As a Missouri tractor-trailer accident attorney, I was disappointed to see a report of a trucking crash that put a Springfield woman in the hospital. The Springfield News-Leader reported that Roslyn Vicencio, 30, was thrown from her Honda Accord after a semi truck changed lanes into the car. Vicencio was driving west when the truck struck her car, and then dragged it about an eighth of a mile. Vicencio was eventually thrown from the vehicle, sustaining injuries described as significant but not disabling. Neither the trucker nor Vicencio’s passenger were injured. The crash tied up traffic on Interstate 44 four about four hours.
Vicencio was heading west on I-44 with a passenger, 25-year-old Kira Keith, at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Springfield police said a tractor-trailer also heading west changed lanes, striking the Accord. Instead of pushing the smaller vehicle away, however, the accident apparently caused the Accord to get tangled up with the semi truck, which dragged the car for about an eighth of a mile before Vicencio was ejected. She flew about 120 feet from the car and sustained injuries the police didn’t specify except to say they were significant but not disabling. Vicencio was not wearing a seat belt; Keith was, and so was the truck’s driver, 69-year-old Roger Adams of Joplin. No citations or criminal charges were reported.
The facts of this crash seem highly likely to lead to a lawsuit, in my experience as a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer. If the police report is not misleading, it looks like Adams would be at fault for changing lanes into Vicencio’s car. (It’s possible that Vicencio was driving in an unpredictable way, which could shift some fault to her. It’s even more possible that the trucking company would argue that she is, in order to avoid legal liability.) However, if it did go to court, it’s likely that the truck driver and trucking company would argue that Vicencio is partly at fault for her injuries because she didn’t wear a seat belt. This is a red herring that could distract the jury from the real issue: did the truck driver cause the crash with bad driving decisions? Vicencio’s potential recovery might be reduced if the jury finds that failure to use the seatbelt worsened her injuries, but not wearing a seatbelt clearly did not cause the crash to begin with.
At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we focus our practice on representing victims of serious accidents involving large commercial trucks. Accidents are a fact of life for trucking companies, because their drivers spend so much time on the road—and because truckers often walk away from crashes that destroy the smaller vehicles. But for the families of the people hit by the large trucks, the crash is anything but routine. Because of their large size and weight, semi trucks can cause catastrophic, life-changing injuries or even deaths. If this kind of injury was created by a truck driver’s or trucking company’s bad decision, you have the right to hold them legally responsible. Our southern Illinois big rig accident attorneys help clients recover money for medical bills, lost income, permanent disabilities and anything else that the accident created.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury in a crash with a large truck, don’t wait to call Carey, Danis & Lowe. For a free, confidential consultation, you can reach us through our website or call 1-877-678-3400.
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