Columbia, Missouri – Almost 7 years after a semitrailer crashed into a car driven by Steven Hartzler and his wife Wanda Hartzler, the couple was awarded $545000 on Thursday following their victory in a personal injury lawsuit.
A jury in Boone County ruled that the employer of the truck driver – Big K Enterprises based in Columbia – was legally responsible for the 2007 July accident which took place on Interstate highway 70 (I-70) that caused the couple with severe long-term injuries, according to the attorney represented the plaintiffs. The attorney said the injuries caused the couple to loss their earning capacity.
The plaintiffs were driving eastbound on I-70 when remains in the highway forced the entire traffic to slow down close to the Centralia exit, the crash report given by the State Hwy Patrol (Missouri) says. Then the truck at issue rear-ended the plaintiffs’ car – a Hyundai Sonata they had hired – at nearly 50 miles per hour.
The truck’s driver did not sustain any injuries, the accident report says. However, the crash aggravated pre-existing back and neck conditions of Wanda Hartzler. Steven contracted post-traumatic stress disorder, the couple’s attorney said. The couple had worked as truck drivers prior to the accident. However, both of them became unable to do any job due to the injuries they sustained in the crash, according to the attorney.
The reason why Steven Hartzler could not come back to work following the crash was that he always feels he hadn’t emotionally recovered, the plaintiffs say. Steven’s employer asked him several times to return, but he could not as he felt he hadn’t sufficiently recovered, according to the attorney.
The jury said Steven Hartzler took the correct decision. Had Steven forced himself to go back to the job, he posed a great risk not only to himself, but to the other people as well, the jury said.
Steven Hartzler was awarded $365,000 by the court and Wanda Hartzler was awarded $180000, the press release from the plaintiff’s attorney indicates.
Truck accidents often results in severe or deadly injuries. The victims or their loved ones can seek damages by filing a lawsuit through an experienced attorney. Truck accident lawsuits are very complex as they generally involve a number of layers of proof, contributing factors and legal standards. Finding out the causation and fault in truck crash cases requires an in-depth investigation. Therefore, it is vital to choose a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced attorney.