In the case of Lara v. US Xpress Enterprises, Inc., the law firm of Michael Cordova represented Adrian Lara’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against a national distribution company. Adrian Lara was killed when his vehicle was rear ended by a tractor-trailer belonging to US Xpress. The consequences of this accident, like most tractor-trailer accidents, were devastating.
Adrian’s family came to the Law Office of Michael Cordova seeking help and answers. On March 27, 2006 Adrian was a passenger of a Ford Truck traveling on Interstate 10 when this vehicle was read-ended by a Freightliner tractor/trailer owned and operated by US Xpress. Plaintiff’s legal team argued that this was a case of clear liability on the part of the tractor trailer. The Defendant argued otherwise.
The trucking company argued that they were not at fault. They made a series of arguments why they were not responsible. One of their reasons for denying liability was they claimed that the headlights in Adrian’s vehicle were not operational at the time of the accident, which is why the driver of the tractor trailer did not see Adrian’s vehicle. They also argued that the taillights were not illuminated on the vehicle that was being towed by the truck that Adrian was in. In fact, the police report indicated that independent eyewitnesses had seen Adrian’s truck driving without taillights. Finally, they argued that the truck was driving well below reasonable speed. Michael Cordova, P.C. assembled a team of experts and investigators to show that this was not the case.
Proving that truck’s headlights were operational at the time of the accident was no easy task as the truck was incinerated and there was very little left of it among the rubble. Through a series of forensic tests, the experts were able to determine that the lights were indeed operational at the time of the collision. Moreover, the tests the experts conducted showed that the low beams on the Adrian’s car illuminated the roadway for five-hundred feet, well enough to be seen at three o’clock in the morning.
Michael Cordova hired an expert to download the “black box” data that is recorded in the Electronic Control Module that is part of the engine in tractor trailers. This data showed that the truck driver did not brake prior to impacting Adrian’s truck.
Private investigators were hired for this case and they searched and located witnesses, who were able to impeach what the witnesses in the police report said. Furthermore, these investigators located a salvage certificate for the vehicle which proved that the brakes and taillights for the vehicle had in fact been operational just ten months before the accident.
It was very important to Adrian’s family and their attorneys that US Xpress was aware of how much Adrian’s death affected his family and how it had changed their lives forever. Adrian Flores was only twenty-two years old when he was killed in this terrible accident. Adrian came from a large family, and was just beginning to start his own. He is survived by his mother and father, nine brothers and sisters, as well as two young children. Serious personal injury and wrongful death can impact a family forever. The loss of loved-ones leaves a void that can never be completely filled. The survivors of a terrible accident must also deal with the loss of income and medical bills that are part of the situation.
The complaint was filed on November 9, 2007 in Maricopa County Superior Court, and it was settled soon after. In the end, the Law Offices of Michael Cordova, was able to reach a settlement with the defendant for $750,000.00 without having to take the case to trial.
Adrian was not married; otherwise the settlement would have been much higher. In a wrongful death case, 3 groups of family members, and only 3 groups, have the right to make claims. That includes legal married spouses, children and parents. Spouses’ claims, as a result of having lost their lifetime mate, are almost always the largest. Also because there can be the economic loss of the spouses lifetime income.
Tractor Trailer cases are much more complicated then your typical auto accident. There are Federal rules and regulations that drivers of tractor trailers and trucking companies must abide by, and attorneys must be aware of. In most cases the resulting collision is devastating and if there is any evidence left over it must be preserved before it is lost or destroyed. This is one of the many reasons an attorney must be contacted immediately.
At the Law Offices of Michael Cordova, our attorneys have worked hard to help clients who have sustained personal injury or wrongful death resulting from a tractor trailer accident. We have experience in dealing with the intricacies of a tractor trailer case. If you have suffered from a terrible accident, our skilled attorneys can recover compensation and protect your legal rights.
People who have suffered serious injury or the loss of a family member should contact us for a free personal consultation.
Law Offices of Michael Cordova
1700 N 7th St #1, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Hours: Mon - Thurs 8AM - 6PM; Fri 8AM - 5PM