truck accidents

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in motor vehicle accident on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

Drivers in Ohio may be interested in a new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The study, which measured motor vehicle accident data from 2002 to 2010, found that efforts to reduce the number of deaths in crashes between cars and pickups have been unsuccessful. Fatalities in cars hit by pickups actually increased by 5% in that time period.

The fatalities may be caused by the height mismatch between cars and trucks. NHTSA has new technology that measures whether the forces from trucks strike higher than prescribed in routine crash tests.

Although many automakers have voluntarily agreed to address the height mismatch, none is required to prove compliance. Previous efforts by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to lobby for a federal rule adopting the car-truck crash standard were also unsuccessful. The chairman of that committee believes a uniform test would ensure automakers are all complying in the same way.

No matter how serious your injury or property damage, and regardless of fault in your case, your claim for recovery may be met with resistance, or you may be offered an unreasonably low settlement amount. Therefore, if you have sustained serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident, don’t delay in consulting with an attorney that can review your case and advise you of the evidence you will need to prove your claim.

An attorney can work with accident reconstruction specialists, independent investigators, medical experts and economic experts to establish the true value of your case and determine which parties may have been at fault in the crash. An attorney can also help you determine whether a motor vehicle design flaw may have contributed to your injuries. In such event, the manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer of a defective product may also be liable for damages.

Source: USA Today, “Cars and SUVs less mismatched in crashes; pickups lag,” Jayne O’Donnell, June 21, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck accidents on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

Drivers in Cleveland are familiar with Dead Man’s Curve — the dangerous stretch of Interstate 90 that, since 2009, has seen 63 accidents involving large commercial vehicles. The latest of those crashes occurred on July 17, when a tractor-trailer hauling a load of metal coils failed to slow down enough to make it around the curve intact.

The truck’s heavy cargo spilled onto the freeway, and an SUV trying to avoid the situation flipped over. According the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the 63 wrecks involving semi-trucks have resulted in injuries at least 24 times, and people have long wondered whether the design of the road itself is partly to blame.

Improper lane changes, failure to slow down, following too closely — these are the typical reasons listed for many of the accidents on Dead Man’s Curve. The road was designed in 1955, and the speed-capability of today’s vehicles, large and small, may make the curve especially dangerous. Nevertheless, drivers in Ohio — and especially drivers of large trucks — have a legal obligation to exercise due caution.

That means responding to signs indicating a curve in the road. Too often, a failure to slow down in such situations results in serious accidents, and drivers who make that mistake can be held liable for injuries.

As for Dead Man’s Curve, the press secretary for the Ohio Department of Transportation had this to say: “Would we build a road like that today? No. That design is no longer even valid.” Such a statement more or less admits to the inherent lack of safety on that stretch of freeway, but until the state finds the money to straighten out Dead Man’s Curve, Ohio motorists are well advised to take it slowly.

Source: The Plain Dealer, “Cleveland’s Dead Man’s Curve not going to stop tipping trucks anytime soon (23-photo gallery),” Aaron Marshall, July 22, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck accidents on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

Drivers of large trucks must be exceptionally careful and watch for smaller vehicles on the roads and highways of Ohio, especially in inclement weather. Right-of-way laws exist to ensure that motorists avoid dangerous collisions. When these laws are violated, truck accidents are likely to occur.

On Aug. 9, an Ohio woman was injured when her vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer entering traffic. Police at the scene say the accident occurred because the tractor-trailer driver failed to yield. The truck was not towing a trailer at the time of the collision, and the impact of the crash sent the larger vehicle into a nearby telephone pole.

The occupants of the tractor-trailer were unharmed in the collision. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has already made a preliminary report, and the facts of the case weigh heavily against the driver of the truck. That means the injured woman would likely have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim for damages caused by the negligence of the truck driver.

Many victims of auto accidents feel overwhelmed in the aftermath of a crash, and they may quickly accept the first offer from an insurance company and try to put the whole incident behind them. But that is rarely the best option.

Truck accidents in particular can create a mass of confusion and take a heavy emotional toll on everyone involved, even those who are uninjured. Ohio residents who are confronting this kind of situation should be fully aware of their rights under our state’s personal injury laws.

Source: The Lima News, “Woman injured in two-vehicle crash in Allen County’s Marion Township,” Aug. 9, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in wrongful death on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

While bicycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to driving, bicyclists are left vulnerable to injuries when vehicles are unable to share the road. A recent accident in Obetz between the driver of a pickup truck and a bicyclist demonstrates how such collisions can be fatal. While police hope that more details will come from the incident, it is possible that the bicyclist has been the victim of wrongful death.

A 42-year-old man used his bike as his only means of transportation and was heading south on Obetz-Reese Road around 2:40 a.m. on Dec. 30. The pickup truck was traveling in the same southbound direction when a collision occurred. While the driver of the truck did not sustain any injuries, the bicyclist died at a local hospital.

