Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on October 25th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

$6 Million Settlement in 2010 Truck Accident–Sounds High, But is it Really?

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

$6 Million Settlement in 2010 Truck Accident–Sounds High, But is it Really?Today, I read about a $6 million dollar settlement, believed to be the largest in the country to date involving a non-governmental party. After reading the details, I wonder, “Is $6 million really enough?”   The truck accident involved a Snohomish County, Washington family and the two children were seriously injured, then 6 and 8 yrs of age.  It is a similar tragedy that I blogged about earlier today involving a woman who was struck by three SUV’s after a crash near Kansas City, Missouri.  In the article I read today, a mother pulled her disabled car over to the right side of the highway but there wasn’t much of a shoulder as the car was pulled over next to a highway barrier. She had pulled the car over, turned on her emergency lights and called for a tow truck.  A dump truck driven by a Monroe man struck the car from behind. When you consider the life of your loved ones and children especially, $6 million seems like not very much money when you consider the costs of the medical care and attempts at a quality life for a child. 

The truck came to a stop 265 feet from the point of impact. The children, then ages 6 and 8 where in the disabled car. What a nightmare?  It brings to mind a former client who as a parent had a similar experience.  His three children were in is disabled car that he had just pulled to the side of the highway. He had just gotten out assessing the issue when a semi-truck hit the car. As a parent, myself,  I really have a hard time expressing how traumatic that has to be.  The horror and helplessness of securing your child in a car that is slammed into by a semi-truck!  Having an accident such as this and witnessing your car being smashed into by a truck and dragging your car with your children in it is a nightmare none of us can/want to imagine.

The  settled truck accident occurred in February of 2010 and involved a disabled car and two injured children.  It was a multi-vehicle accident where the disabled car was ground along the guard rail. All parties in the case agreed that it was a tragic accident. According to a Washington State Patrol investigation, the truck was allegedly over weight by 22,000 pounds.

The settlement proceeds are being put into a trust that will see to the future needs of the children.  The settlement marked $4.3 million for the boy and $800,000 for the girl.

I cannot express the true horror of such an accident. As parents, we work to keep our children safe.  We continuously check door locks, safety gates and child restraint car seats in an effort to ensure that our children are safe.  Given the choice, most parents would sacrifice their well-being for the sake of their children. When accidents like these happen, no one’s life involved is ever the same. I dare say that the truck driver will relive that nightmare the rest of his life just as the family of the injured.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration has strict regulations for over-the-road trucks regarding Hours of Service, maintenance and weight. The very reason for such strict regulations is because semi-trucks are enormous and crashes involving trucks do not usually go well for passenger cars.  Most trucking companies work diligently to avoid truck accidents and injury, but inattentiveness or relaxation of any safety standards can result in serious injuries and fatalities.

Truck accidents often result in serious injuries such as described above involving traumatic brain injury, broken bones, paralysis—-life-changing injuries.  While no amount of money in settlement or trial verdict will ever make some victims “right” again, it is great when our legal system works and victims are able to secure much needed funds in order to be cared for in the best possible way.  Medical costs in this kind of  serious accident can be prohibitive for most families.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, legal representation is absolutely critical. It is very important to use an attorney that is experienced with truck accident investigations and that has handled serious truck accidents in the past. Missouri personal injury lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm work on truck accident investigations and work with experts in recreation of the accident to determine all causes.  Also, negotiating with insurance companies after such an ordeal, unfortunately, always requires a professional.   It is also critical that your attorney communicate with you every step of the way and get to know your family member that has been injured. Often times in a wrongful death case, the only way a jury will ever know your loved one is through you. Getting to know you and your family is what we do. Unless we really know you, we cannot tell your story.

Getting to know an individual and family takes time.time that we commit in every case.  Because of the time it takes to truly get to know a client, we do not take every case. Only the ones we know we can do well. Consultations are always free at The Cagle Law Firm and we are available to talk with you seven days a week. Call Zane T. Cagle at The Cagle Law Firm (314) 276-1681 if you have questions.