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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers

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$1,900,000 Settlement – Truck Crash Resulting in Death (Polk County, FL)

The reason why there are special rules for bad weather driving is illustrated by this Central Florida tragedy.

A family was traveling back home in a driving thunderstorm.  The power was out in the area, disabling the traffic lights.  As the family crossed a highway, a loaded semi tractor trailer barreled through the intersection without slowing or stopping, broadsiding the family’s pickup truck.

Because the traffic signals were out, the intersection is supposed to be treated as a four-way stop. That’s the law. But the trucker, who had altered trucking logs from over-driving and under-sleeping, did not observe any stop. He just barreled into this family.

The impact of this crash, which catapulted the loaded pickup truck across the roadway, killed the driver, the family’s father. His wife, sitting next to him, suffered severe brain damage.  She eventually made a recovery but was never able to fully function.  They had five young children.

John Leighton was brought in to litigate this trucking crash case with co-counsel Steven C. Laird of Fort Worth, Texas.  This tragedy occurred during a violent thunderstorm in Auburndale in Polk County, Florida.  The case was settled for the insurance limits of $1,900,000 prior to trial in United States District Court.

Because of the intense and extensive investigation by our team, we were able to secure evidence that the trucking company and its attorneys tried to destroy and hide.  Trucking logs that were claimed to be “lost” were actually photographed by Mr. Leighton and his crash investigation team before they were destroyed.  That was additional ammunition to prove that this trucker was out of compliance.

Despite regulations, truckers routinely violate minimum rest requirements and exceed allowable driving limits because of profits.  When they do that, they put fatigued and distracted truckers on the road.  When there is severe weather, a fatigued driver becomes a deadly driver, as happened here.  Fatigue + weather = death and brain damage in trucking.

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.

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