Four years ago, a big-rig trucker parked his 18-wheeler in an emergency lane on a southern California highway. A driver in an SUV crashed into the truck, killing three people. Though the accident took place years ago, the case is only making its way through the courts now.

At trial, the plaintiff alleged that the trucker was not permitted to pull over into an emergency lane for a sleep break, as the lanes are designated only for use in emergency situations. Additionally, he failed to set up any flares or other emergency reflectors to outline the presence of the semi.

The defendant’s attorney claimed that the trucker had pulled over to take medication for a severe headache, which qualified as an emergency.

The jury did not agree with the defendant’s reasoning and handed down a $150 million award for the 13-year-old plaintiff and her brother. Their entire family died in the fire that engulfed the SUV after it hit the parked truck.

Collisions with tractor-trailers often end in tragedy. If you have been involved in a wreck with a semi, do not wait to contact a trucking personal injury lawyer. The scene of the accident needs to be secured immediately to preserve evidence.