Fried Goldberg attorneys Joe Fried, Briant Mildenhall, and Nathan Gaffney recently settled a truck accident claim with a commercial trucking company for a confidential amount due to injuries one of their drivers caused. A deeper investigation into the accident yielded an additional $11 million settlement with a highway maintenance contracting company that was also found to be a contributing factor in the accident.
In our trucking practice, we are seeing a trend of more wrecks created by construction zones and work crews. Sometimes lawyers only look at the immediate cause of the wreck and miss other contributing factors. We always try to look farther back in time for additional causes of a wreck and see if other people have some responsibility for what occurred.
-Attorney Joe Fried
The case highlights the importance of examining all possible causes and factors leading up to a truck accident, so that the injured parties can be properly compensated. Click here to read an article on the case from the Daily Report Online. Read on for more details about the accident and settlement outcomes.
What Is This Case About?
On the morning of April 22, 2019, Herman and Beverly Jones were on their way back from a family trip to Disney World, and were traveling on Georgia Highway 4 (GA 4) in Charlton County. At that time, a Lovin Contracting crew was overseeing the mowing of the shoulders and median of GA 4. The Lovin crew suddenly blocked both lanes of traffic. The Jones’ and others’ vehicles were forced to come to a stop due to the closure of both lanes by the Lovin crew. Witnesses at the scene testified they were stopped for several minutes and that no traffic was permitted to pass the lawn crew, but the police report did not find any fault on the part of the lawn crew.
A tractor-trailer driver operating a loaded log truck could not come to a stop because of the stopped traffic. He lost control, jackknifed, and rolled over on top of the Jones’ vehicle. Henry Jones died at the scene, and his wife suffered severe injuries.
We settled the claim with the log truck company for policy limits of a confidential amount last year. We did not stop there; we then filed a lawsuit against Lovin Contracting in Gwinnett County. The couple were caregivers and important figures in the community, and also had grandchildren in the car who could have been harmed. It was important to us to identify all parties that might be liable in the incident.
If traffic had never been illegally blocked by the Lovin crew, this collision would not have occurred. Lovin’s contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) required their mowing crews to be moving operations that were not allowed to stop traffic. Lovin had no evidence to contradict the testimony of witnesses who said traffic was stopped, nor any explanation for why the Lovin crew would have stopped traffic in the first place. In fact, Lovin could not identify the names of the crew members who were there that day, and the crew foreman was not even at the scene when the wreck happened.
What Are the Results of This Truck Accident Case?
After depositions of Lovin employees, our traffic engineer expert, and eyewitnesses, we sent a policy limit demand to Lovin Contracting for $11 million. Lovin’s insurer agreed to pay the policy limits, and the lawsuit will soon be dismissed.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer for Your Case
Cases where construction contractors create unsafe situations for drivers are on the rise. These types of cases can be complex as they involve multi-layered determinations of liability. Not only do truck drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers, but construction contractors also have a duty to ensure their operations do not disrupt the safe and free flow of traffic.
If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident, you may need the assistance of a lawyer. It’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer that has the experience needed to understand the many factors at play in a truck accident case.
Contact Fried Goldberg at (877) 591-1801 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights in a private setting. We work closely with truck accident survivors and their families to ensure that they are afforded the proper remedy under the law.