A recent story about a semi truck accident lawsuit seeking more than $600,000 caught my eye, as a southern Illinois tractor-trailer crash lawyer, in part because it is a claim filed by one trucker against another trucker and his trucking company. The lawsuit was filed as the result of a tractor trailer accident in which a wheel came off of a semi truck and collided with another semi driving behind it. The driver of the second truck, Regis J. Jennings, alleges that the first truck’s driver, Lawrence C. Haas, was inexperienced and poorly trained. Jennings and his wife, Sharon Bricker, seek compensation from Haas and Haas’s employer, C. Grantham Co., for Jennings’s allegedly severe and permanent injuries.
According to the Madison-St. Clair Record, Jennings and Bricker claim that on April 28, 2008, Haas was driving an 18-wheeler north on Illinois Route 127 in Bond County for C. Grantham Co. Jennings was behind Haas in his own semi truck. A wheel on Haas’s truck came off and “came into violent contact with the front and underside of the semi-truck driven by the Plaintiff,” Jennings and Bricker claim. They maintain that Haas and C. Grantham Co. failed to train Haas, or to properly inspect Haas’s truck. They also allege that Haas was driving too fast, given the wheels’ condition. Jennings seeks compensation for his medical costs and lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of his ability to attend to his daily tasks and to conduct his professional life in the way he had been able to prior to being injured. Bricker seeks compensation for Jennings’s medical costs; damage to her and her husband’s quality of life together; and loss of the benefits of their marital relationship.
The Madison-St. Clair Record does not describe the defendants’ response to these claims, and it’s possible that Haas and his employer were not at fault. But this story is important because it illustrates vividly the kind of legal action victims of big rig crashes can take to help themselves when they are hurt by no fault of their own. As a St. Louis semi truck accident attorney, I know how deeply accidents like this can affect victims’ lives. The serious consequences of tractor-trailer accidents are why there are detailed laws and regulations concerning truck drivers’ and trucking companies’ responsibilities to ensure public safety. For example, every day before driving, truck drivers are required to inspect the last safety report on their vehicles, and then inspect the vehicle again from top to bottom to be sure that it is in safe operating condition and good working order. The driver is also required to sign the report to show that he or she personally was aware of the vehicle’s condition upon beginning work. Failure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle could constitute negligence, meaning that the driver did not do his or her duty to keep other drivers safe. This is what Jennings and Bricker allege in their suit.
It is always dismaying when people get injured or killed because a truck driver failed to complete simple and required safety inspections. However, as a Missouri trucking accident lawyer, I know many truckers and trucking companies skimp on these inspections out of laziness or fear of what they might find. This negligence exposes everyone who shares the roads with them to devastating injuries. The good news is that victims have legal recourse in situations like this. While a settlement or award can’t heal permanent injuries or bring back someone who has been killed, it can help victims get on with their lives more easily. If their lawsuit succeeds, Jennings and Bricker could receive enough money to cover the probably substantial medical costs they have already incurred, to help make up for the income that Jennings can no longer generate, and to help them find enjoyment in their lives in new ways since they have been robbed of the ability to do many things they otherwise might have. If their account of the accident is true, then it’s fair and appropriate for those whose negligence caused the accident to pay those costs.
If you have been seriously hurt in a semi truck accident by no fault of your own, please contact the Lowe Law Firm for a free consultation. You can call us at 877-678-3400, or send us a message online.