Disputed Liability Case - $245,000.00
Both drivers were at a red light stopped alongside of each other waiting to make a left hand turn onto the entrance ramp to head northbound on Interstate 75 in Cobb County, Georgia. Plaintiff was in a car and defendant was driving a dully pickup truck with a long trailer hauling two vehicles to an auction facility. The light turned green wherein plaintiff and defendant, while still along side each other, commenced turning left when at the half way point of their turn, a collision occurred with the right side of plaintiff’s vehicle and the middle portion of the defendant’s trailer. Both drivers accused the other of failing to maintain their lane and no witnesses came forward. Without any witnesses, the investigating police officer could not determine fault and no traffic tickets were issued.
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant in Cobb County State Court alleging that the defendant was negligent and crossed over into her lane causing the collision. We at Falanga & Chalker hired a forensics expert who opined that due to the length of the trailer, the trailer came over into the plaintiff’s lane and struck her car and explained a phenomenon in the trucking business known as “Off-Tracking” which is taught in all trucking classes or trucking schools. Due to the length of the truck and trailer a wider arc of a turn is required to avoid off tracking to occur where the trailer back wheels do not follow the arc of the front tires on the truck resulting in the trailer crossing over into the lane occupied by the plaintiff. Falanga and Chalker also produced Georgia DOT records showing that the defendant company cared little about safety as exemplified by the many violations for which they had been cited by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Case settled at a mediation prior to trial.