Huge Verdict In Trucking Accident Involving Texting Truck-Driver
A 21 year old college student was awarded $49 million in damages to a Santa Clara verdict for brain injuries he suffered in an auto accident. Drew Bianchi was traveling with friends on a camping trip when two trucks collided on the center line sending one of the trucks careening into the rear of Bianchi‘s vehicle.
As is the case in many trucking related accidents, Drew suffered very serious injuries including severe and permanent brain injury. He now lives full time in the treatment facility unable to care for himself. It is expected that he will remain in care facilities for the rest of his life.
Bianchi sued both trucking companies and the truckers individually for reckless driving. It was alleged that while one trucker veered recklessly across the center line, the other driver was recklessly texting and inattentive.
The case suggests a trend likely trend in car and automobile accidents. Texting is increasingly common throughout society. Unfortunately, many find the urge to text even while they are driving. Driver inattentiveness is a leading cause of car accidents. This is especially true among younger drivers. The lure of texting to teenagers is not surprising. The lure of texting for truck drivers is both surprising and frightening.
Trucking accidents typically involve far greater injuries, often death, than run of the mill automobile accidents. The physics are clear. Trucks are huge, they are heavy, they are often moving rapidly, and do not easily come to a stop. Driver inattentiveness is a serious concern for all drivers with the incidence of car accidents involving mobile phones and texting rising rapidly. The fact that truck drivers are texting while driving creates a new level of concern. After all, if they are texting, they are also talking on their phones.
The trend in texting and mobile phone use while driving is clear. The case of Drew Bianchi suggests that car accident lawsuits will reflect the trend with increasing numbers of lawsuits filed for recklessness. It is common to allege recklessness in cases involving mobile phone use and now texting. Juries will likely begin to routinely accept these arguments as the accident statistics related to mobile phone use and texting continue to mount.
Employer Liability for Texting Employees
Hypertexting & Hypernetworking: Busy Hands are the Workshop of the Devil?
Past and Future Driving Evidence: Limited Admission in New Mexico Auto Accident Claims