According to law enforcement, alcohol may have contributed to the crash. An investigation is pending to disclose further details. Friends honored the bicyclist after his death, and they said he was vigilant about having the proper clothing and equipment when riding his bike on roads.

While the man’s family will be consumed dealing with his death, they should be cognizant of the legal rights associated with wrongful death incidents. Although no lawsuit can bring someone back to life, the court of law may be able to afford appropriate compensation for those affected by a tragic fatal accident.

Source: nbc4i.com, “Bicyclist Dies After Crash With Pick-Up Truck,” L.P. Evans, Dec. 30, 2012

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck accidents on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.

Traffic accidents often have devastating outcomes, particularly when larger vehicles are involved. Trucks and tractor-trailers may be carrying unsecured cargo or the driver may be distracted, impaired or driving recklessly. Sometimes the issue is truck driver fatigue. Regardless of how or why a truck accident happens, victims need to know their legal rights.

One victim has died following a truck and tractor-trailer collision. Ohio state troopers say the accident happened at the intersection of state routes 171 and 9 in Carroll County just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 12. Authorities say the victim was a 79-year-old woman from Amsterdam, Ohio.

According to police, the woman was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by a 76-year-old man from the town of Bergholz. Officers say the truck driver, who was headed west, drove through a stop sign and into the path of the big rig, which was heading south. The victim was ejected from the pickup truck and taken to a hospital where she died. Police say she was not wearing a seat belt, but the driver of the truck and the 29-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer were wearing safety belts. Neither driver needed medical treatment.

Those involved in a truck crash may have serious injuries and need immediate and long-term medical care that can be expensive. They may also see their bank accounts dwindle as they miss work because of their injuries. Learning how the law views accident victims, liability and compensation can help protect the rights of those who are injured.

Source: Timesreporter.com, “Carroll County woman killed in crash,” Jan. 13, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in motor vehicle accident on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

When loved ones are injured in a car accident, it is always a stressful, difficult situation to deal with. In the case of truck accidents, the damage that is sustained can be especially devastating. A recent example of this occurred in Ohio, when a rental truck and semi-truck were involved in a crash on Route 7 in Ohio, injuring a 10-year-old girl.

The cause of the truck accident is still under investigation, but what is known is that the young girl was trapped between her seat and the dash of the rental truck. She suffered two broken legs, a fractured eye socket, a broken nose and bruising. Police report conflicting accounts of how the accident occurred. The driver of the semi-truck claims that the rental truck hit him when he slowed for a red light, but the driver of a vehicle following the rental truck indicated that the semi-truck erratically shifted back and forth between the right and left lanes and then abruptly stopped.

The injured girl is in intensive care but expected to completely recover from her injuries. While the cause of the accident is still being investigated, the victim and her family should familiarize themselves with their rights by contacting a personal injury attorney, as the girl did sustain serious injuries during the crash, and the family may be able to claim some form of compensation.

Victims involved in similar truck accidents should learn what their rights are. If someone has been hit by a distracted truck driver, the trucking company may be liable to the injured parties. . Victims could be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, disability and any other costs associated with the damage caused by the truck crash.

Source: wtrf.com, “Update: 10-Year-Old Girl in Route 7 Crash Expected to Fully Recover,” Feb. 21, 2013

Tags: motor vehicle accident, personal injury, truck accidents

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

It is hardly an unusual sight for any motorist in the country, and certainly in Ohio, to see one or more commercial trucks on the roadway on any given day emblazoned with Wal-Mart’s written design and logo. The company is virtually unparalleled in the size and reach of its national distribution centers.

That scope of business activity — most specifically, the huge logistical task of transporting goods across all American states — centrally requires truck drivers, and lots of them.

In fact, Wal-Mart employs more than 7,000 drivers, with the company having high expectations of those professionals at the hiring stage and during their working careers. The company’s working truckers have a high hurdle to clear when seeking employment with Wal-Mart; a single moving violation will remove a job candidate from consideration, and each would-be employee must have a work history devoid of any truck accident within the past 250,000 miles driven.

A few drivers who clock accident-free miles year after year for Wal-Mart enter its pantheon of stars, being recognized for sterling driving records highlighted by millions of miles of no-accident driving.

Among those selected designees, the name Warren Greeno has most prominently emerged, with Greeno being recently spotlighted by Wal-Mart executives as the first company driver to ever log four million dent-free miles while hauling company goods.

To put that accomplishment into perspective, it can be simply noted that Greeno has averaged about 500 miles each working day of his 31-year career.

Greeno is far from a self-proclaimer concerning his feat. In fact, he says that on a few harrowing occasions he “was just waiting for the thump and the crash, but it never happened.”

If you see Greeno on the highway, you’ll know it. Wal-Mart has given him a new custom tractor trailer, with his name and driving accomplishment noted in writing on the rig.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Wal-Mart driver at 4M accident-free miles,” Kelly P. Kissel, Sept. 24, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Here’s the scenario that traffic safety officials in Ohio and elsewhere across the country most definitely do not want to see: a large truck driving on a roadway or interstate during daylight hours in the rain while speeding.

