Trucking Crash Prompts New Highway Safety Measures

- Joseph Condeni

A May car-truck collision that claimed the life of a Cleveland, Tennessee teenager has prompted a renewed focus on highway safety measures in Bradley County.

Earlier this year, Ashlyn Lamberth, an honors graduate, died after her vehicle collided with a logging truck. According to Tennessee authorities, the truck driver, Cody Judd, did not possess a valid commercial driver’s license at the time of the accident.

The accident prompted the Cleveland City Council to vote 7-0 to approve a number of safety upgrades at the site of the fatal crash, including reflective backplates and solar-powered warning signs – features that are currently absent from the intersection. The total cost for the project is estimated to be less than $10,000.

Parents of the crash victim were present at a recent kickoff event supporting the highway safety initiative. Bradley County Sherriff’s representatives have indicated that the parents fully support and endorse the creation of enhanced safety guidelines.

Trucking Accidents: Determining Causes & Liability

Trucking accidents are not your average road accidents. Not only are the vehicles in question significantly larger and capable of great damage, but there are often more complicated nuances, such as the drivers and companies involved. In trucking accidents, it’s not just about the driver – dispatchers, loaders, the trucking company itself and potentially manufacturers of the vehicle must be considered as well.

The frequency of trucking colissions causing injury and death has been increasing. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2012, 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 5-percent increase from 2011 and the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 22 percent.  When these types of collisions occur, the first thought is often pinpointing responsibility – who or what caused your accident and injury?

There are a number of parties that may be responsible for personal injuries or loss of life sustained in trucking accidents. They include:

  • The owner of the truck and/or trailer
  • The truck driver
  • The dispatcher
  • The person or business that leased the truck from the owner
  • The shipper or loading company for the truck’s cargo (particularly when improper loading is a factor)
  • The person or business that provided maintenance for the vehicle’s brakes, tires, or other parts
  • The manufacturers and distributers of defective parts used on trucks and trailers

Trucking or leasing companies will often attempt avoid liability for trucking accidents by creating a sizable distance between the driver, their vehicle, and the hauled equipment. It is also common for trucking companies and their insurance carriers to shift blame to the injured person in order to avoid liability.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, who can assist with pursuing damages against the at-fault party.

In Cleveland, Lorain, Medina and Akron, Ohio, the personal injury attorneys at Condeni Law LLC are prepared to be a voice for the injured. We understand that recovering from serious personal injury is never easy, and we are prepared to advocate for a full and fair settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. Our team’s skill and expertise are unparalleled, so much so that we have achieved the AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a recognition given to the best  U.S. attorneys and law firms.

We are happy to offer the convenience of a free preliminary consultation. Give us a call at (216) 771-1760 to discuss your case.