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Mom awarded $27M over loss of daughter struck by tractor-trailer

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2019 | Truck Accidents |

A tractor-trailer struck a 22-year-old Georgia university student on a motorcycle who passed away from her injuries the next day while in the hospital. A jury awarded her mother $27 million for the loss of her daughter’s life and the suffering she endured after colliding with a commercial Freightliner, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

In the wrongful death lawsuit filed by her mother, the complaint claimed that there was nothing her daughter could have done to minimize or avoid the collision. Both drivers had a green light when they arrived at an intersection; the motorcyclist, however, had the right-of-way because she was headed straight. The truck driver, who was making a left turn across five lanes, had the responsibility to yield to the oncoming motorcyclist.

A witness who dialed 911 provided testimony stating that the motorcyclist pulled her bike into the left-hand lane as she neared the tractor-trailer. She then “popped up immediately from her crouch,” hit the brake and skid to the left. She may have avoided colliding with the truck by swerving to the left sooner, but she hit its tail end.

According to the National Safety Council, 14% of all traffic fatalities included motorcyclists during 2017, the same year that this tragic accident occurred. Law enforcement officials found that the motorcyclist was not speeding, and the coroner listed her official cause of death as “blunt-force trauma to the torso and extremities.”

The truck driver admitted that he was at fault as part of the defense team’s attempt to reduce the amount of damages. Although the lawsuit accused the driver of negligence, including allegations that he was driving too fast and distracted, his employer and its insurance company were liable for the $27 million awarded by the jury.