Earlier this month, an appellate court in Mississippi issued a written opinion in a chain-reaction truck accident case, affirming judgment in favor of the allegedly negligent truck driver and his employer. In the case, Ready v. RWI Transportation, the court determined that the plaintiff’s injuries in a subsequent accident not involving the defendant were not a foreseeable consequence of the defendants’ negligence. As a result of the decision, the plaintiff will not be permitted to pursue compensation for their injuries.
The Facts of the Case
A truck driver employed by RWI Transportation caused an accident when he made an improper lane change on a Mississippi highway. As a result of that initial accident, the truck and another vehicle were left incapacitated and came to a rest while blocking the highway. Traffic was slowed, and a significant traffic jam formed.
About 30 minutes later, while traffic was still moving slowly, Ready approached the traffic jam and crashed into the back of another vehicle that had come to a complete stop as a result of the traffic jam. Ready filed a personal injury lawsuit against RWI Transportation and the driver of the truck involved in the initial accident. Ready claimed that the truck driver’s negligence was the cause of the subsequent accident that resulted in his injuries.
The defendants asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that the truck driver did not owe a duty of care to Ready. Specifically, the defendants argued that Ready’s injuries were not a foreseeable result of the truck driver’s admittedly negligent conduct.
The court agreed, determining that the defendant’s negligence was too far removed in terms of both time and distance from Ready’s injuries. The court explained that as a general rule, motorists do owe a duty of care to other motorists with whom they share the road. However, there are limits to a driver’s liability. One such limit is that a driver is only held liable for injuries that are a foreseeable consequence of their negligent actions. If an event resulting in an injury is not foreseeable, such as the accident in this case, the defendant will not be held liable.
This case illustrates the importance of having dedicated and experienced personal injury counsel. To be sure, this case could have gone either way, and many courts would likely have found that a truck driver’s negligent conduct in causing an accident could foreseeably result in a chain-reaction accident injuring third parties.
Have You Been Injured in a Chain-Reaction Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. In the case of chain-reaction accidents, you will likely need to establish that the at-fault driver’s conduct foreseeably resulted in your injuries. A skilled personal injury attorney at the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers can help you understand what you will need to prove and how to proceed in seeking the compensation you deserve. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Plaintiff Alleging Shuttle Bus Injury Allowed to Proceed Toward Trial Against Owner Based on Actions of Third Parties, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published November 3, 2016.
Liability in Maryland Truck Accidents May Extend Beyond the Truck Driver, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 28, 2016.