Donald Leslie Truesdail: Let’s NOT All "Jump" To Conclusions

Posted on January 16, 2009 by bermanstaff

By: William M. Berman, Managing Attorney

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – On January 15, 2009, it was reported by the San Diego Union Tribune that 34-year-old Donald Leslie Truesdail, an Ocean Beach resident and local teacher, was killed on Interstate 5 in the Barrio Logan area when he "jumped" into traffic in front of another vehicle. Early reports of the fatality accident sounded as if the incident was a successful suicide attempt. But this may not be the case.

There are now serious doubts that the death of Mr. Truesdail was an intentional suicide. Contrary to early reports, new facts surrounding the incident are surfacing that show an apparent problem existed minutes before the impact occurred. These newly learned facts, such as body damage to Mr. Truesdail’s vehicle, show that Mr. Truesdail may not have intentionally pulled off to the side of the freeway in a suicide attempt but rather only after being hit by another vehicle. These new facts suggest that Mr. Truesdail may have been abandoned on the side of the freeway after being hit by another vehicle, and was then later struck and killed while attempting to flag down another driver to gain assistance. The investigation is ongoing.

Very frequently, early media reports of fatality accidents are inaccurate. This is because such reports are extremely limited in information.  In circumstances where there are not many witnesses, the real facts surrounding how the events unfolded are limited.  The decedent’s perspective can not be told through words, but rather only after a most thorough forensic investigation conducted by skilled accident reconstruction experts and other scene investigators. Oftentimes, such investigations take weeks to complete, or even months.

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, understand the critical importance of conducting a prompt and thorough forensic investigation to determine the real facts surrounding the cause of a fatality auto accident. Such investigation, best when completed as close in time to the incident as possible, can yield incredible evidence which can help to shape an entire legal case. The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, have in fact retained and worked with many prominent accident reconstruction experts to investigate and recreate how a fatality incident really occurred, which in many case have shown far different account of what truly occurred than what the news media reports or even what the local investigating authorities had concluded in their reports. Such forensic-legal work as undertaken by Berman & Riedel, LLP, has helped to build successful wrongful death cases for the families of those killed in an auto accident or other type of fatality incident.

If you or a loved one suffer an injury or loss due to the negligence of another, feel free to contact an attorney at Berman & Riedel, LLP. Berman & Riedel, LLP, is a California based plaintiffs’ civil litigation firm which focuses its practice in handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters including claims caused by drivers/operators of automobiles and other commercial transport vehicles, including commercial trucks, buses, trains and planes, and can be reached by calling (858) 350-8855.

William M. Berman is the Founding and Managing Partner of Berman & Riedel, LLP, a San Diego, California, based plaintiffs’ civil litigation firm which focuses its practice in handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters caused through the negligent or wrongful acts of others.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others. Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.
View full biography

5 Star Rated Injury Lawyers In California

Bringing our injured clients unparalleled success
Settlement Won
Serious Personal Injury
Settlement Won
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Trial verdict
Automobile Accident
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect
Settlement Won
Elder Neglect


Speak Directly With A Partner Now.

  • NOTE: All Fields Required

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Real Injuries. Real Testimonials

Watch What Our Clients Have To Say

Elder Neglect by Healthcare Corporation
Jean’s mother was a victim of neglect while at a skilled nursing facility, resulting in surgery that she did not survive. Berman was there to listen and provide support that the client needed.
Wrongful Death at a California Nursing Home
Michele’s mother suffered a wrongful death at a California nursing home. William M. Berman and the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP helped litigate the case with successful results.
Wrongful Death Legal Services
Ginny suffered a family loss, and Berman lawyers handled her legal needs with compassion and reassurance, allowing her to feel safe and at-ease through the entire process.
Serious Injury at Skilled Nursing Facility
Ira’s wife suffered a traumatic brain injury due to negligence at a skilled nursing facility, and our team of attorneys worked hard to ensure that Ira’s wife and his family received the compensation that they rightfully deserved.
See more client testimonials
Blog, Insights & News

In The News

June 15, 2023

Nursing Home Elopement – Dementia Wandering Behavior & Nursing Home Negligence

Elopement is one of many risks to older adults with dementia. Even in the early stages of dementia, wandering behavior can be dangerous as seniors […] Read More
February 15, 2023

Medication Errors in Nursing Homes – A Common and Dangerous Form of Nursing Home Negligence

Most nursing home residents rely on a careful treatment regimen and medication to maintain their health and quality of life. When nursing homes, physicians, nurses, […] Read More
January 15, 2023

Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head? – Dispelling Common Concussion Myths

A concussion is a type of brain injury that’s common in all types of accidents, from car accidents to falls. Unfortunately, many concussions are not […] Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

  • Your total financial or economic damages
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The vast majority of cases are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement outside of court. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, but it is more likely if the facts in your case are in dispute, a legal issue is being contested, or you have a high-value case.

An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

Do You Accept Cases Outside of San Diego?

While our law office is located in San Diego, Berman & Riedel, LLP, accepts cases throughout the state of California.


Speak Directly With A Partner Now.

  • NOTE: All Fields Required

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Us
Free Consultation
To Top