Sometimes a tractor trailer driver really is an innocent Good Samaritan. In Reid v. Midwest Transp., Case # A04A1821, decided by the Georgia Court of Appeals on 11/19/04, a tractor trailer driver had pulled entirely off the roadway in an emergency lane on I-20, activated flashing lights, and ran into a ravine to render aid to victims of a five-car crash. The plaintiff came up behind the trailer in the rain and mist and struck it. Summary judgment was granted to the trucking company.
The court decision, however, omitted any discussion of requirements of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, expert testimony about requirements of the FMCSR to set out flares or reflective triangles, or conspicuity requirements for trailers. We do not know whether the plaintiff raised any such issues in the case. However, if the trailer failed to comply with conspicuity regulations or underride guard regulations, careful preparation might have produced a different result with regard to the carrier’s independent negligence, even if the driver was protected by the Good Samaritan statute.
Ken Shigley represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia (2011-12), a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks). He and Sally have been married since 1983, and are the proud parnts of two young adults, Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr.