues and their case is shown to have no merit whatsoever, the sued party would be reimbursed for all of their legal costs and other reasonable expenses (missed work, mileage, child care etc. for court appearances). It would force the ambulance chasers to at least have a halfway decent case before they filed a suit.
post #5 of 7
The problem???? Simple - people now refuse to take responsibility for their actions and seek to blame everyone else for their actions.

Unfortunately there are lawyers out there willing to take any case to court for money.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
From time to time I see this commercial for "Hurt by an 18 wheeler? We'll go after those trucking companies to get the money you deserve!", by the same ambulance chaser who has about 15 other different commercials about making you the king of the road. Its pathetic, really.

Rob was rear ended while waiting at a light by someone doing about 35mph when he was 17 or 18. All he wanted was money to pay the chiropractor bills due to his back getting hurt in the accident. His lawyer insisted on "pain & suffering" money, even though he personally didn't want to sue them for something like that. I think he gave in to the lawyer a bit ended up with $700 in addition to chiropractor bills because he didn't want to ream them out, even though it was the other person's fault.

If anything, the concrete company will probably end up settling somehow. It's just ridiculous how people will go after someone innocent just to get some money. I agree GoldenKitty, that no one can take responsibility anymore for their actions. And everyone is greedy.
post #7 of 7
Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer, nor have I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Ever.

It's interesting that elements like malice and motive are so critical in a criminal case, and yet aren't (necessarily) guilt-determining factors whatsoever in a civil case. Although there indeed should be culpability when there are things such as, say, a manufacturer's defect in a product in regards to a safety code or some such thing, the fact is that sometimes, "sh!t happens", and as unfortunate as that may be for someone, the severity of the outcome of a true accident should have no bearing on another's accountability, at least in a punitive sense.
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