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Jury Award Reminds Negligent Truck Drivers in New Mexico and Across the Nation to Use Caution

Posted in Firm News

A Florida jury has awarded a commercial truck accident victim approximately $7 million. In Erb v. Peninsula Logistics, Inc. et al., six Osceola County jurors found that a truck driver, Loran Leroy Smith Sr., and his employer, Peninsula Logistics, were 100 percent responsible for the injuries sustained by Kevin Erb in a 2012 Polk County wreck. According to his complaint, Erb was driving north in a sport utility vehicle on United States Highway 27 near Lake Wales when a southbound tractor trailer being driven by Smith crossed the median and struck his car head-on. The tragic collision reportedly resulted in a five-vehicle pile-up that killed a motorcyclist. Sadly, Erb lost his left leg in the accident and incurred more than $2.5 million in medical bills.

At the time of the crash, the roadway was apparently covered in smoke as a result of a 60-acre controlled burn that was being conducted nearby. Still, jurors awarded Erb financial compensation for his lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses that directly resulted from the truck driver’s negligence. The jury also issued an award of $250,000 to Erb’s wife for loss of services, comfort, society, and attention.

After a final judgment was issued by a judge for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, Peninsula Logistics filed a motion for a judgment not-withstanding the verdict and a new trial as well as a motion for remittitur to reduce the jury’s award. Both requests were denied and the company filed a notice of appeal.

Despite that this accident occurred in Florida, about 1,400 semi-truck wrecks occur on the many interstates and highways in New Mexico each year. Like in this case, a trucking company operating in our state may be held liable if a negligent employee injures another motorist while driving a big rig within the scope and course of his or her employment. Generally, trucking companies operating in New Mexico carry at least $1 million in insurance coverage. Regrettably, this may not be enough to fully compensate truck accident victims or their survivors. Because of this, a severely injured crash victim may be able to recover damages by way of the company’s assets as well as an accident insurance policy.

Do not hesitate to contact the Fine Law Firm if you were hurt or a family member was killed in a collision that was caused by a negligent semi-truck driver anywhere in the State of New Mexico. Our knowledgeable Los Alamos County truck accident attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience assisting the victims of big rig crashes across New Mexico recover the financial compensation they deserve based upon the severity of their injuries. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with a caring advocate, give the Fine Law Firm a call at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Injured New Mexico Semi-Truck Accident Victims May Sue Trucking Company as Well as Driver
, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2013
Fatal Accident Highlights the Dangers Caused by Careless Semi Drivers in New Mexico and Nationwide, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, November 17, 2013
Additional Resources:

One Killed in Lake Wales Crash on U.S. 27, by Matthew Pleasant, The Ledger

$7 million jury verdict goes to man who lost leg in traffic crash, by Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel