Lawsuits related to truck driving accidents are complicated, as the damages are often catastrophic, there are various insurance limits and provisions, and there are many different avenues when trying to prove responsibility.
That’s why it’s important to speak with a trustworthy and hardworking attorney after an accident involving a truck driver, no matter who you think is at fault. Sometimes it’s clear, like when truck drivers are distracted. But sometimes the negligence can be more subtle, as the lawsuit below alleges.
Accident Involving a Truck Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Roughly a year ago, in the summer of 2016, veteran New York State Trooper Timothy Pratt was in the middle of a traffic stop. He stepped off the running board of an 18-wheeler that was stopped in a turning lane when a driver of an oncoming vehicle struck him. The State Trooper, aged 55, died 3 hours after the collision.
A year later, on July 7, 2017, Pratt’s family has filed a lawsuit against the oncoming vehicle’s driver and against the truck driver’s employer. Pratt’s daughter, Sarah Pratt, his sister, Laurie La Fountain and his sons, James Pratt and Shane Pratt, filed their suit in the State Supreme Court of Warren County, New York.
The lawsuit claims that the truck driver, Mikail Grudko, and his employer, Monroe Transport Services, acted carelessly and negligently, which contributed to the wrongful death of Pratt. It contends that Grudko’s stopped position in the turning lane created a hazardous scenario for pedestrians and drivers. The suit alleges that the oncoming driver who was driving east and struck Pratt, Joel Duguay, caused diverse and serious injuries to Pratt along with conscious pain and suffering, pre-impact terror and, ultimately, his death.
In the lawsuit, an explanation of Pratt’s injuries describes blunt force trauma to lower extremities and states that cardiac arrest caused his death. The suit does not specify the amount of monetary damages sought, but it alleges that both drivers, as well as the trucking company, acted irresponsibly by being careless, reckless, negligent, wrongful, and unreasonably safe in conduct.
During the pending lawsuit, there will be, no doubt, discussion on liability and who is responsible for any negligence. Is the truck driver at fault? Can his trucking company be held liable? Did the oncoming driver have any way to avoid the collision?
Filing a Lawsuit After an Accident Involving a Truck
Many times after an accident involving a truck, the following parties may be held liable:
The truck driver- A truck driver can be held responsible if recklessness or negligence causes, or contributes to, an accident.
The trucking company- Sometimes, negligent company policies and hiring practices lead to truck-driving accidents.
The insurance company- Trucking companies need to carry a minimum amount of insurance, which is an amount much higher than that required on passenger vehicles. Insurance coverage may come into play in a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck driver or a driver of a passenger vehicle in the state of Texas, Patterson Law Group wants to help. Give us a call or fill out the form on this page and one of our truck accident attorneys will be in touch promptly to listen to your story and offer advice.