Those combined factors comprise a near perfect storm of danger-enhancing elements that heighten the chance of a truck accident.

And what is perhaps most noteworthy statistically, in crash outcomes involving large trucks, is that it is occupants of other passenger vehicles who are most often fatally or seriously injured in collisions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released a wealth of crash-related information regarding the nation’s largest commercial trucks — those weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Those roadway behemoths can unsurprisingly unleash lethal consequences in accidents involving other vehicles, and what the FMCSA finds troubling is a short-term trend showing that fatal crashes involving large trucks are on the rise.

Data from 2011 indicate that 3,757 people died in such accidents that year, with approximately 80,000 others being injured. Big rig operators comprised only 14 percent of the fatalities, with the remainder being drivers and other occupants of passenger vehicles involved in collisions with commercial trucks.

Although obviously being discouraged by the uptick in crashes over preceding years, FMCSA officials also express optimism over a long-term trend clearly revealing that fatal accidents involving large trucks are on the wane. They hope that the recent rise in crashes is merely an anomaly.

The crash data reveal that, overall, commercial truck drivers seem to be more conscientious motorists than drivers and their occupants in passenger vehicles. Truckers, for example, are shown to be more likely to wear seat belts in fatal crashes. Moreover, close to 90 percent of head-on collisions studied by the FMCSA were caused by drivers of passenger vehicles.

Source: Transport Topics, “Trucks involved in fatal crashes rise 3% in 2011, FMCSA says,” Scott Gutierrez, Nov. 1, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Here’s the scenario that traffic safety officials in Ohio and elsewhere across the country most definitely do not want to see: a large truck driving on a roadway or interstate during daylight hours in the rain while speeding.

Those combined factors comprise a near perfect storm of danger-enhancing elements that heighten the chance of a truck accident.

And what is perhaps most noteworthy statistically, in crash outcomes involving large trucks, is that it is occupants of other passenger vehicles who are most often fatally or seriously injured in collisions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released a wealth of crash-related information regarding the nation’s largest commercial trucks — those weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Those roadway behemoths can unsurprisingly unleash lethal consequences in accidents involving other vehicles, and what the FMCSA finds troubling is a short-term trend showing that fatal crashes involving large trucks are on the rise.

Data from 2011 indicate that 3,757 people died in such accidents that year, with approximately 80,000 others being injured. Big rig operators comprised only 14 percent of the fatalities, with the remainder being drivers and other occupants of passenger vehicles involved in collisions with commercial trucks.

Although obviously being discouraged by the uptick in crashes over preceding years, FMCSA officials also express optimism over a long-term trend clearly revealing that fatal accidents involving large trucks are on the wane. They hope that the recent rise in crashes is merely an anomaly.

The crash data reveal that, overall, commercial truck drivers seem to be more conscientious motorists than drivers and their occupants in passenger vehicles. Truckers, for example, are shown to be more likely to wear seat belts in fatal crashes. Moreover, close to 90 percent of head-on collisions studied by the FMCSA were caused by drivers of passenger vehicles.

Source: Transport Topics, “Trucks involved in fatal crashes rise 3% in 2011, FMCSA says,” Scott Gutierrez, Nov. 1, 2013

On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Ohio is unquestionably one of the nation’s busiest states in terms of commercial goods being transported both within the state and to other points across the country.

Large commercial trucks are constantly moving material in all directions on crisscrossing interstates and freeways, with that heightened level of frenetic and non-stop transport entailing continuous safety risks.

Consider this: Statistics from federal safety agencies estimate that about 1,115 fatal truck accidents involving large carriers occur nationally each year on roads where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher. Such roads are mainstays in Ohio.

Coupled with that troubling statistic is this related information, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Excess speed was a factor in more than 280 fatal crashes that occurred in 2011 involving large commercial trucks.

There is currently an ongoing debate in the trucking industry as to how to best address and make inroads on the speed-as-a-factor problem in the commercial trucking industry. Both the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration favor placing speed limiting devices on large trucks, which regulators say will have a notable safety-enhancing effect on national roadways. That view is supported by the national advocacy group American Trucking Associations.

Not all truckers agree. Another lobbying group for commercial truckers — the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, which advocates primarily for smaller trucking enterprises — says that that emphasis on speed limiters is not well-considered, with an OOIDA official charging that it ignores “real-world impacts to safety.”

A chief complaint voiced by the OOIDA is that most fatal accidents involving large trucks do not occur on interstates and other major roadways, where vehicles move at relatively uniform speeds. Rather, they occur on roads where various types of vehicles are moving at differentiated speeds, which are often below the stated speeds for interstates and freeways.

As a result, emphasizing speed limiters does not address the fatal-crash problem in a truly meaningful way. What the OOIDA stresses, instead, is beefed-up training for entry-level truckers that is broad-based and that emphasizes knowledge about their vehicles and roadway safety.

Source: Land Line Magazine, “Feds pursuing speed limiters for heavy trucks lack real-world data,” David Tanner, Nov. 1, 2013