Whenever a person suffers a catastrophic injury in a truck accident, determining who was liable is a crucial part of the legal case that follows. Getting this answer correct is vital to a fully successful outcome in catastrophic injury cases because they can often involve very high amounts of damages, and that makes it essential to identify and hold liable everyone responsible. This way, you have the best chance of getting everything you’re owed. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, you should make the effort to retain an experienced San Mateo truck accident lawyer who can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
The Fresno County truck accident that catastrophically injured one Philadelphia trucker was an example of this kind of liability scenario where multiple people and entities were potentially responsible. The accident, which was covered in the Fresno Bee, took place after D.J. and his co-driver, J.C., who had traveled from New Jersey to the small town of Firebaugh, California to pick up a load of refrigerated tomatoes, tried to head back to the east coast.
As they left the tomato processing plant, they missed a right turn and continued northbound on what they thought was a city street. In actuality, the city had abandoned the stretch decades earlier and it was a private dead-end drive with concrete barricades on the sides that funneled traffic onto an aircraft company’s property.
Allegedly, the truckers received permission to turn around on the property but, once inside, were trapped by workers who closed the gate and by a manager who demanded they pay $50 before leaving. D.J. refused and a physical fight ensued. D.J. told J.C. to drive away but, in the chaos and the melee, the trucker got thrown under the wheels of the rig.
D.J. somehow survived but suffered massive, catastrophic injuries. The impact effectively demolished the man’s left buttock, requiring multiple skin grafts. He also suffered a fractured and dislocated left shoulder, a torn rotator cuff, massive damage to his left hip, left knee, and left foot, and a significant traumatic brain injury.
The trucker’s legal team recognized that multiple parties engaged in erroneous actions that contributed to the trucker’s injuries, and pursued the man’s case accordingly.
The trucker’s attorneys persuaded the jury that the company that owned the property was primarily liable. For one thing, the company was vicariously liable for the actions of the employee who accosted D.J. as the scuffle was over the truckers’ use of the company’s property. Additionally, though, the company was liable as a result of its placement of the concrete barricades. That placement of the barricades amounted to negligent maintenance of the company’s property in an unsafe condition, which is an actionable form of negligence.
The Business Wasn’t the Only Liable Party, Though
The city bore 25% responsibility for the accident. After abandoning the stretch of roadway, the city never erected signs warning of a dead end. Furthermore, nine of the 10 barricades were on the city’s right of way, the city knew about them and, in fact, the barricades had been inspected by a city Code Enforcement Officer just a few weeks before the accident. That meant the city was liable as a result of its negligence and that negligence’s role in creating an unsafe condition.
Lastly, the jury held J.C. 5% responsible for having driven over D.J.
As D.J.’s damages exceeded $9 million, making sure that he received a judgment against all of those defendants, including the city, was a huge help.
If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic harm in a truck accident, you are undeniably in a very vulnerable situation. You’ve suffered a lot. You likely have a ton of bills. You may never be able to work again. You know you need answers and need help. Count on the skilled San Mateo truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to have the answers you can rely on, and to be the powerful advocate you deserve to guide you through this extraordinarily challenging time. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.