Djuana L. Brown of Saint Louis, Missouri was injured in a Saint Charles County Missouri trucking accident when a tractor trailer ran a red light. The afternoon accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 94 and Port West Drive.
Ms. Brown, 38, attempted to make a left turn from Highway 94 onto Port West Drive in a 1996 Dodge Caravan. As Ms. Brown turned, truck driver Timothy W. Gihring of Granite City, Illinois ran a red light signal in a 2009 International truck. The front of the large truck crashed into the rear of Ms. Brown’s vehicle, causing a St. Charles County Missouri rear end truck accident.
The accident resulted in injuries for Ms. Brown. She was taken by the St. Charles County Ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Ms. Brown’s Dodge was totaled in the accident. The truck driver did not sustain any reported injuries in the accident. The tractor trailer only sustained minor damage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,500 large trucks are involved in fatal traffic accidents in a single year. 74% of large trucks involved in fatal crashes are combination trucks, such as 18 wheelers. Injuries in a multi-vehicle accident are often catastrophic, especially for the occupants of the non-truck vehicles. Truck accident victims may suffer from severe neck injuries, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones. The vehicles of the accident victims often sustain extensive or total damage. Most truck drivers are aware that Missouri truck accidents may cause life-altering consequences for accident victims. Most truck drivers avoid being negligent while operating large commercial motor vehicles. However, some truck drivers do not exercise due care to avoid an accident.
Missouri’s tort law allows truck accident victims to file suit against negligent truck drivers. Truck accident victims may recover three types of damage awards: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are designed to compensate the truck accident victims for any financial loss caused by the accident. Economic damage awards cover financial losses such as medical expenses related to the accident, loss of wages, vehicle damage, etc. Non-economic damage awards allow the accident victim to recover for the pain and suffering endured as a result of the accident, loss of consortium, etc. Economic and non-economic damage awards are called “compensatory” damages because their purpose is to compensate the accident victim for losses sustained as a result of the accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded by the court in certain cases in which defendants should be deterred from and punished for the conduct that caused the accident. For example, a jury may award the accident victim punitive damages if the truck driver’s conduct was grossly negligent. When truck drivers engage in negligent behavior like running red lights, texting while driving, or driving while intoxicated, they are risking being subject to punitive damages.
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