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Jury Awards $5.1 Million Florida Truck Accident Verdict to Widower

David Falkenstein has been awarded $5.1 million for his wife’s Florida tractor-trailer accident death. David and Ingrid, 67, were riding in a Honda minivan in Palm Coast in 2006 when they were involved in a collision with a fully loaded large truck. Falkenstein’s pelvis was fractured during the Florida truck crash and Ingrid died instantly. The couple had just retired when the tragic traffic collision happened. The plaintiff accused, Christopher Angland, the truck driver, of running a stop sign. The trucker and McMaster Sod LLC, both defendants of the Florida wrongful death lawsuit, tried placing the blame on Flagler County by citing the failure to replace rumble strips and the poor signage on the road. The jury did not hold the Florida county liable for Ingrid’s wrongful death. It did, however, hold McMaster 40% liable and Angland 60% accountable. 2008 Large Truck Crash Statistics (NHTSA): • 269 fatal Florida truck accidents • 4,066 fatal US truck crashes • 66,000 US truck collisions resulting in injuries • 74% of the US truck crash fatalities were people who were riding in the other vehicles that were involved in the large trucks • 10% of the truck crash victims who died were not riding in any vehicle • 71% of people injured in US truck accidents were riding in the other vehicles involved • 3% of the truck crash injury victims were not riding in any vehicle when the accidents happened While in recent years there has been a decline in the number of truck accident injuries and deaths, truckers and trucking companies can still do a lot more to prevent catastrophic truck crashes from happening. While truck drivers aren’t always responsible for causing a truck collisions, truck driver error continues to be a leading cause of fatal accidents. More often than not, it is the people who weren't riding in the truck that sustain the worst injuries. Some common causes of truck accidents involving a negligent trucker: • Texting while driving • Drowsy driving • Driving while medicated • Speeding • Failure to obey traffic signs and/or traffic laws • Failure to properly maintain a truck • Violating the FMCSA's Hours of Service rule Flagler widower wins $5.1 million verdict in deadly truck wreck, Jacksonville.com, November 13, 2009 2008 Large Truck Facts, NHTSA (PDF) Related Web Resources: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Trucking Accidents Caused by Driver Error, Nolo

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