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Thread: A practical lesson

  1. #1
    mrblanche
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    A practical lesson

    My wife (Dottie) works as a truck instructor for a large trucking company. They operate a school not far from us, and she loves teaching. It's what she always wanted to do.

    After the students go through the school, they spend some weeks with a couple of trainers, then are sent out on their own with their own truck. From the time they leave the school, the school is "charged" for any accidents the students have for the next six months. That is, the accidents go against their record and affect bonuses, etc.

    One of Dottie's students holds the record for the largest potential charge, ever. He was in a rural section of a northern state, got lost, and did a U-turn (prohibited by the company, by the way). After the car hit him, he panicked and drove off, hiding on a back road. The company located him with his satellite tracker and directed authorities to him.

    The driver in the car was killed. He was a well-liked local teacher. The company set aside reserves of nearly $1,000,000. The student was in jail. It looked to be really messy.

    Then, the company's investigators got to work. More and more companies, rather than rolling over for such claims, are fighting them. This didn't look like it had a good chance, but they wanted to at least reduce their exposure.

    First, they found that several other cars ahead of the teacher had safely gone around the slow-moving truck doing a u-turn, which showed that he hadn't even blocked the whole road.

    Then, the teacher's cell phone records showed that he had been talking on his cell phone up to the moment of impact.

    When it was all said and done, the student's lawyers plead him down and got him released, and the teacher's family got only about 1/10 of what the company thought they were initially going to have to pay.

    What do you think of all that?

  2. #2
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: A practical lesson

    Another cellphone-induced death. Good work by the investigators.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: A practical lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    My wife (Dottie) works as a truck instructor for a large trucking company. They operate a school not far from us, and she loves teaching. It's what she always wanted to do.

    After the students go through the school, they spend some weeks with a couple of trainers, then are sent out on their own with their own truck. From the time they leave the school, the school is "charged" for any accidents the students have for the next six months. That is, the accidents go against their record and affect bonuses, etc.

    One of Dottie's students holds the record for the largest potential charge, ever. He was in a rural section of a northern state, got lost, and did a U-turn (prohibited by the company, by the way). After the car hit him, he panicked and drove off, hiding on a back road. The company located him with his satellite tracker and directed authorities to him.

    The driver in the car was killed. He was a well-liked local teacher. The company set aside reserves of nearly $1,000,000. The student was in jail. It looked to be really messy.

    Then, the company's investigators got to work. More and more companies, rather than rolling over for such claims, are fighting them. This didn't look like it had a good chance, but they wanted to at least reduce their exposure.

    First, they found that several other cars ahead of the teacher had safely gone around the slow-moving truck doing a u-turn, which showed that he hadn't even blocked the whole road.

    Then, the teacher's cell phone records showed that he had been talking on his cell phone up to the moment of impact.

    When it was all said and done, the student's lawyers plead him down and got him released, and the teacher's family got only about 1/10 of what the company thought they were initially going to have to pay.

    What do you think of all that?
    It sounds to me like one of those "accidents" that can be attributed more to inattentive and sloppy driving rather than outright/willful negligent or reckless driving, etc. Both drivers were at fault, in the sense that they made errors of judgment or just weren't paying enough attention. But I can't say either was doing anything especially egregious. It just happened that two relatively minor mistakes combined at just the wrong moment to create an awful tragedy.

    Seems to me the right call was made....

  4. #4
    MikeHalloran
    Guest

    Re: A practical lesson

    Too bad for everyone.

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