Most of us have badmouthed a trucker who illegally parked his truck on the side of a freeway or highway at least once in our lives. Because when you are driving on a freeway or highway, an illegally parked truck can be a major nuisance.
In some cases, it can even become the cause of a motor vehicle accident. This was the case in a fatal truck accident, which has morphed into an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit in a California state court.
The jury has yet to determine liability because the fault is not immediately clear in that case. We asked our truck accident lawyer Los Angeles from the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg to review this particular case, in which the truck driver is being accused of illegally parking his truck on the paved shoulder of a freeway to urinate.
How an illegally parked truck can result in multiple fatalities
The truck crash, which occurred back in 2013 and has turned into a full-blown wrongful death lawsuit almost six years later, led to two fatalities. The plaintiff claims that the illegally parked truck caused a high-speed collision that killed the truck driver and a passenger in another vehicle.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Karen Garcia, whose husband, Jose Garcia, was the passenger who died in the 2013 crash. The lawsuit was filed against trucking company Tri-Modal Distribution Services Inc. So how did this crash occur and who should be held liable for the resulting damages?
Let our Los Angeles truck accident lawyer explain. Garcia was riding in the passenger seat of a box-truck that crashed into the back of the truck, which the plaintiff claims to be illegally parked on the side of the freeway. The crash took place on the transition lane between the SR-60 and SR-71 freeways in Pomona.
Determining liability when a truck is illegally parked on a highway
The plaintiff’s attorney claims that the truck driver illegally parked his truck on the side of the freeway, while the opposing party, Tri-Modal, defends itself by arguing that their truck driver did not act negligently as he had no choice but to stop his vehicle after discovering a mechanical failure with his truck.
However, the plaintiff’s lawyer claims that there is no evidence to back the defendant’s defense. The plaintiff claims that the Tri-Modal truck did not suffer any mechanical error that would justify illegal parking on the side of the busy freeway.
“The plaintiff further argued that her husband would not die had the truck driver not illegally parked his truck on the paved shoulder of the freeway,” says our truck crash attorney in Los Angeles, who personally reviewed the details of the wrongful death case. Garcia was killed after the driver of his vehicle, Sergio De La Torre, swerved to the right – where the Tri-Modal truck was parked – to avoid a collision with another vehicle that De La Torre claims cut him off. De La Torre survived the crash and was not included in the wrongful death case.
If the truck was not parked on the shoulder of the freeway at the time of the incident, the driver of the passenger car would have safely swerved to the right to avoid a collision with another vehicle.
Parking a truck on a freeway to urinate
In his statement, the plaintiff’s attorney also mentioned that the truck driver’s body was found with his pants unzipped.
And after an autopsy showed that the truck driver had no urine in his bladder, it could suggest that the truck driver had urinated prior to the crash. The defendant, meanwhile, claims that the truck driver had to pull off the freeway to inspect a mechanical failure. The trucking company’s lawyer claims that the truck driver was underneath his truck performing an inspection of the mechanical problem.
The plaintiff is seeking $1.6 million in economic damages and unspecified non-economic damages. Only time will tell whether or not the plaintiff and her attorney can recover damages in this wrongful death claim against the trucking company. Illegally parked trucks can be a major obstacle on the freeway or highway, and can even become a cause of collision.