A tractor trailer traveling at about 75 mph rear ended our client’s vehicle on I-76 at about 11:30 p.m. Client was driving a 24-foot rental truck with an auto transport rig in tow. The top recommended speed for client’s rig and tow was 45 MPH. The tractor trailer driver alleged that he did not see the tail lights of the truck or of the auto tow. The force of the collision pushed the client’s truck and trailer off of the highway, across the median, across oncoming traffic and into a field. The tractor of the semi came to rest occupying our client’s driver’s compartment. Emergency personnel removed our client through the passenger door and transported him to the emergency room.
Our client sustained a traumatic brain injury. We filed the case in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The defendant claimed that our client was at fault for driving too slow (45 m.p.h.) and for not having tail lights. We subpoenaed the driver’s NTSB log book and determined that the driver had made double entries on the days prior to the collision.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes national regulations for maximum driving time and on-duty time for drivers of commercial tractor trailers. From the driver’s bills of lading, and cargo records, we proved that he had driven many more hours in the two days prior to the accident than he noted in his driving log and that federal law permitted, supporting our claim that the driver’s fatigue caused the accident.
The insurer for the trucking company paid a confidential amount to settle the case before trial.
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