Our client was rear-ended by a cement truck. The driver of that truck didn’t have a commercial driver’s license and he and his company knew that. Regardless, they let him have the keys to this large vehicle and put him on the road. He injured my client to the extent she had to have neck surgery.
Justin Hill: Welcome to Hill Law Firm Cases. A podcast discusses real-world cases handled by Justin Hill and the Hill Law Firm. or confidentiality reasons names and amounts of any settlements have been removed. However, the facts are real and these are the cases we handle on a day-to-day basis.
Justin: As the oil and gas boom in Texas has taken over the trucking industry, a lot of trucking companies that require their drivers to be licensed and safe have stooped to hiring truck drivers who maybe aren’t licensed and maybe don’t have a good driving record.
A couple of years ago, we were contacted by a young lady who was rear-ended by a cement truck. It was not that big of a hit, however, she was very seriously injured. Her injury required her to have surgery on her neck. Working on the case we were able to find out a few things: one that truck driver, the 18-wheeler driver, the cement truck driver that is, did not have a current commercial driver’s license. Now, that seems pretty unheard of, and it is pretty unheard of.
Once we started digging into it, however, we found out that this man had been ticketed for not having a driver’s license multiple times. When he was ticketed, his employer would pay those tickets. In this case, an employer knew they had a driver who did not have a commercial driver’s license and was, therefore, illegal to drive. They gave him the keys to a fully loaded, very heavy cement truck, and sent him out on the road.
Unfortunately for my client, she was in front of this trucker when he failed to stop and he rear-ended her vehicle. Now she has fixation in her neck, which means some of the spinal columns have been fused together. She’ll never be the same again, due to the negligence of this truck driver and his company, she’s been forever injured.
While working at this case the defendants tried to come up with any defense they could, but they could never get over the fact that they gave the keys to a truck, to a trucker who didn’t have a license. In the end, we were able to resolve this case. In the end, I think, we were able to change the way this company did business.
Not only did that happen, this trucker was criminally prosecuted because what he was doing was illegal at the time. At Hill law firm we not only like to represent our clients in the civil matters for the monetary damages they have suffered, we also hopefully can use the civil matter to effectuate change in some of these companies that need to change their policies. This is one of those cases where we were able to change the policies of a company. While our client will never be the same and never fully recover from her injuries, she received a settlement that made her very happy, that she thought was fair under the circumstances, and she got to change the policies of a company to make sure it would never happen to somebody else again.