Attorneys Jason Helsel and Mark Vogt of Fowler | Helsel | Vogt in Fresno recently secured a $408,523 jury award for a truck accident client. Throughout the case, the defendant refused to accept any liability for the collision, which required the case to go to court. Thanks to the counsel of the attorneys and the help of outside experts, the client stands to make a more comfortable recovery with this result.
Details of the Unsafe Passing Truck Accident Case
Our client was driving around sunrise when a large semi-truck began to approach him in the opposing lane of traffic. The defendant was driving a pickup truck two vehicles behind the semi. Despite the proximity of all vehicles on the road, the defendant attempted to pass the vehicle in front of him and the semi-truck in front of that, which put his pickup directly in front of our client.
There was no space or time for the defendant to complete the pass. Our client slammed on his brakes to prevent a potentially fatal head-on collision with the defendant. The hard braking event caused his vehicle to shift to the left until it hit the semi-truck’s trailer. In the resulting crash, the box truck behind the semi crashed into the defendant.
The multivehicle crash resulted in our client suffering severe injuries, including a mild traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage. He was unable to work as normal for nearly three years due to the extent of his injuries.
Arguments & Defenses
The defense tried to argue that the defendant was not liable at all for the crash because he did not directly hit our client. This argument was never let up, even though we found it to be structurally and legally weak. It was clear that the defendant put everyone in danger by attempting to make an unsafe pass when there was no possibility to complete it without causing some sort of accident, be it with our client, the box truck, or the semi-truck. We were also able to uncover that the defendant did not have his corrective lenses on at the time of the crash, so he could not have possibly approximated the distance between the vehicles.
We brought in outside expert witnesses to strengthen our client’s case. We worked with neurological experts, an accident reconstruction expert, a vocational rehabilitation expert, and an economic expert to fully show the extent of our client’s injuries and how they had changed his life.
In response to our case, the defense only ever offered a paltry sum of $15,000. Understandably unsatisfied with this settlement offer, our client gave us the go-ahead to pursue litigation, which brought the case before the Fresno Superior Court. After about a week of trial and jury deliberation time, the $408,523 award was returned – or nearly 30 times what the defendant was willing to provide. Perhaps needless to say, our client is as appreciative of this result as we are.