A Texas jury recently found that a trucking company is liable for an accident and must pay $101 million to the injured driver. The lawsuit stemmed from an accident that occurred in 2013. According to reports, a truck driver, an employee of FTS International Services, LLC, rear ended a passenger vehicle that was driven by Joshua Patterson. Patterson sued the trucking company, a Fort Worth-based oil and gas shipping company, for the actions of their driver. The truck driver was driving an 18-wheeler.
According to court documents, the truck driver was tested after the accident and was found to be under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamines at the time of the crash. Patterson’s attorney argued that both the trucking company (FTS) and the driver were negligent. FTS was reportedly negligent because they did not follow proper protocol when it came to hiring and employment practices.
In this case, the jury found that the truck driver was 70% liable for the accident and FTS was 30% liable. The jury decided to award Patterson $75 million from FTS and $50,000 from the truck driver.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
As with any accident, those injured in a truck accident may file a lawsuit against the negligent party. This case shows that negligence may be spread amongst more than one party. For example, the driver was negligent because he got behind the wheel while he was impaired. The trucking company was negligent because they failed to ensure that their driver was not impaired.
Truck accident claims can be complicated. The first step is to meet with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will evaluate the case and determine the best way to proceed. The negligent party should be held responsible for payment of all medical costs and other damages caused by the crash. Determining negligence is not always easy.
Sometimes, as in this case, the driver was clearly negligent. However, sometimes a crash investigation and recreation must be done in order to determine the factors that caused the crash. You may be entitled to money for your doctor’s bills, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Many lawsuits are settled through negotiations and do not end up in court. Sometimes, as in this instance, the court must decide the case.
What to do After a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be dangerous and scary. They can also cause severe injuries. Always contact the police to report the accident. The police will investigate the accident and take statements from witnesses. They will also try to determine the cause of the crash. Sometimes a crash investigation and reconstruction is necessary to find out exactly what happened.
Seek medical attention and keep copies of all your medical records and bills. Consult with an attorney before accepting an offer from the insurance company since it may not be reasonable to cover your damages. If you were seriously hurt in an 18-wheeler crash, contact a Houston truck accident attorney with over 35 years experience at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation today. (281) 587-1111.