Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 18, 2020

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A Kansas jury awarded a record $23.5 million in a lawsuit involving a 2006 accident between two tractor-trailers that occurred in New Mexico. One person died and another suffered a severe spinal cord injury.

Kansas Wrongful Death & Personal Injury

According to news reports, the accident involved two tractor trailers. The first was a Swift Transportation truck driven by Robyn Getchel. The second was a Yellow Freight truck driven by Dennis Bottorff and which Terry Frederick was a passenger. The Swift truck was attempting to leave a rest stop in Tucumcari, New Mexico around 1:30 am on March 16, 2006. While doing so, it backed onto the highway and hit the Yellow Freight truck killing the driver and causing the passenger, Terry Frederick, to suffer severe spinal cord injuries and incur medical expenses of over $5 million.

Frederick and his wife, Donna, sued Swift Transportation and its driver. During discovery, it was learned that the Swift driver tested positive for methamphetamines. A Kansas jury awarded Frederick $23.5 million for the injuries he sustained, but the judge later reduced that amount to $15.3 million because he found that the driver of the Swift truck was only 65 percent at fault.

The family of the Yellow Freight driver killed in the accident has sued Swift and its driver for wrongful death and is currently awaiting its trial. Ironically, Swift has defended other lawsuits involving its drivers in the past. An Arizona jury recently awarded the family of a man killed by a Swift truck $36.5 million.

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The Importance of Hiring the Right Attorney

This case shows the importance of having the right attorney represent your interests. Although the Yellow Freight truck was found to be partially responsible for the accident, Frederick’s attorney was still able to convince a jury that the Swift truck was mostly responsible and get his previous medical bills paid, his future medical bills covered and provide compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.

If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced Kansas car accident lawyer to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations with an attorney are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.