It’s a horrible—but common—story about a truck crash.
A tractor-trailer transporting goods for Walmart rear-ended a limo bus on a highway.
Law enforcement’s investigation shows that the truck driver had not slept for 24 hours prior to the crash, and that he failed to pay proper attention as he approached stopped traffic.
One passenger was killed and several others were seriously injured in the truck crash, including comedian Tracy Morgan. A lawsuit was filed for the victims’ damages.
This week, Walmart’s attorneys filed the defense response to the suit: blaming the victims, claiming that the severity of the injuries was due to passengers failures to wear safety belts.
Any attorney who’s worked on trucking and auto accident cases has seen this defense tactic. It’s a big mistake in this case.
The Walmart truck was going 65 mph …
If you have been lucky enough to avoid seeing a crash at this speed, you can’t imagine the damage that it does.
Here’s how this works in a trucking case:
1. Walmart has to prove that a safety belt would have prevented the injuries and death, which would put some fault on the victims.
2. To do that, Walmart has to hire an expert truck accident reconstructionist.
3. The accident reconstructionist would have to defy common sense and physics, and prove that a belt can save you when an 80,000 truck rear-ends you at 65 mph.
… Which is 20 mph over the speed limit
Walmart’s defense team must also show that the driver’s speed was not a factor.
Their defense states the injuries and death were totally or in part caused by the victims themselves: therefore, it doesn’t matter that the driver is speeding.
Aside from the truck’s speed, it was a rear-end collision on a highway: that usually only happens when a driver falls asleep.
We can see you, Walmart.
Walmart is fighting an uphill battle.
Instead of doing the right thing, accepting responsibility for the actions of its truck driver and settling this case, Walmart attorneys are going to drag the injured victims and the family of the deceased through a long, painful court battle.
And they’re doing it publicly.
Does Walmart think we can’t see them?
Or do they just not care?