BK logo

Story of a Truck Accident Case

Tap to Call:

Client’s Perspective: How a Truck Accident Lawsuit Works

We have represented many clients who were hurt in collisions with commercial trucks. We have also represented the surviving family members of people who died in crashes caused by negligent truckers and trucking companies.

This is the story of one injured client, who we’ll call “Eric” to protect his privacy. Eric, who was a trucker himself, suffered serious injuries when another driver struck him. Eric had been standing behind his own truck, working on some equipment, when the driver behind him accidentally let his foot off the brake and rolled into him. Eric was pinned between the two vehicles. The commercial truck pressed against Eric’s arm, torso, and legs. He shouted. That got the attention of the other driver—who had his windows down—and the other driver backed up. But not before Eric’s arm, torso, and legs had been crushed between the vehicles.

Injuries from Eric’s Tractor-Trailer Accident

Eric’s injuries were serious, but thankfully not as severe as they could have been. He had to have surgery on his arm, where an internal hematoma (basically, pooling blood inside his arm) was causing pressure and could have led to a serious condition that doctors call “compartment syndrome.” He received treatment in the emergency room, but that wasn’t enough to fix the problem. He had to have a surgery performed on his arm in which doctors opened up his arm and “evacuated” (basically, they removed) the blood that was pooling inside.

Eric’s legs healed without surgery, but the pressure on his torso caused damage to the discs in Eric’s back. Eric tried conservative treatment. He and his doctors tried epidural injections and physical therapy, but neither fixed the problem. Eric had to have a fusion surgery on his lower back.

Trucking Company’s “Defenses”

When lots of money is at stake, trucking companies (like other defendants) often deny everything — even things that seem obvious. This trucking company raised all kinds of so-called “defenses.” First, the trucking company denied that it was responsible for the driver, claiming that the driver was an “independent contractor.” Second, the at-fault driver claimed that the brake pedal in his truck was worn, which caused the driver’s foot to slip. Third, the trucking company even disputed that Eric had suffered all of the injuries that the collision had caused.

At the time of his collision, Eric didn’t know our firm. So he had initially contacted a different law firm, who started to work on his case. But before long, that firm realized that this was a big truck accident case and would involve a hard fight. This was a good law firm — run by good people — but they weren’t set up to deal with a hard fight that could last months or years. So the firm called Butler Kahn and asked if we could help.


This video deposition shows our cross-examination of the trucking company’s safety director, in which we addressed these so-called “defenses.” It has been watched over twenty thousand times on YouTube.

Preparing Eric’s Truck Accident Case for Trial

We got to work. To address the “independent contractor” defense, we demanded evidence from the trucking company about whether the company was “vicariously liable”—meaning, legally responsible for—the negligence of its driver. It turned out that the truck company had leased the truck from Ryder, then sub-leased it to the driver. Our legal research showed that in those circumstances, the trucking company should be liable. For months, over the phone, over emails, and in motions filed with the Court, we fought the issue. Finally, we traveled to New York to take the deposition of the trucking company’s “Safety Director.” (Look to the left to see a clip from that deposition.) Under cross-examination, this company executive finally admitted that his company was responsible for the driver.

That took care of one defense, but it still left the at-fault driver’s claims about the brake pedal being “worn.” Again, we demanded written evidence. Again, we dug through it carefully. It turned out that the driver had filled out a pre-trip inspection of the truck—which should have included an inspection of the brake pedal, and would have told us whether there was really a problem with the pedal—but the company claimed to have lost his inspection report. We knew that was suspicious. So we cross-examined the Safety Director about that too. Before this collision, the Safety Director had never heard of any problem with the pedal. Even after the collision, the at-fault driver didn’t mention any problem with the brake pedal in the several conversations he had with company personnel about the collision. In fact, the driver didn’t mention it at all until the lawsuit was filed, when suddenly he “remembered” that the brake pedal had been worn.  It was obvious that a jury wouldn’t believe that.

Even after all that, the trucking company still refused to admit that Eric had suffered the injuries that the collision had caused. So we went to his doctors. We met with the doctor who had performed Eric’s arm surgery, and that doctor signed an official “Medical Report” (that we planned to use in Court) that said exactly what injury Eric had suffered, described the surgery that he performed, and specified that this collision is what had caused Eric’s arm injury. We also met with the doctor who performed Eric’s back surgery. We took his deposition—that is, took his testimony under oath—on video, so that we could play the video in Court for the jury. The spine doctor explained Eric’s injury, described his surgery, and specified that this collision is what had caused Eric’s spine injury. (Look to the right to see a clip from that deposition.)

