We filed suit in Jasper County, Illinois, for a young man who was a passenger in a car which was forced off the road by a tractopr trailer.
The truck accident happened outside Newton, Illinois. The driver of the car in which the client was a passenger atempted to pass a line of four trucks on a rural highway. He passed the first two successfully, but as he approached the third truck, the lead truck slowed to exit the highway into a private driveway. The driver of the third truck began to move into the passing lane in an attempt to go around the truck that was leaving the roadway. As he moved into the passing lane, the car in which our client was a passenger was approaching from the rear at a very high rate of speed. The driver of the car swerved to the left to avoid going the trailer, but ended up going off the roadway where it struck a culvert and flipped the car over. The client suffered a wrist fracture which required surgery and compression fractures of the cervical and thoracic spine.
We commenced suit against the driver of the car and the trucking company which employed the third truck driver. During his deposition, the third truck driver admitted that he knew that fourth truck would be slowing to exit the road and that he should have increased thedistance between himself and the fourth truck. He agreed that before changing lanes he must check his mirrors to make sure that the lane he is switching into was clear before attempting to change lanes. He testified that he checked his mirrors before trying to change lanes and saw that the vehicle in which the client was a passenger was closing rapidly but felt that he had no choice but to attempt the passing menuver around the fourth truck because he did not leave enough stopping distance between himself and the fourth truck even though he knew that the fourth truck would be exiting the highway.
The insurer for the car in which the client was a passenger paid its $50,000 policy limits, while the insurar for the trucking company paid $125,000 toward the settlement.