In 2017, our client was travelling down a 4-lane divided highway when a truck driver, driving only his tractor, pulled out of a parking lot and into the path of his motorcycle. Our client had no chance to avoid the collision and died almost immediately upon impact.
Initially, the trucking company denied responsibility for our client’s death. However, our thorough investigation and accident reconstruction work ultimately convinced the trucking company to abandon this defense. One of the key reasons the trucking company initially denied fault for our client’s death in this trucking accident case was because the investigating police officer did not find the truck driver to be at fault following the accident. To combat that erroneous conclusion and the incomplete investigation done by law enforcement, our firm tracked down eye witnesses who disputed the investigating officer’s report. These eye witnesses testified that our client was traveling at the speed limit when the accident occurred and was not driving recklessly.
Having shown that the police conducted an incomplete investigation, we then performed our own extensive accident reconstruction based on the evidence at the scene. Our recreation of the events leading up to the collision included the use of state of the art drone videography, hiring a professional truck driver, renting the identical tractor, and using the same motorcycle to reconstruct events at the scene of the collision. Once that data was compiled, our accident reconstruction experts prepared video animations of the collision which clearly showed that the truck driver violated our client’s right of way and caused the incident. Once the trucking company was able to appreciate how a jury would view the wreck, as seen from witness testimony and in accident reconstruction animations at mediation, it was finally willing to negotiate with McAleer Law in earnest.
As is the case with many tractor trailer collisions, this tragic case did not start with the collision. It started almost a year before when the trucking company hired this truck driver. The McAleer Law Firm’s thorough investigation into the trucker’s driving and work history showed that the truck driver was not qualified to drive a commercial vehicle because of his failure to be cleared by a substance abuse professional after testing positive for alcohol while working at a previous truck driving job. Additionally, the truck driver had a history of drinking on the job and two prior DUIs. Our trucking safety experts commented that this was one of the most unsafe trucking companies that they had ever seen. Having established the truck driver’s negligence on the night of the accident, it became clear to us that the trucking company was negligent for hiring this driver in the first place and then keeping him on the road.
Had the trucking company simply performed a standard background check of the driver, this tragedy would have been avoided. Due to the negligence of the truck driver and the company he worked for, we sued for not only the full value of our client’s life but also for punitive damages to punish the trucking company and to deter other motor carriers from repeating such reckless conduct.
Our client was a loving father of six children ranging in ages from 6 to 26 years old. There can never be a happy ending in such a case but the family was very grateful that the settlement spoke to the value of their father’s life.
McAleer Law’s key to success in this wrongful death case was to approach the case, from the beginning, as if it were going to trial. Many firms would have been very satisfied with a settlement for half the amount we were able to achieve. We work differently. We were confident that if we carefully laid all of the important and necessary groundwork for an exceptional trial presentation, we would achieve exceptional results for our clients. Not all cases are alike but our approach with each catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death case is the same — relentless, thorough preparation; this has always been our key to success.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions a family will make following such tragedy. Choose wisely.