Texas Court Affirms Take-Nothing Judgment Against Log Truck Driver Whose Cargo Uplifted an SUV – Leblanc v. Palmer

At their core, car wreck cases are usually negligence cases. To be successful in a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must show four things:  the defendant owed him or her a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the accident, and damages were incurred. If any of these four elements are missing, the plaintiff’s case must fail.

If all four elements are proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the case proceeds towards other issues, such as possible comparative fault on the plaintiff’s part or the amount of damages to which the plaintiff is entitled in order to compensate him or her for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering arising from the accident.

Facts of the Case

In the recent case of Leblanc v. Palmer, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas was called upon to decide whether a jury was in error in finding that neither the plaintiff nor the defendant proximately caused the collision that gave rise to the suit and whether the trial court should have granted the plaintiff a new trial on the issue of proximate cause.

The accident happened in 2010 as the plaintiff was traveling on State Highway 105 in Liberty County, Texas. As she approached an intersection, she pulled up alongside the defendant, who was driving a logging truck. As the defendant made his turn, logs from his truck crashed into the plaintiff’s SUV, breaking out of a window, lifting the vehicle, and then dropping it. The plaintiff eventually required surgery due to injuries sustained in the accident.

The jury returned a “take nothing” verdict, after which the plaintiff moved for a new trial. The trial court denied her motion, and she appealed.

The Court of Appeals’ Decision

The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order. The court noted that the parties gave conflicting accounts of how the accident occurred and reasoned that the jury evidently accepted the defendant’s version, under which the plaintiff allegedly said that she saw the defendant’s truck but decided to proceed through the intersection instead of waiting for him to turn because she thought she had left enough room between them to avoid a collision when the logging truck made its turn.

Since there was factual evidence sufficient to support the jury’s verdict to the effect that neither party was at fault, the plaintiff was not entitled to a new trial.

To Speak to an Experienced East Texas Car Wreck Lawyer

LIf you are suffering due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, call the Law Office of Earl Drott to discuss your case with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. You can schedule an appointment by phoning us at (903) 531-9300 and asking for a free initial consultation. Do not delay in speaking to an attorney about your car accident case, since there are strict deadlines for filing suit. We handle cases throughout East Texas, including in Tyler and the surrounding area.

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