In this video deposition, Eric’s surgeon explained what happened to Eric’s back.

Eric’s Truck Accident Settlement

We prepared the case for trial and were ready to go. And then a funny thing happened—a funny thing that often happens when a defendant knows that we are ready for trial and that we’ve got them beat. They asked for mediation. At mediation, the trucking company’s insurer agreed to pay $702,000 to settle the case (which was many times greater than his total medical bills). Eric happily accepted.


Settlement memorandum from truck accident case


We love happy clients—and it is an honor and a privilege to work with people like Eric. We were especially humbled and grateful for the five-star review he left us after the case was complete.


Five star review for Butler Law firm


Play Video

After a collision, a truck company should preserve all evidence that relates to the collision, especially data from any tracking device that the truck company installed on the tractor-trailer. That electronic or GPS data can show how fast the truck was going and how long it had been driving. But some companies allow the evidence to be destroyed.

Georgia Driver Qualification Files

Trucking companies rarely release maintenance records, driver logs, and other documents to accident victims, but the semi-truck accident lawyer in GA drivers turn to may know how to make them give us the evidence.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to maintain a driver qualification file (DQF) for every driver. The DQF includes employment applications, driving records, road test results, vehicle maintenance records, hours-of-service logs, training certificates, and drug test results. The information in the DQF is essential to building a case against the driver or the trucking company.

We take that evidence, we study it carefully, and then we use it to show the driver’s qualifications—or lack thereof—to the jury.

Play Video

A smart truck accident lawyer studies not only the collision, but also the truck driver.

Georgia Truck Driver Qualifications

Georgia truck driver in the cab of his big rigTruck drivers must meet certain qualifications before they are allowed to operate commercial vehicles. For example, a driver must be at least 21 years old, have a valid commercial driver’s license, possess a valid Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate, and be able to read and speak English. He or she must also be in reasonably good health and have a good driving record. If the driver involved in your accident does not meet all of these requirements, the trucking company that hired him may be responsible.

Once we get the DQF from the trucking company, our attorneys review all of the documents to determine if the driver was qualified to be on the road.

Information From Data Recorders

Like airplanes, many trucks are equipped with data recorders. These recorders are an important source of information in a trucking accident case. A truck’s electronic control module typically records average speed, time spent in gear, and other data related to vehicle operation. Control modules also record data during a crash, which is valuable when trying to determine if a driver is at fault for an accident. For example, the electronic control module can confirm whether a driver was speeding in the seconds before the crash. Not every truck has this equipment, and sometimes the trucking company fails to preserve this important evidence. But if we’re able to obtain it, our team of experts knows how to download and analyze this data.

Interviews and Depositions

Over time, memories fade, making it difficult to determine what really happened at the scene of a crash. That’s why the semi-truck accident lawyer in Georgia that drivers rely upon may interview accident witnesses and first responders as soon as possible. We will meet witnesses wherever we can find them. Witnesses may have noticed the truck driver driving aggressively, running a red light, or changing lanes without using a turn signal just before the accident occurred. At Butler Kahn, we find out as much as we can about the case so that we can win it when the time comes.

We also take depositions from the witnesses involved in your case. During a deposition, the witness testifies under oath about what happened before, during, or after the crash. Our attorneys have extensive experience taking depositions and getting the information needed to build a strong case.

When you are involved in a trucking accident, time is of the essence. Almost as soon as a crash occurs, the trucking company has investigators on the scene looking for ways to blame the accident on someone else. Not only do we review accident reports, interview witnesses, and take depositions, we also front all of the costs of the case. We only get paid back if and when we win the case. This allows you to focus on your medical recovery while we fight on your behalf.

Trucking accidents need trucking accident attorneys. Call us and learn more about what we can do to help.

Get a Free Consultation

Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

Agree To Terms*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
car fire
$150 Million Landmark Wrongful Death Verdict

Butler Kahn secured a $150 million jury verdict against Chrysler for the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed in a devastating crash in Georgia. Our firm held the giant automaker accountable for Remington Walden’s death and for failing to warn the public about dangers associated with its Jeep Grand Cherokee. Learn More

Client’s Perspective: How a Truck Accident Lawsuit Works

We have represented many clients who were hurt in collisions with commercial trucks. We have also represented the surviving family members of people who died in crashes caused by negligent truckers and trucking companies.

This is the story of one injured client, who we’ll call “Eric” to protect his privacy. Eric, who was a trucker himself, suffered serious injuries when another driver struck him. Eric had been standing behind his own truck, working on some equipment, when the driver behind him accidentally let his foot off the brake and rolled into him. Eric was pinned between the two vehicles. The commercial truck pressed against Eric’s arm, torso, and legs. He shouted. That got the attention of the other driver—who had his windows down—and the other driver backed up. But not before Eric’s arm, torso, and legs had been crushed between the vehicles.

