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Articles Tagged with tractor trailer accidents

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Kyle Roby

Attorney Kyle Roby

Attorney and partner Kyle Roby recently settled a truck accident case for $850,000 on behalf of a Kentucky client. We have posted about this case on our main firm web site, and are sharing with our audience here as well.

Here is a summary of the case. For more details, read the main post on our web site. You can read the post here.

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In Wright v. Carroll, a woman who was seriously injured in a tractor-trailer crash filed a lawsuit in Elliott County Circuit Court against the driver of the big rig that struck her automobile. In her complaint, the woman accused the semi-truck driver of negligently maintaining the vehicle. She also alleged that the wreck occurred because the truck driver operated the vehicle in a negligent manner when he lost control of the 18-wheeler and entered her driving lane after navigating a blind curve in the road. In the initial trial, the jury sided with the tractor trailer operator, but that verdict was overturned by the Kentucky  Court of Appeals due to improper jury instructions.

According to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the jurors should not have been instructed on the sudden emergency doctrine, since the tractor-trailer collision did not constitute an emergency that the driver could not have anticipated. As a result, the personal injury case was remanded for a new trial. Following a second trial, jurors again entered a verdict in favor of the truck driver. The trial court denied the woman’s motion for a directed verdict, and she appealed the jury’s decision. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that the trial court should have granted the woman’s motion and ordered the lower court to hold an additional trial only on the issue of damages. The tractor-trailer driver then sought review by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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It’s no secret that tractor trailer drivers are often on tight deadlines to move freight fast. In some cases, the items they’re carrying are perishable foods and if the cargo isn’t on time, the trucking company risks spoilage. Trucking companies sometimes make unreasonable demands of drivers as well, forcing some of them to drive without the sleep they need to stay alert and drive safely.

The news program 20/20, which is part of ABC News, aired a report recently on the dangers of expecting truck drivers to operate an 80,000 pound vehicle with very little sleep. This eight minute news story exposes the dangers of driving too fast and driving while exhausted. The ABC News crew spent time with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, spotting truck drivers violating the law by helicopter and advising patrol officers on the road to pull truckers over. In one case, a truck driver was going nearly 80 miles an hour and driving far too close behind a passenger car. If the car had stopped suddenly, the accident could have been catastrophic.

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