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Texas Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Trucking Company


The family of a deceased Texas man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a trucking company, claiming that a truck driver working for the company negligently backed up a truck and flatbed trailer across a lane of oncoming traffic at night, causing a fatal collision. The complaint was filed by Karen Smith, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Dennis Wayne Smith, Jason Smith and Justin Smith, against Michels Corp. on February 28, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas. If you have suffered injuries in a Texas trucking accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal collision with a commercial truck, contact our reputable 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Bandas Law Firm as soon as possible. You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person or party found at-fault in the accident, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your losses.


The fatal traffic accident took place on the evening of November 20, 2012, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 67 and County Road 2080 in Franklin County, Texas. According to the complaint, Michels Corp. employee James Larry Peace was operating a commercial truck and carrying a flatbed trailer when he missed his turn into the Michel’s yard on Highway 67. Peace allegedly traveled about a half-mile further north and then began to back the trailer onto County Rd. 2080, across an oncoming lane of traffic on Highway 67, in an attempt to turn around and travel back to the Michel’s yard. At the same time, Dennis Smith was traveling south on Highway 67, and ended up colliding with the trailer that was blocking Smith’s lane of travel. He died as a result of significant injuries sustained in the trucking accident.


The wrongful death lawsuit claims that, because the trucking accident occurred at night and because the truck was sitting in a normal position in or near its proper lane with its headlights facing Smith, the trailer was difficult to see from Smith’s direction of travel. The Texas Department of Public Safety found that “contributing factors” caused the tragic trucking accident, indicating that Peace “backed without safety” and exhibited “driver inattention” leading up to the collision. Peace was charged with criminally negligent homicide for his part in Dennis Smith’s unnecessary death, and the trucking company now faces accusations of negligence, negligence per se and negligence proximate causation in the wrongful death suit. Karen Smith is seeking an award of damages for physical pain; mental anguish; loss of consortium; bereavement; grief; loss of future financial contributions; loss of advice, care and counsel; and medical, funeral and burial expenses.


With more and more commercial trucks making an appearance in the state, Texas roadways are becoming increasingly dangerous for occupants of passenger cars, who are most at risk of injury or death in the event of a collision. Due to their sheer size and weight, truck drivers are rarely the ones who suffer the consequences of a trucking accident, even if it was their alleged negligence that caused the collision to occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Corpus Christi, or elsewhere in Texas, contact our knowledgeable lawyers at Bandas Law Firm for legal help. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses, which you can pursue by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company found at-fault in the collision.