Over the last two months, our firm has filed two wrongful death lawsuits and tractor trailer companies in Georgia and is preparing to file another in California with co-counsel. The idea of going into litigation and facing a jury is daunting for many prospective clients but you must understand that when significant dollar amounts are at stake, no insurance company is going to make a settlement offer that is even close to full value unless they are forced to.
In the first case filed against Prime Trucking in Northern District Federal Court of Georgia, our client was a passenger in a van that ran into the back of a tractor trailer on I-16 in Georgia. He was killed in the crash along with the driver of the van and his spouse. It initially appeared probable that the van driver had some responsibility but there is more to the story, In the course of investigating the crash, we learned that the electronic control module in the van indicated the van was traveling on cruise control at 71 mph at the time it collided with the rear of the tractor trailer. A visual inspection of the damage to the van told us that the impact had to be well over 40 mph, meaning the tractor trailer was going around 25 mph in the middle of the night down a deserted highway. As everyone knows in Georgia, the minimum speed limit on the interstate is 45mph. That law exists to protect the other drivers on the road that might not be able to tell from taillights how fast the vehicle in front of them is going.
We hired an expert collision reconstructionist to give a scientific opinion based on the crush damage to the van so that we can know for a scientific fact how fast the tractor trailer was driving. Once the trucking company sees that their driver has been lying all along, it is possible that they will evaluate the claims of the injured and dead passengers but it is more probable that this case will get tried to a jury. Understand that without a law firm that is willing to litigate the case to its conclusion, the true facts behind a crash resulting in a wrongful death in Georgia cannot be know and justice will not be served. An experienced lawyer will not settle a case pre-suit.
In the second case which was filed in Dekalb County, the decedent was on a motorcycle and died when the tractor trailer operated by R and L Carriers turned across his path with no warning and while making an illegal left turn from the right lane. The trucking company refused to respond to the claim for wrongful death brought by the decedent’s surviving 11 year old daughter and claimed that the crash was the father’s fault. That case will also be tried before a jury because the trucking company wants to gamble that a jury will not like a motorcycle rider on a sport bike. As the cases progress through the courts, our firm will post updates to help educate the public on the complexities involved with suing semi truck companies in Georgia wrongful death cases.