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Professor Recovers Settlement After Crash with Irresponsible Truck Driver

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It’s normal for negligent drivers to challenge their share of the fault after an accident. But at some point, when the facts of the case seem beyond dispute, you expect a little human decency to kick in.

A driver who changes lanes directly into another vehicle, for example, is almost always at fault for the resulting car crash. Even the most stubborn, irresponsible drivers in that position usually admit their culpability and accept the consequences. And if they were driving for work, their employer will usually defend its commitment to safety and agree that certain levels of training and investigation are appropriate, especially after a truck accident.

None of that was the case for Teresa. We’ve dealt with a lot of shady behavior before, but even we were shocked by the complete lack of remorse and ownership coming from the at-fault driver and his employer.

Crash with irresponsible truck driver

While getting justice and compensation for Teresa was important for helping her rebuild, we knew it was also vital to send a message, emphasizing the need for safety training and accident investigation within every trucking organization.

Keep reading to hear Teresa’s story, the unbelievable response from the at-fault parties, and how Crosley Law demanded justice for Teresa and future motorists.

We’ve dealt with a lot of shady behavior before, but even we were shocked by the complete lack of remorse and ownership coming from the at-fault driver and his employer.

A Careless Lane Change Alters Teresa’s Life

It was January, and Teresa was driving down the highway in the far-right lane. She didn’t think much of it as a large truck began to pass her on the left, but suddenly everything changed.

Apparently unaware of Teresa’s car, the truck driver began moving into her lane. The tractor-trailer hit her rear driver’s side, pushing her car forward and out in front of the truck. Teresa lost control and ended up veering left into the concrete median. She was treated at the scene and then taken to the emergency room to examine the pain in her neck, back, shoulders, and knee.

Nearly a month after the accident her pain was still significant, and she began physical therapy, steroid injections, and further testing. With lingering symptoms like neck and back pain that radiated into her limbs and numbness in her hands, not to mention the trouble this all caused for living and working, Teresa’s doctor anticipated her needing years of treatment and therapy and possibly even surgery. She was also forced to miss weeks of work during the ongoing healing process. 

Teresa’s doctor anticipated her needing years of treatment and therapy and possibly even surgery. She was also forced to miss weeks of work during the ongoing healing process.

Crash with Irresponsible Truck Driver

Teresa Faces Fear and Anxiety on the Roadways

The physical injuries, though, are only part of the story. Teresa has also experienced significant mental and emotional trauma after the accident.

Her injuries made sleeping difficult, and the few hours she got a night weren’t enough for the demands of life and work. That alone is hard on a person’s mental health.

For her job as a college professor and department chair in a medical imaging department, Teresa drives hundreds of highway miles a week. Following the crash, she began experiencing serious anxiety and fear when driving near large trucks. The response was even worse when she was a passenger. 

Clearly, the truck accident took a physical, mental, and emotional toll on Teresa and every aspect of her life. Usually, we would expect the truck driver and trucking company to acknowledge that something went very wrong. In this case, however, the truck driver and his employer didn’t seem to grasp just how responsible they were for the accident.      

Following the crash, Teresa began experiencing serious anxiety and fear when driving near large trucks. The response was even worse when she was a passenger. 

The Trucking Company’s Staggering Disregard for Safety

The truck that hit Teresa was owned by its driver, but he was employed by a small trucking company not based in Texas. As usual with a commercial trucking case, the investigation included an examination of the company’s safety practices, meaning its policies and how they’re observed.

To our astonishment, we found no evidence that the company prioritized safety when it comes to drivers. As far as we could tell, it wasn’t taking the following expected actions to ensure safe driving habits:

  • Developing and providing a driver safety manual
  • Holding regular safety meetings
  • Thoroughly vetting prospective drivers
  • Performing annual employee reviews
  • Disciplining drivers after safety violations
  • Investigating roadway incidents

After Teresa’s accident, the trucking company owner admitted his drivers aren’t required to complete accident reports. Investigations totally rely on police reports, though he hadn’t actually looked at the one for this particular crash.

In fact, the only safety efforts the trucking company owner could claim were informal conversations with employees. He used the small size of his company as the excuse for this safety shortfall.

As for the driver who hit Teresa, who’d worked with this company for 10 years, there was no record of him being trained in proper lane changes. Further, he was scheduled to have his license suspended less than three weeks from the date of the accident due to numerous speeding citations.  

None of this seemed to bother the owner, who’d recently given the driver a performance bonus, planned to employ him until his license was suspended, and said he wouldn’t think twice about hiring the driver again.    

After Teresa’s accident, the trucking company owner admitted his drivers aren’t required to complete accident reports. Investigations totally rely on police reports, though he hadn’t actually looked at the one for this particular crash.

truck crash diagram

Crosley Law Tears Down the Defense and Gets Teresa Her Money

Without a doubt, the truck driver and trucking company responsible for Teresa’s accident and injuries prioritized profits over safety. Absurdly, they used the small size of the company as an excuse for the oversight, as if such a thing makes a difference on the roadways.  

As mentioned earlier, the truck driver improperly changed lanes, running right into Teresa’s car in the far-right lane. Unbelievably, he and his employer didn’t accept responsibility, saying the accident was unavoidable because the driver wasn’t even aware of Teresa until he started pushing her vehicle forward.

The team at Crosley Law knew this was ridiculous. Before the lane change, the truck had been behind Teresa on the highway, meaning he should have clearly seen, and known to look for, her vehicle before changing lanes.   

Beyond that, we had the guidelines of the company’s state commercial drivers’ manual, which says drivers must look 12 seconds ahead of where they are on the road and do a four-step mirror check process before any lane change.

Liability was not in question in this case, and the insurance company knew we could easily get any jury to agree with us. Ultimately, we helped Teresa secure a $250,000 settlement to support her as she rebuilt her life.  

RELATED: Sophisticated Tactics Uncover a Trucker’s Negligence: J.T.’s Story

Crosley Law Helps the Injured Get Justice After a Crash

If you or someone you love was hurt in a trucking accident or other kind of catastrophic incident, Crosley Law is here to help you get the fair compensation you deserve. Even when the at-fault party doesn’t seem to understand what they did wrong, we’re here to shed light on the truth.

We start every case with a free consultation. Schedule yours today when you call (210) LAW-3000 | (210) 529-3000 or complete the simple contact form on our website.  

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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