Articles Posted in Truck Accident Injuries

motorcycleIf you are hurt in an accident in which you were the driver, one of the challenges you may face is the defense’s attempts to depict you as the driver who was really at fault. The evidence may directly relate to your driving, or it may involve other things, such as your potential impairment. In certain situations, you may be entitled to keep that proof of impairment out of your personal injury case. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney can give you the assistance you need to accomplish this important goal.

A lawsuit filed by a motorcyclist in Bradford County demonstrated how it’s possible to keep out this type of potentially damaging evidence. The motorcyclist, Kevin, was driving his motorcycle on Route 220 on an April evening in 2012. He was behind two commercial trucks and, when he reached a legal passing zone, attempted to pass both on the left. As Kevin tried to pass the lead truck, that vehicle attempted to turn left into a gas station. The truck and motorcycle collided. The motorcyclist’s injuries were so serious that he required an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg.

The motorcyclist sued the driver of the lead truck and that man’s employer. There was, however, certain potentially harmful facts that Kevin wanted to keep out of his trial. He had, on the day of the accident, consumed some beer. Over the course of his day-long motorcycle ride, he and a friend had consumed seven beers at several bars across a period of six hours, with the last beers consumed along with dinner.

In a recent personal injury case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court stated that the issue was whether the trial court should have allowed a new trial on the damages issue, which would mean that the verdict was so inadequate it should have shocked the trial court’s sense of justice. The court reviewed the considerations that aid a determination that a verdict is inadequate, such as whether the verdict fails to provide justice to the plaintiff and whether it is so inadequate it should not be permitted to stand.  The appellate court found that in this case, the jury verdict was not shocking, nor was the refusal to grant a new trial.

SUV accident

Kimberly Folino brought a lawsuit against Nathaniel Kaule and his father, Michael Kaule, on the ground that Nathaniel negligently operated Michael’s plumbing truck when he rear-ended her new SUV.  Liability was not seriously contested, and the main jury issue was both economic and non-economic damages for the plaintiff, Ms. Folino.

Ms. Folino alleged that she suffered bodily injuries, including a herniated disc that had not resolved and a concussion that had. Two medical witnesses testified as to the causal relationship between the collision and Ms. Folino’s injuries. The evidence stated that Ms. Folino suffered setbacks due to work-related activities and that these setbacks affected her ability to do her job, since her job entailed heavy lifting.

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National attention has recently surrounded the trucking accident involving several well-known comedians in New Jersey.  After turning himself in, the driver of the truck admitted to authorities that he had been awake for over 24 hours.  The driver worked for the large retailer, Walmart, which issued a statement that they believed the driver was following regulations and guidelines.  Current national regulations attempt to encourage safety on the road by limiting the amount of total time on the road to 14 hours, requiring commercial drivers to work no more than 70 hours in an eight-day period, and imposing a 34-hour break every week. Federal regulations also mandate inspections of vehicles to ensure proper maintenance and safe transit of hazardous materials.

This closely follows a non-precedential decision by the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Kuchwara v. Williams.  In that case a couple was injured in Scranton, Pennsylvania in a multiple-vehicle accident.  A worker was driving his company’s dump truck when the brakes went out at the top of a hill. The truck drove into one car at more than 45 miles per hour, which then rear-ended the car transporting the affected couple.  The wife sustained severe injuries, including lacerations to her face and fractures to her ankle, back, and leg.  Numerous surgeries were conducted, but they ultimately could not completely erase the deep scars, constant pain, and altered gait.

Scranton PA Truck AccidentThe victim alleged the dump truck company failed to perform a pre-trip inspection and had not properly inspected the brakes, since only three of the eight brakes were working.  Several other issues with the truck were also alleged, including too much play in the steering wheel, inoperable safety alarms, and no tag axle.  All of the injured plaintiffs were awarded over nine million in compensatory damages and over a million in punitive damages.  The trucking company and the driver appealed the ruling and large award, but the Superior Court affirmed the jury verdict.   Continue reading