Couple Awarded Millions in Distracted Driving Lawsuit

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and today on the blog, we take a look at another major lawsuit involving distracted driving.

Details about the Distracted Driving Lawsuit

On July 15, 2008 a trucking accident in Missouri happened that severely injured 53-year-old Mark Tiburzi. The accident also injured another 14 people and killed three others. The accident was caused by 49-year-old Jeffrey D. Knight, who then faced involuntary manslaughter charges in St. Louis County.

As a result of injuries sustained in the accident, Tiburzi was left permanently disabled, unable to walk or talk, and now requires constant nursing home care.

Prosecutors originally claimed that the driver of the vehicle got distracted while attempting to reach for his cellphone. Additionally, prosecutors also said that the driver of the truck was in violation of truck-driving regulations since he was driving longer than the maximum amount of hours that was allowed over an eight-day period at the time of the accident.

As a result of the lawsuit, Tiburzi was awarded $13.8 million and another $4.2 million to his wife. The judge found that Knight’s negligence was the cause of the accident, and awarded the damages against both the truck driver and the company the man was working for at the time: Holes Transport, Inc.

Details about Distracted Driving Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are thousands of wrongful deaths of people involved in distracted driving accidents every year in the United States:

  • In 2014, there were a total of 3,179 people who were killed in distracted driving accidents in the United States.
  • During the same year, there were an additional 431,000 people who were non-fatally injured in distracted driving accidents.
  • At any given daylight hour in the United States, there are approximately 660,000 drivers using their cellphones or other electronic device while driving.
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