Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys in Ohio
Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer
Semi-trucks serve a vital role in our economy, moving goods from factories to local stores and our homes. Commercial trucks are large, complex pieces of machinery. The safe operation of a semi-truck requires training, experience, and skill. Most truck drivers and trucking companies operate with the due care that we would expect from truck operators. However, some truck drivers or trucking companies get careless or negligent. That negligent behavior often leads to semi-truck accidents with multiple victims.
Truck accident victims that pursue a truck accident claim on their own can find the process to be incredibly complex and time-consuming. Truck accident claims can require examining multiple documents and pieces of evidence.
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Ohio semi-truck accident attorneys have extensive experience and success in pursuing compensation for our clients who have been injured in truck accidents. We know what it takes to get a full financial recovery for our clients from the trucking companies.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial case review. You can reach a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in Ohio by calling us or reaching out online now. We will discuss your accident and case in detail. During our discussion, you will learn about your options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
Why Are Truck Accident Cases So Complicated?
Semi-truck accident cases often prove to be some of the most complicated kinds of motor vehicle accidents for these reasons:
- Truck accidents cause serious injuries. Due to the size and speed of large commercial trucks, victims of truck accidents often tend to suffer serious and catastrophic injuries. Recovering from these injuries can require a great deal of time and expense. When trying to resolve a truck accident claim, injured accident victims may still be undergoing treatment. Any recovery will need to account for future damages and costs that those accident victims will incur. During settlement negotiations or a trial, the trucking company may dispute what constitutes fair compensation for the victim’s injuries.
- Truck accidents can have multiple liable parties. Most motor vehicle accidents typically only involve motorists. But truck accidents can be caused by the acts and omissions of multiple companies in the trucking industry. For example, trucking companies, freight companies and truck manufacturers may bear a part of the liability for a truck accident. Cases can become complicated if each company tries to shift blame to other parties. Also, companies in the trucking industry often have complex insurance coverage schemes. That can make it difficult to determine how much liability coverage is available to compensate an accident victim.
- Truck accidents involve multiple pieces of complex evidence. State and federal regulations of the trucking industry can lead to the production of multiple documents. Reviewing these documents can show truck drivers or trucking companies negligently failed to follow regulations. For example, an attorney might find an hours of service violation, which indicates the trucker spent too much time behind the wheel. An attorney can explore whether these actions led to an accident. These documents may prove hard to review for someone not familiar with the trucking industry. Unfortunately, trucking companies sometimes try to hide, alter, or destroy these documents after an accident. Uncovering these records can require an extensive forensic investigation.
Let our experienced Ohio truck injury lawyers take the burden and stress of your truck accident case off your shoulders. That will allow you to focus on your recovery and getting back to a normal life.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Semi-Truck Accident?
Most motor vehicle accidents only involve the motorists who were operating their vehicles. However, semi-truck accidents can have multiple parties who may be held liable for the accident, and those parties share in the blame for the crash. Potentially liable parties in truck accidents can include:
- The truck driver – The truck driver can be held responsible when his or her carelessness triggers an accident.
- The trucking company – The trucking company may be held liable for the actions of a driver it employs. The trucking company may also be held responsible for hiring or retaining a risky driver, inadequately training the driver, or inadequately maintaining its truck when a part failure causes an accident.
- The truck’s owner (if different from the truck driver or trucking company) – Sometimes trucks are owned by someone other than the truck driver or trucking company. The truck’s owner may be held liable when inadequate maintenance causes an accident.
- The freight company – Freight companies may be held responsible when a truck accident is caused by an excessive or improperly secured load.
- The truck’s mechanic – Mechanics or garages that work on the truck may be held responsible for an accident caused by inadequate or negligent maintenance.
- The truck’s manufacturer – The truck’s manufacture may be liable if a defectively designed or manufactured truck part caused an accident.
Evidence Our Semi-Accident Lawyers May Use in a Truck Accident Claim
Truck accident claims require our attorneys to review many more pieces of evidence than would be reviewed in your average car accident claim. Due to the regulations on the trucking industry and the complexity of large commercial trucks, multiple pieces of evidence truck may be collected to show what caused the accident and who may have been responsible for it. That evidence includes:
- The driver’s logs – Truck drivers are limited by federal and state regulations on the number of hours they can drive in a day or in a week before thety are required to rest or take time off the road. Drivers may violate the hours of service regulations to meet strict delivery schedules. In doing so, truck drivers are at risk of becoming drowsy or fatigued behind the wheel. Reviewing the driver’s logs can show if a driver’s hours of service violation played a part in the accident.Toxicology reports – When a truck accident results in serious injury or death, the truck driver may be required to undergo a drug and alcohol screen.
