Trucking Company Settles With Man Injured By Poorly Illuminated Semi Truck
GARRISON v. TRUCKING COMPANY
“My attorneys Charles Sorenson and Howard Coker went above and beyond my expectations. Their concern and assistance throughout the case made my wife Nancy and I feel like part of the family there. I also can’t say enough good things about Theresa Poulin, the Paralegal who worked with us – she was always kind and there for us. I would highly recommend the firm to someone I know.” . . . Mark Garrison
A recent eve-of-trial $650,000 settlement concluded a trucking accident case that forever changed the life of a Starke, Florida, construction superintendent. Our client, plaintiff Mark Garrison, was anxious to avoid the trial process and end his two-year battle with the defendants. “I wanted to get it settled; I am still in a lot of pain and really was not up to the trial,” he said.
The case was brought by Partners Charles Sorenson and Howard Coker against the trucking company and their driver. In January of 2005, Mr. Garrison was on his way to work at a construction site in his Ford F-150 pick-up. It was a still-dark and foggy 5:30 am when he unexpectedly came upon an 18-wheeler blocking all lanes of traffic.
With no running lights on the side, the truck was made invisible by the fog. Our client did not see it until the last moment and had no opportunity to take evasive action. He braked, but could not stop in time to avoid crashing into the rear wheel of the trailer. His rate of speed on impact was determined to have been between 45-50 mph, which, although within the posted limit, resulted in a fairly high-velocity crash.
Mark Garrison was fortunate to be in a sturdy vehicle, to be wearing his seatbelt and to have an airbag that deployed. “I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if I had been in a small car when I hit that truck at that speed,” he said. Even with these advantages, the accident caused him serious injuries. A crushed heel bone, along with nose, back, and rib damages forced him to resign his employment and take permanent disability. The financial and quality-of-life impacts on the Garrison family were tremendous.
The trucking company, however, did not want to accept responsibility for the accident. Charles Sorenson explains: “It was a heavily contested case – the defendant insisted that their vehicle was clearly visible and pointed out that another vehicle in the same path was able to stop and avoid collision. We were convinced of the negligence of the truck driver and excited about the prospects of trial. However, we respected our client’s wishes to accept a settlement that met his and his family’s financial needs.”