A Virginia federal judge decided to dismiss the appeal request of an owner who’s food truck had been poorly maintained and was involved in a crash that killed a mother, and seriously injured her mother and three children. In 2017, the food truck driver crashed into the car carrying Erin Kaplan, age 39, due to failing to repair defective brakes days prior to the collision. The food truck driver, Tony Dane, is serving 10 years for involuntary manslaughter, and claims that his rights to an effective lawyer and due process were not provided during his trial and earlier appeals.
In September 2017, Mr. Dane was driving an older 40-foot school bus that was converted into a food truck when the brakes failed and caused him to run through a stop sign at Evergreen Mills Roads and Watson Road in Ashburn, Virginia. Tony Dane later informed detectives of Loudoun County that his brakes were defective, and that he tried to repair them a few days before the crash. He claims that they were spongey, and just didn’t seem quite right. However, he continued to operate the vehicle. He was on his way to sell food at a nearby football stadium.
As a truck accident lawyer Virginia community members depend on from MartinWren, P.C. would agree with, authorities concluded that Dane should have attended to the brakes properly, and it was his negligence that caused the death of Erin Kaplan and injured her passenger family members. Upon further investigation, it was found that several other potentially influential hazards were present, including poor tire conditions, rust accumulation underneath the bus, and broken brake lights.
The federal judge who dismissed Tony’s appeal concluded that evidence establishes that his negligence showed a disregard for the safety of others, and it was his duty to attend to the brakes and other mechanical issues. If he had done his due diligence with food truck maintenance, then Mrs. Kaplan would still be with her family.
In cases like the one reviewed above, it is essential that victims have a legal team to investigate the accident further. While this is an example of an accident handled at the criminal level, such incidents can be processed at the civil level as well. Victims of truck accidents, or their surviving family members, may receive profound restitution through a civil lawsuit against the offending party. The foundation of every personal injury lawsuit is going to depend on evidence. The plaintiff must show that the defendant was at-fault, and that their injuries were a direct result of negligence or recklessness.
Without a committed legal team, critical evidence may remain hidden and can affect how much victims receive in compensation for how their lives were changed, or taken entirely. So if you, your family member, or someone else you cherish was recently the victim in a truck accident, then now is the time to get legal assistance.