Our lawyer Craig Jones just finished a jury trial this week that gives some comfort to the family of a man who was prematurely taken from his family.
Craig worked for a woman whose husband was walking along a roadway near his home, in the rain, just before the sun came up that morning. He was without warning hit by a car; he landed (alive) on the roadway, when a Mack truck with an inattentive driver ran over him, snuffing out his life. The drivers of each vehicle blamed the deceased. The case was brought in a conservative venue in Metro Atlanta.
Craig claimed that that the driver of the car failed to maintain a proper lookout and that the truck followed too closely, not giving the driver enough time to perceive and react. He had no expert. The entire case was based on cross examining the defendant drivers.
According to Craig: "I used the trucking company’s corporate representative (the division safety manager) to prove the safety rules on proper following distance (4 seconds) and the need to increase that to as much as 7 seconds under hazardous conditions (it was rainy). According to the truck driver’s testimony – which the police said was consistent with all the evidence – he was only maintaining a 3 second following distance.
The wrongful death award was not based on income, but upon testimony from friends and family about his quality of life. There were no settlement offers. The jury found the deceased was 35% at fault and awarded $1,633,000 to his widow. The jury put 23% on the driver of the car and 42% on the truck driver.
In Georgia tonight, a widow is able to have closure because a jury has spoken.