Driver who was injured when trucker loses wheel awarded $12.29M accident settlement

Gordon Burin, 51, was awarded a $12.29M injury accident settlement for an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and neck and back injuries. Burin’s medical expenses after the accident were $235,100.

Burin was driving on an interstate highway when a truck lost a wheel from its axle. Burin struck the wheel and the jolt caused him to hit his car’s ceiling. Burin underwent surgery for his back and neck injuries but the traumatic brain injury let him with diminished memory and cognitive abilities and caused a change in his personality. His brain injury left him unable to work as a commercial airline mechanic.

Vicarious Liability

Burin and his wife filed suit against the truck driver for negligence and also the owner of the truck alleging vicarious liability. Vicarious liability — respondeat superior — is a legal doctrine that holds a person or a company liable for the action of an employee in the course of their employment.

Lost Wheel Accidents

When a vehicle traveling at high speed loses a wheel, the results are often catastrophic. Sometimes a lost wheel will crash through a vehicle windshield. When the a lost wheel accident involves a commercial vehicle, authorities look at the trucking company’s safety and maintenance records to insure the vehicle passed appropriate inspections as wheels do not normally come off of vehicles.

In this case, the jury must have felt that the truck driver and truck driver were negligent in maintaining the truck in finding the defendants jointly and severally liable.

How a Trucking Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident involving a big rig or 18-wheeler, a Washington trucking accident can assist you. Semi truck accident claims are usually more complicated than an accident involving two passenger vehicles because of the multiple parties involved. Some truckers are independent contractors who drive their own rig or a rig they lease from another. Other truckers work for A knowledgeable trucking accident attorney will request the driver’s log, fuel receipts, drug testing and any black box data or evidence to use in your case.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks and the family of those killed.

Citation: Burin v. Hall, No. 37-2010-00050685-CU-PA-NC (Cal., San Diego Co. Super. Aug. 5, 2011).