New Jersey Woman Receives $10.6 Million Settlement after Accident Caused by Truck Tire
Accidents caused by roadway debris can be violent and devastating. When those hauling cargo or driving large trucks are careless or negligent in allowing debris to be left in the roadway, they can be held financially responsible for the medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage suffered by victims of the accident the debris causes. A recent court case stemming from a New Jersey road debris accident is a good example of the liability that negligent drivers may face for leaving debris in the road. Learn more below, and speak with a seasoned New Jersey truck accident lawyer if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another driver.
On the day of the accident, Shanika Brown was traveling as a passenger in a minivan along with her five-month-old daughter on Interstate 295 in Gloucester County. The van was being driven by the baby’s grandmother, Pamela Reed. When Reed encountered a 14-foot-long, two-foot-wide tire left behind by a truck earlier in the day, she swerved to avoid hitting it. Unfortunately, Reed instead struck the guard rail. The minivan overturned, partially ejecting Brown and her infant daughter in the process. The baby’s leg was amputated in the accident, as was Brown’s arm.
Reed, Brown, and Brown’s daughter became plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against Silvi Concrete Products, the employer of the truck driver who left the tire in the road, as well as against Bridgestone, the maker of the tire, and McCarthy Tire Operations, the company charged with inspecting the truck’s tires. The plaintiffs claimed that the Silvi Concrete truck driver was aware that the tire had been left in the road 30 minutes prior to Reed’s accident but had failed to call 911 to report the lost tire. When attorneys for Silvi Concrete argued that they hadn’t been aware of the lost tire, attorneys for the plaintiffs presented dispatch recordings proving that Silvi Concrete was aware of the tire being in the roadway.
The jury found this evidence convincing and, in the face of Brown’s injuries and those to her infant daughter, awarded $10.6 million to Brown, along with thousands of additional dollars in fines imposed for the defendant’s delay tactics during the case. Losing debris in the roadway may not always be avoidable, such as in the case where a blown tire comes off the vehicle. That said, the driver still has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to clear away the debris and eliminate the risk of harm to other drivers. When they fail to show even the slightest regard for others’ safety, drivers and their employers can be held to account for their carelessness by paying damages to the victims.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a New Jersey accident involving large trucks or roadway debris, find out if you’re a good candidate to file a claim for damages based on those injuries. Contact the seasoned and professional New Jersey personal injury attorney Andrew R. Jacobs for a free consultation at 973-532-9681.