The driver of the 18-wheeler was unlicensed at the time of the accident and was cited for failing to yield the right of way to Mr. Gattis.
As a result of the accident, the driver of the 18-wheeler, their employer and their insurance company will likely be liable to the Gattis family, and Mr. Gattis’ Estate for his wrongful death. The 18-wheeler negligently pulled in front of the man in an attempt to cross onto Ashley Road which directly caused the accident resulting in Mr. Gattis’ death.
It is a horrible situation that is all too familiar in Kaufman county these days, with numerous accidents reported in the Kaufman county area over the last week involving 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles. Mr. Gattis was left without an option. The truck pulled in front of him. Just awful.
The 18-wheeler driver’s employer will be liable under the theory of respondeat superior, which makes employer’s vicariously liable for the actions of their employees that are done in the course and scope of their employment. Presumably, the driver was working for his employer’s benefit while driving the big rig.
The family, although in mourning, needs to get ahead of this as soon as possible. They need to begin collecting evidence and talking to witnesses who saw the incident. They also need to attempt to stop the destruction of the 18-wheeler’s “black box”, if it had one. The black box would tell us exactly what was going on with the truck (and inside the truck) right before the accident occurred, and much more.
Our advice to the family is that they should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and allow them to assert the rights of Mr.Gattis’ Estate and any claims the family has. The family only has two years to bring the case but it is imperative to start gathering evidence as soon as possible. Plain and simply, do not let the 18-wheeler driver, their employer and their insurer get away with this. Someone needs to pay.
For more information on the accident, please follow the story at inforney.com
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