Commercial truck collisions always lead to catastrophic damage in terms of death and property harm. These vehicles usually include semi-trucks and tractor-trailers.
Zippia reports that America has over 4.06 million commercial trucks on the streets. Studies conducted by the National Safety Council show an 18% increase in trucking accidents in 2021 compared to 2020.
The leading cause of accidents would be a fatigued or distracted driver. It can also be due to weather changes, negligence, and intoxication. Usually, trucking accidents lead to severe injuries, paralysis, and death.
Survivors may develop psychological issues like PTSD, depression, phobias, and anxiety. However, untimely death can cause families unimaginable pain. Some families or surviving victims pursue legal action against the truck company or the driver.
Over the past few years, this has given rise to various lawsuits with massive settlement amounts. This blog will discuss the top three with massive truck accident settlement amounts.
#1. Various St. Louis Trucking Accidents
Approximate Settlement: USD 4 Billion
Most of America’s cargo moves through the highways of St. Louis due to its centralized location. Hence, there was a steady increase in semi-truck accidents over the years.
Take a look at some St. Louis truck accidents in recent years. Back in 2011, a Freightliner, carelessly driven by a 27-year-old, rear-ended a man’s car, killing him on the spot. In April 2023, a truck driver died because his vehicle overturned and caught fire as he could not understand the curve at the junction. And in May 2023, the driver of a pickup truck lost control and killed two pedestrians on I-170.
These accidents compel St. Louis family members to file personal injury lawsuits. That means citizens who suffer property damage, losses, and injuries in St. Louis are liable for compensation. Victims can contact a St. Louis truck accident lawyer to determine their claim status based on medical proof.
TorHoerman Law, a firm helping St. Louis truck accident victims, suggests that the lawyers have negotiated settlements worth USD 4 Billion. Jordan Terry, a client, states that TorHoerman Law is a great company dedicated to helping accident victims get what they deserve.
According to them, the affected individual at St. Louis must mitigate the damages and then gather evidence. Once done, they should determine liability, assess the case, and look for a truck accident lawyer.
#2. The New Jersey Walmart Truck Accident
Approximate Settlement: Up to USD 90 Million
The nation entered a frenzy when a Walmart truck slammed into Tracy Morgan and Jimmy McNair’s limo. It caused a six-vehicle collision that killed 62-year-old Jimmy McNair due to severe injuries and hospitalized Tracy Morgan with broken bones.
Kevin Roper was the truck driver who had not slept for over 24 hours due to high demand. It caused him to be sleepy and careless.
Roper drove 65 mph on a 45 mph limit to reach his destination on time. A study shows that 13% of commercial vehicle operators are fatigued, which leads to crashes.
On the other hand, the limo passengers were not wearing seatbelts which aggravated the injuries further. The retail giant Walmart settled for USD 10 million to McNair’s family while distributing approximately USD 80 million to the other victims.
#3. Georgia Highway Multi-Vehicle Wreck
Approximate Settlement: USD 80 Million
In 2015, a tractor-trailer collided with an SUV, leading to a massive wreck on I-16 in Georgia. It became a catalyst for a horrific pile-over. In this crash, six vehicles piled over, which claimed the lives of nursing students.
The mother of one of these victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver, John Wayne Johnson’s company, Total Transportation. According to a news article on this civil lawsuit, Johnson neglected his duty and did not handle traffic rules.
It states that he was driving in close proximity to the SUV and exceeded the speed limit. Moreover, the woman charged him with failure to maintain an appropriate lookout for hazards.
The lawsuit also alleged that the company exhibited negligence by making the driver wait at the terminal for over 10 hours. Due to this, he had to work overnight, which led to fatigue. After negotiating the settlements, the grieving families were given a total of USD 80 Million.
The Bottom Line
Commercial truck accidents are becoming a common occurrence on American streets. The accidents mentioned in this blog happened due to negligence.
For example, the New Jersey Walmart collision occurred because the driver was fatigued. At the same time, the pile-up on the Georgia highway happened due to the driver’s negligence. Hence, safety needs to be a priority for companies and drivers.
Drivers and companies should follow government regulations to prevent such occurrences. Examples include getting a commercial license, giving the drivers proper rest, following the maximum weight permits, and quality control.
Following these steps will help commercial freight companies operate as per safety regulations. Therefore, saving lives in the process.