2021: The Law Firm for Truck Safety’s Year in Numbers
From our office expansion into two new states to helping clients across the country claim over $33 million, 2021 was a year of many outstanding wins and firsts for the TLFTS team. While we know success isn’t always measured numerically, these are the numbers that added up to a successful 2021 for the Law Firm for Truck Safety team.
Matthew is board certified in truck accident law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). He currently serves as an executive officer of the American Association for Justice’s Trucking Litigation Group and is a Board of Regent for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.
More about Matthew
Joe is board-certified in truck accident law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and holds a Class “A” commercial driver’s license with endorsements for double/triple trailers, and tankers. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, demonstrating the highest legal ability and ethical standards. Joe also serves as a Board of Regent for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.
Joe joining the team brings our number of trucking attorneys who hold Class “A” commercial licenses to five.
The lawyers at The Law Firm for Truck Safety achieved over Thirty-Three Million Dollars ($33,000,000.00) in combined verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients residing throughout the country (Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana, and North Dakota). The $33 million benchmark was made, despite delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the civil court system.
1 Federal Appointment
U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Cho, appointed Andy Young as the first-ever plaintiff’s trial attorney to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC).
It is an honor to have a Law Firm for Truck Safety attorney join such an esteemed group of industry, safety, labor, and enforcement professionals who provide advice and recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator on motor carrier safety programs and regulations.
Several portions of the Stop Underrides Act were adopted in the $1 trillion infrastructure policy bill signed into law. Congress now requires the Department of Transportation to create an advisory committee on underride protection, perform a study on side guards, and strengthen the woefully inadequate rear impact guard standards for trailers.
The infrastructure bill also mandates that automatic emergency braking (AEB) be required on Class 7 and 8 commercial trucks, and requires all motor carriers to use AEB software when operating trucks equipped with this crash avoidance technology.
Thirty-Four Speaking Engagements
In 2021, our law firm’s attorneys were invited to lecture on over thirty-four occasions hosted by professional legal organizations and other institutions. These lectures were hosted virtually and in person by organizations in Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and Oklahoma.
10 City Garbage Trucks
This year, the Cleveland Law Firm for Truck Safety team helped launch the side guard pilot program for the city. The City of Cleveland matched our law firm’s financial contribution, in turn, giving the city total of 10 garbage trucks outfitted with proper side guard protection.
Side guards like these have been a requirement in England since the 1980s. We are hopeful that the City of Cleveland’s pilot program will inspire other cities throughout the nation to follow suit.
Our truck accident attorneys helped organize a town-hall-style meeting to introduce the Consensus Side Guard Standard. This standard would require semi-trucks to have “vehicle crash compatibility with a midsize car…to prevent intrusion into the occupant survival space when it is struck at any location, any angle, and at any speed up to and including 40 mph.”
This meeting was attended by engineers, safety advocates, victims of truck crashes, and attorneys all calling on the trucking industry to set underride guard standards.
A Final Ruling
In March 2021, The Law Firm for Truck Safety submitted a public comment in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM. The purpose of the rule is to require rear impact guards on the list of items that must be inspected as part of the required annual inspection for trucks.
This rule became final on November 9, 2021, and went into effect on December 9, 2021.
In November, TLFTS trial attorney Andy Young testified before the Ohio House of Representatives Committee on Criminal Justice on the dangers of unsecured loads in and on trucks. His testimony was in favor of House Bill 27, a bill proposed to increase criminal penalties and fines for cargo falling onto roadways.
Cleveland Ohio’s News 5 aired a news piece about this bill and Andy’s testimony.
This past year, not only was meaningful progress achieved in our fight for safer roads and comprehensive trucking tort reform, but we also helped numerous families devastated by semi-truck-related crashes find justice and hope at a time when it’s most needed.
We’re so grateful to be able to fight for safer trucking regulations on multiple fronts. We’re confident the momentum from our 2021 wins will pave the way for a great 2022 where our attorneys can help more families find justice and advocate for even safer roads.