Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

Joshua Hernandez, 17 and a student, was a passenger in his friend’s car when a tractor-trailer driven by Nathan Harris for Phenix Transportation West Inc. crashed into the Hernandez vehicle in an intersection. Hernandez suffered brain injuries in the crash and now requires full-time care. His medical expenses were approximately $780,000.

Hernandez sued Phenix Transportation West, Inc. Phenix Transportation Inc., and Harris, alleging that Harris chose not to yield or obey a red light. Hernandez offered to settle for insurance policy limits, but the defendants declined. After presenting the case to the jury, they signed a verdict for $52.9 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case for Hernandez were William D. Shapiro and Brian D. Shapiro.

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After turning right onto a northbound roadway, Victoria Waits Cofer’s vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a fully loaded tractor-trailer that had just changed lanes.

Cofer, 56, suffered a brain bleed, abdominal injuries and multiple fractures. She died approximately 2½  months later. Cofer’s medical expenses totaled $500,000. She was survived by her husband and two adult children.

Cofer’s estate sued ABF Freight Systems Inc., which owned the tractor-trailer, alleging that the truck’s driver made an ill-timed and unsafe lane change, was speeding and chose not to keep a proper lookout or yield the right-of-way. There was no claim for lost income in this lawsuit.

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Pedro Flores, a 34-year-old laborer, was on a construction crew that was building a sensor median along several streets. While he was bent over fixing a plastic lane divider, the driver of a parked cement truck pulled forward several feet, hitting Flores. He suffered a labral tear to his hip, which required several surgeries.

Flores also suffered post-concussion syndrome, which had led to migraines and PTSD.

His medical expense totaled $204,000. His back and hip pain have prevented him from returning to his former job. He was earning $28 per hour at the time of this incident.

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Joseph Cargal, 68, was operating a tractor-trailer early one rainy morning on a four-lane roadway.  David Forehand, a FedEx truck driver, was traveling in the opposite direction when he swerved to avoid a branch in the roadway. His truck collided head-on with Cargal’s truck.

Cargal suffered blunt force trauma and severe burns and died at the scene. He was survived by his wife and two adult sons.

The Cargal family sued FedEx Freight Inc. and Forehand, alleging that Forehand was speeding and chose not to maintain his lane or swerve right to avoid oncoming traffic.

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Roe was driving an 18-wheeler truck for a national commercial trucking company when he allegedly ran a stop sign. In doing so, he crashed into the vehicle operated by Doe. An emergency crew used the jaws of life to extract Doe from the vehicle.

Doe sustained cervical spinal injuries that required a spinal fusion surgery. In addition, Doe suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Doe sued the trucking company, alleging liability for the crash. The defendant argued Doe was speeding and talking on her phone at the time of the incident and was not wearing her seat belt.

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Parag Mathur, 51, was stopped for a red light at an intersection.  A truck that was traveling in the same direction rear-ended an SUV two cars behind Mathur’s vehicle. That caused the SUV to leave the roadway and caused the truck to crash into the car directly behind Mathur’s car.  That car, in turn, plowed into Mathur’s car.

Mathur suffered herniated disks at C5-6, C7-T1, T11-12, and L5-S1, as well as bulging disks in his cervical spine.

In addition, he suffered a torn right medial meniscus and shoulder injuries. He required physical therapy and spinal surgeries.  He continues to experience back pain and diminished range of motion.

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While driving a Schnitzer Steel Industries tractor-trailer on an interstate highway, Kenneth Cathey crossed the center line and collided head-on with an SUV driven by Carrie Jones. There were five occupants of the Jones’ SUV, which included Jones, her two minor children, her mother, Judy Madere, and Madere’s twin sister who died in the crash.

Madere’s husband, individually, and on behalf of her estate, sued Schnitzer Southeast LLC, Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. and Kenneth Cathey.

The plaintiffs claimed that Cathey was driving while fatigued and had slept only 4-5 hours the night before the crash.

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Doe, age 26, was driving on a highway when a wheel detached from a truck driven by a trade school student on the opposite side of the road. The detached wheel crashed through Doe’s windshield killing him. Doe was survived by his parents.

Doe’s parents sued the trade school and the truck driver, alleging that the driver and her classmate had improperly secured this wheel to the truck. The truck belonged to the driver but was used at the trade school four days before the incident. It was also claimed that the students’ work had been unsupervised and was not inspected.

The Doe family claimed that the torque wrench used to do the work had been improperly calibrated and that the wheel had been under-torqued before its separation.

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Dominic Consolazio suffered from a seizure disorder that was unresponsive to medicine at times. He was employed by Southern California Gas Co. in a position that required him to drive a company truck.

One morning, he was driving on a Los Angeles County street en route to a job site when he suffered a seizure. He lost consciousness and rear-ended a motorcyclist, Jason Lo, 32, who was stopped at a red light. Lo’s motorcycle became lodged under Consolazio’s truck, which continued traveling another 436 feet. Consolazio attempted to leave the scene.

Lo suffered massive blood loss, a degloving injury to his right leg, and a torn femoral artery.
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Machaela Matthews-Bell was driving on an interstate highway when a van in front of her stopped to avoid hitting an animal on the roadway. Matthews-Bell brought her vehicle to a controlled stop. Jagdip Bhullar, who was driving a tractor-trailer owned by Jawala Mukhi Transport Inc., rear-ended Matthews-Bell’s vehicle, causing her to collide with a van.

Matthews-Bell sustained injuries to her head, neck and back. She has undergone extensive medical care, including neck surgery, and anticipates future surgery on her cervical spine. Her medical expenses alone were more than $100,000.

Matthews-Bell sued Jawala Mukhi Transport and Bhullar, alleging liability for Bhullar’s choosing not to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain control of his tractor-trailer.

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