Trucks on our highways are huge and are capable of causing death, injuries and major disfigurement.
Frequently trucking companies hire the best of legal counsel to defend them, and an aggressive plaintiff attorney is needed to bring a claim to justice.
ACTUAL CASE 1
Ronald S was driving a red Miata convertible on a highway between Bremerton and Port Orchard, Washington. It was a bright, hot sunny summer day and Ron was enjoying having the top off the convertible. He was in the outside lane of a two lane highway. His right hand was on the top of the steering wheel.
A truck in the inside lane decided to switch lanes. The truck entered Ron’s lane, and the rear of the truck struck the front of Ron’s Miata. Ron’s Miata spun like a top on the highway and struck the jersey barrier. It traveled up the barrier, vaulted into the air, and landed upside down. The weight of the car smashed the windshield and the car rested on the steering wheel with Ron’s right hand still on it.
Ron thought he was going to die as he was trapped upside down inside the car. Several onlookers, including a soldier in uniform ran to the Miata and righted it. They then applied first aid to Ron’s bleeding hand. Ron was rushed to a local hospital and then flown to Harborview where he underwent emergency surgery to try to save his right index finger. Unfortunately, the right finger was not saved and had to be amputated. The remaining fingers on the right hand were badly damaged as well as the tendons were scraped off on the highway.
Mike Maxwell sued the trucking company. After deposing the driver, Mike moved for summary judgment and was able to establish that the driver was liable. The trucking company offered to settle, but Mike and Ron both refused unless the trucking company paid insurance limits. The insurance company refused to pay limits.
Mike deposed the surgeon at Harborview and Ron’s physical therapists and prepared for trial. The day before trial the insurance company capitulated and paid Ron the insurance limits.
ACTUAL CASE 2
Wayne A works for a military contractor near Ft. Lewis. He was driving his motorcycle home from work eastbound on 20th Street E in Fife, WA. An enormous tractor trailer was in his lane. Wayne drove to the right of the tractor trailer at an intersection when the tractor trailer swung into the left turn lane.
According to all the witnesses, the tractor trailer had its right turn signals on. With the signals flashing, all the other drivers knew that the tractor trailer intended to turn to the right. They blamed Wayne for driving to the tractor trailer’s right when it was clear that the tractor trailer was about to turn to the right.
The tractor turned right and knocked Wayne off his motorcycle. His leg was severely fractured and repaired at Harborview.
Wayne retained a different attorney to represent him. After investigating the case, that attorney withdrew. That told Wayne that the collision was Wayne’s own fault, and that a lawsuit would be futile. He told Wayne that he should expect to recover nothing.
Attorney Mike Maxwell took the case over and reconstructed the collision. First, he determined that the truck was overweight and should not have been on that road in the first place. Second using scene photographs, Mike determined that the truck was making an illegal turn by swinging wide to the left before turning to his right. He filed suit against the driver of the tractor trailer.
The defense moved to dismiss Wayne’s case on summary judgment; Mike moved to establish liability on summary judgment. The judge denied both motions. The defense then offered to settle, and the case settled at mediation for six figures.
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