Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Mississippi issued an opinion in a wrongful death case filed by the surviving family members of a man who was killed in a truck accident. In the case, Moreno v. TLSL, the court ended up dismissing the case against the truck driver and his employer, citing a lack of evidence of the driver’s negligence.
The Facts of the Case
Three men were killed when the pickup truck they were riding in struck a semi-truck from the rear. This case was brought by the estate of the driver of the pickup truck. The facts of the case were in dispute, and three witnesses testified to quite different versions of what happened in the moments leading up to the fatal truck accident.
The truck driver testified that he had just merged onto the highway when he saw headlights in his mirrors. He estimated that the headlights were about three-quarters of a mile away. However, the lights approached quickly, and not long after that a vehicle slammed into the back of his truck. He estimated that he was going about 35 miles per hour and was in 5th gear at the time of the accident.
The sole survivor in the pickup truck testified that he had fallen asleep and awoke just seconds before the accident. He recalled the driver screaming and looking back at him just prior to the accident, but he does not recall seeing any of the other vehicles involved.
A witness who was driving behind the deceased’s pickup truck also testified. She told the court that the truck failed to yield when entering the highway and “just went out into the middle of the road.” She explained that the collision was a side-impact collision, and she could see the truck’s headlights but not the tail lights or brake lights.
A state trooper report indicated that the accident was indeed a rear-end collision, not a side-impact collision. The plaintiff admitted that the witness’ account of what happened was not accurate.
The court hearing the case explained that normally issues of fact should be decided by a jury, but here the evidence creating the issue was unreliable. The witness who testified that the truck driver was at fault was patently incorrect in her assertion as to how the accident occurred, based on her testimony that the accident was caused by a side impact. The court determined that it need not credit that testimony, and without it there was no evidence that the truck driver was negligent.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been the victim of a New Mexico truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, as you can see, it is the plaintiff’s burden to provide the court with ample evidence before a case can proceed to a jury. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have the dedication and experience you need to feel comfortable putting your case in their hands. Call 505-889 FINE today to set up your free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Federal Appellate Court Affirms Judgment and Award of $3 Million to Family of Man Killed in Trucking Accident, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2016.
Minibus Accident in France Claims 12 Lives, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 7, 2016.