Injuries from Eric’s Tractor-Trailer Accident

Eric’s injuries were serious, but thankfully not as severe as they could have been. He had to have surgery on his arm, where an internal hematoma (basically, pooling blood inside his arm) was causing pressure and could have led to a serious condition that doctors call “compartment syndrome.” He received treatment in the emergency room, but that wasn’t enough to fix the problem. He had to have a surgery performed on his arm in which doctors opened up his arm and “evacuated” (basically, they removed) the blood that was pooling inside.

Eric’s legs healed without surgery, but the pressure on his torso caused damage to the discs in Eric’s back. Eric tried conservative treatment. He and his doctors tried epidural injections and physical therapy, but neither fixed the problem. Eric had to have a fusion surgery on his lower back.

Trucking Company’s “Defenses”

When lots of money is at stake, trucking companies (like other defendants) often deny everything — even things that seem obvious. This trucking company raised all kinds of so-called “defenses.” First, the trucking company denied that it was responsible for the driver, claiming that the driver was an “independent contractor.” Second, the at-fault driver claimed that the brake pedal in his truck was worn, which caused the driver’s foot to slip. Third, the trucking company even disputed that Eric had suffered all of the injuries that the collision had caused.

At the time of his collision, Eric didn’t know our firm. So he had initially contacted a different law firm, who started to work on his case. But before long, that firm realized that this was a big truck accident case and would involve a hard fight. This was a good law firm — run by good people — but they weren’t set up to deal with a hard fight that could last months or years. So the firm called Butler Kahn and asked if we could help.


This video deposition shows our cross-examination of the trucking company’s safety director, in which we addressed these so-called “defenses.” It has been watched over twenty thousand times on YouTube.

Preparing Eric’s Truck Accident Case for Trial

We got to work. To address the “independent contractor” defense, we demanded evidence from the trucking company about whether the company was “vicariously liable”—meaning, legally responsible for—the negligence of its driver. It turned out that the truck company had leased the truck from Ryder, then sub-leased it to the driver. Our legal research showed that in those circumstances, the trucking company should be liable. For months, over the phone, over emails, and in motions filed with the Court, we fought the issue. Finally, we traveled to New York to take the deposition of the trucking company’s “Safety Director.” (Look to the left to see a clip from that deposition.) Under cross-examination, this company executive finally admitted that his company was responsible for the driver.

That took care of one defense, but it still left the at-fault driver’s claims about the brake pedal being “worn.” Again, we demanded written evidence. Again, we dug through it carefully. It turned out that the driver had filled out a pre-trip inspection of the truck—which should have included an inspection of the brake pedal, and would have told us whether there was really a problem with the pedal—but the company claimed to have lost his inspection report. We knew that was suspicious. So we cross-examined the Safety Director about that too. Before this collision, the Safety Director had never heard of any problem with the pedal. Even after the collision, the at-fault driver didn’t mention any problem with the brake pedal in the several conversations he had with company personnel about the collision. In fact, the driver didn’t mention it at all until the lawsuit was filed, when suddenly he “remembered” that the brake pedal had been worn.  It was obvious that a jury wouldn’t believe that.

Even after all that, the trucking company still refused to admit that Eric had suffered the injuries that the collision had caused. So we went to his doctors. We met with the doctor who had performed Eric’s arm surgery, and that doctor signed an official “Medical Report” (that we planned to use in Court) that said exactly what injury Eric had suffered, described the surgery that he performed, and specified that this collision is what had caused Eric’s arm injury. We also met with the doctor who performed Eric’s back surgery. We took his deposition—that is, took his testimony under oath—on video, so that we could play the video in Court for the jury. The spine doctor explained Eric’s injury, described his surgery, and specified that this collision is what had caused Eric’s spine injury. (Look to the right to see a clip from that deposition.)

In this video deposition, Eric’s surgeon explained what happened to Eric’s back.

Eric’s Truck Accident Settlement

We prepared the case for trial and were ready to go. And then a funny thing happened—a funny thing that often happens when a defendant knows that we are ready for trial and that we’ve got them beat. They asked for mediation. At mediation, the trucking company’s insurer agreed to pay $702,000 to settle the case (which was many times greater than his total medical bills). Eric happily accepted.


Settlement memorandum from truck accident case


We love happy clients—and it is an honor and a privilege to work with people like Eric. We were especially humbled and grateful for the five-star review he left us after the case was complete.


Five star review for Butler Law firm