In the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2013, Margo Madden had just dropped off her infant daughter and was on her way to work as a high school English teacher. It was still dark outside. Mrs. Madden was on Hwy 45 between Tupelo and Prairie, Mississippi. At the same time, the driver of an 18-wheeler operated by Trans-Carriers, Inc., had stopped on the side of the highway to “relieve himself” and “check his equipment.” For some unexplained reason, as Mrs. Madden got dangerously close, the Trans-Carriers’ truck pulled out in front of her vehicle, blocking her path. Unable to avoid the collision, the Madden car struck the Trans-Carriers trailer totaling the vehicle and seriously injuring Mrs. Madden. She was rushed to the hospital where a team of doctors worked to save her life. She was left severely injured.
Mrs. Madden was not speeding, fatigued or using her cell phone at the time of the collision. She did try to avoid the crash, but was unable to do so. A scene witness, driving directly behind Mrs. Madden, saw the crash and testified that there was nothing Mrs. Madden could do to avoid the crash. That driver barely got stopped even though he had more warning and was a greater distance to the truck. The Trans-Carriers driver admitted that he never saw the Madden car prior to entering the car’s lane of travel. The Defense experts were forced to admit that Mrs. Madden was in view and that the truck driver should have seen her in his mirrors prior to entering traffic. One Defense expert ultimately admitted that the truck driver “in hindsight” made a poor choice.
Mrs. Madden brought negligence and wantonness claims against TransCarriers and its driver. This case was particularly difficult because our client hit the back of the truck and the accident report had placed fault on Mrs. Madden. We were able to depose the state trooper who investigated the case. He admitted there was not enough information to place fault on anyone. It was revealed through pretrial discovery that TransCarriers had a policy against truck drives stopping on the side of the road absent an emergency. All witnesses in the case admitted there was no emergency and one Defense expert reluctantly agreed that the truck driver probably violated his company policy.
Several depositions were taken in the case, including those of experts hired by both sides in the areas of accident reconstruction, human factors, trucking industry standards, and injury causation. In addition, several hundred pages of internal documents were produced by TransCarries for our review.
The case settled on the eve of trial for a confidential amount. Chris Glover, who is in our Atlanta office handled the case for our firm. Chris says that he was honored to represent Mrs. Madden and was very glad to get a good settlement for her.
Chris is experienced in representing clients in truck accident cases. In fact, he recently wrote a book on the subject, An Introduction to Truck Accident Claims: A Guide to Getting Started, which serves as a primer for lawyers interested in this type of litigation. It is available free to lawyers at www.chrisglover-law.com/book. You can contact Chris at 800-898-2034 or email Chris.Glover@beasleyallen.com.