• July 17, 2017

Dawn Whitt Trousdale Killed in Accident in Athens, AL

Athens, AL -- A semi-truck vs. passenger vehicle collision claimed the life of 45-year-old Dawn Whitt Trousdale Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Local authorities say the victim's vehicle and the big rig were both eastbound on Highway 72 when the Jeep stopped for a traffic light. The semi-truck for unclear reasons, collided with the rear of the Jeep.

Ms. Trousdale was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The official investigation into the incident is currently underway.

map of the area

Commentary

When reading the details provided by the media regarding this deadly accident, one would think there's no way the trucking company could avoid liability. It would seem fairly obvious considering this woman lost her life in a rear-end collision after what appears to be a legal stop for a red light.

However, in the state of Alabama, all that's required for the trucking company to avoid liability is to show the victim was at least 1% responsible for the accident. While it's true there's no such thing as an open and shut case in truck accidents, this applies especially so to states like Alabama. The fact is, trucking companies will cook up any excuse in attempt to show the victim contributed to their injuries, and 1% is far too tempting a number for them to not take advantage of.

For instance, years ago, we had a case where a trucking company made the claim our client's vehicle was driving at night without headlights. In an effort to fight this ridiculous claim, we had our investigators check the wreckage left at a junkyard. Upon doing so, our private investigative team discovered the vehicle sans headlights.

What happened here? Was the trucking company telling the truth? Well, here's the rub. Our investigative team delved further, examining the junkyard's visitor log. As it turns out, the trucking company sent their team to the junkyard, and set out to remove the headlights from the vehicle post-accident.

All this is just a roundabout way of saying the trucking company is sure to dig in their heels and put up a fight. In order to hold trucking companies responsible in accidents like these, victim's families will have to be prepared to fight back.

--Grossman Law Offices

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