- The truck’s data recorder – Many modern commercial trucks are equipped with data recorders that log information, including the truck’s GPS position, the truck’s speed and the driver’s steering and acceleration/deceleration inputs. This data can be used to show what the truck driver was doing in the moments before an accident.
- The load manifest – The load manifest can show if a truck was overloaded or carried improperly secured cargo. Those issues may indicate a truck was at risk of going out of control.
- The truck’s maintenance logs – Maintenance logs can show if a trucking company ignored necessary or recommended maintenance. Those logs may also indicate maintenance was inadequately or negligently performed, resulting in the failure of truck parts or systems.
Of course, our attorneys will also review other pieces of evidence commonly seen in other motor vehicle accident cases. That evidence includes the police accident report, accident scene photos, vehicle damage/repair reports and records of the victim’s medical treatment.
Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
After you’ve been involved in a truck accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.
Compensation from a semi-truck accident claim can include:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Lost wages or income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
You may also be entitled to compensation for any property that was damaged in the accident. Compensation would cover the repair costs for your damaged vehicle or the vehicle’s replacement value if it was totaled in the accident.
Ohio Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits
In Ohio, the statute of limitations generally requires you to file a truck accident lawsuit within two years of the accident’s date. Under certain circumstances, a court may rule that your truck accident claim does not accrue until you discover or could reasonably discover the cause of the accident.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the limitations period expires, the court can permanently dismiss your lawsuit. When that happens, you will lose your right to seek compensation in court.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
At Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys see these common causes of truck accidents in Ohio:
- Speeding – A speeding commercial truck cannot slow down, stop or maneuver safely. A speeding truck can be involved in a collision, jackknife or rollover accident that injures other motorists and passengers.
- Unsafe lane changes – Truck drivers put other motorists at risk when they fail to signal or check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes on a road, street or highway.
- Truck driver fatigue – Truck drivers have limits on their service hours. When they exceed those limits, they put themselves at risk of operating their vehicles while drowsy, fatigued or sleepy.
- Driving under the influence – Sometimes, truck drivers turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with long road trips, putting them at risk of driving while intoxicated.
- Following too closely – A large truck cannot stop as quickly as smaller passenger vehicles. When a truck follows too closely behind another vehicle, the driver creates the risk of a rear-end accident.
- Inexperience – Operating a commercial truck takes training and experience. Drivers with insufficient training or experience can pose a serious risk to other motorists on the road.
- Lost drivers or drivers on unfamiliar routes – Truck drivers who get lost or lack experience on a particular route may cause an accident if they end up on a road not safe or not intended for commercial vehicles.
- Inadequate truck maintenance – Deferred or poorly performed maintenance on critical systems, such as brakes, can lead to a failure in critical driving situations.
- Unsafe or unsecured truck loads – A truck that is overloaded or whose load is not safely secured creates a safety risk. The truck driver can lose control of the vehicle if the load shifts during travel.
- Poor weather or road conditions – Broken pavement and roads that are slick due to rain, snow or ice can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, especially if the driver does not adjust the truck’s speed for those conditions.
Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can inflict serious, life-altering injuries on the occupants of passenger vehicles as well as motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians. Examples of catastrophic injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Joint and soft-tissue injuries
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Eye injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
Truck accidents can easily lead to significant, permanent injuries that dramatically affect the lives of accident victims.
How Our Ohio Truck Accident Law Firm Can Help
If you believe you may have a claim for compensation after a truck accident in Ohio, our truck accident lawyers may be able to help you by:
- Investigating your accident and recovering critical evidence, such as driver logs, truck recorder data, maintenance logs and load manifests.
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to build a strong, persuasive legal argument. We can show how your accident occurred and who may bear responsibility for it.
- Identifying liable parties and sources of compensation, including liability insurance policies and excess coverage policies carried by the trucking companies.
- Aggressively negotiating for a swift settlement of your claim. Our goal is to provide you with full compensation for your past, ongoing and future damages.
- Preparing to take your case to trial, if necessary.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident caused by a careless truck driver or a negligent trucking company, schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today with an Ohio truck accident attorney from Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law. We will discuss your case and you will learn about your legal rights.
We stand ready to help you and your family. We have six convenient Ohio locations in Akron, Cincinnati, Independence (Cleveland), Columbus, Beavercreek, and Canfield.