Busy Cincinnati-area thoroughfares like interstates 71 and 75 are heavily traveled by semi-trucks and other commercial traffic. Unfortunately, with both large trucks and passenger vehicles sharing the roads at high speeds, collisions are common. When these collisions occur, passenger vehicles normally suffer tremendous damages, resulting in large medical and repair bills. If you have found yourself in this situation, your best chance at obtaining a fair settlement comes with the help of a Cincinnati truck accident lawyer at Young, Reverman, & Mazzei.
In Ohio in 2017, more than 23,000 crashes involving large vehicles led to more than 4,600 injuries and nearly 200 deaths. Because of the weight and size of semis and other large commercial vehicles, passenger vehicle occupants face the greatest risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Our Cincinnati personal injury lawyers are dedicated helping truck accident victims from the tri-state area pursue the compensation they need to restore their lives. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a crash with a semi or other commercial vehicle, call our attorneys at 513-854-8885 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Why Hire a Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer?
Did you know that a lot of truck accident victims will automatically not think about filing a lawsuit? When most victims sustain minor to moderate injuries, they’ll often be concerned about getting back to work as soon as they can, damage to their vehicle, and medical bills. For personal injuries of a catastrophic nature, the primary concern for most victims will be if they can access ongoing medical treatment and care, support for dependents, and lost wages. For fatal crashes, victims’ family members are left to deal with both emotional anguish and financial insecurity.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident in Cincinnati, Ohio, make sure you get a legal representative as soon as possible. Unrepresented victims are often disadvantaged when they come up against trucking companies and the companies that insure them. Young, Reverman, & Mazzei Cincinnati truck accident lawyers solely represent the interests of crash victims as they understand the financial and emotional devastation that often follows in the wake of commercial truck accidents.
Why Are Commercial Truck Accident Cases Different from Other Auto Accident Cases?
Truck drivers have to follow stricter federal safety regulations and rules. Since the difference in weight and size between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks is quite substantial, injuries suffered tend to be more severe. As most commercial truck drivers are often working when an accident occurs, the truck owner or trucking company is, in most cases, responsible for any accident-related injuries caused by their trucks.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in Truck Accident Cases?
For auto accident cases involving commercial trucks and passenger cars, several parties can be sued to compensate for the resulting injuries victims suffer. These parties include:
A majority of truck drivers are employed by shipping, retail, or trucking companies. Under the ‘respondent superior’ principle, employers are held responsible for the negligent acts of their employees while on the job.
Distracted drivers, intoxicated drivers, and those who’ve acted carelessly or unreasonably while operating a truck and its equipment will be held liable for their negligence and misconduct.
Companies responsible for loading trucks must ensure that the vehicles are correctly loaded in line with industry standards and regulations. When a truck is overloaded, the extra weight could cause an accident, and the responsible company might be held accountable for any injuries and damages caused. Unsecured or imbalanced loads could result in loss-of-control accidents too!
The company that made an accident-causing truck may also be held responsible if the vehicle, or any part of it, was defective in installation or design, and that defect contributed or caused the accident.
Restaurants and Bars
In some states, commercial establishments can be held responsible for accidents caused as a result of serving an intoxicated driver. Liquor liability is one of the things considered where alcohol consumption is involved.
All of the parties listed above likely have an insurance policy to protect their financial interest should things like accidents occur. If an insurer refuses to pay a victim’s claim in full, a suit against the company will often ensue. For wrongful death actions and catastrophic injuries involving extensive damages, more than one insurance company could end up getting dragged into the suit.
Is There A Time Limit for Filing Truck Accident Lawsuits?
Yes, there is! All states in the US have specific statutes of limitation or deadlines that apply to different types of lawsuits. If you fail to file your suit before the deadline reaches, you will end up losing your right to get compensation for injuries inflicted. In Ohio, the deadline or statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the day the accident happened.
In Ohio, the deadline is also two years from the day the accident occurred; however, this applies to motor vehicle accidents only. The limit for other personal injury cases is only one year. As such, if you are thinking of filing a claim, the sooner you do it, the better. Contact one of our professional and experienced Cincinnati commercial truck accident attorneys as soon as you can so we can have ample time to collect evidence and build a watertight case.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Ohio?
Our attorneys have noticed that most of the truck accidents are a result of these factors:
Poor Driver Training
Thousands of commercial truck accidents are reported every year. Sadly, a majority of these accidents happen because the drivers haven’t been appropriately trained. Since it often isn’t the driver’s fault, somebody has to be held responsible for causing the accident. In most cases, it is the trucking company that is held liable since they failed to provide their drivers with proper training.
Inexperienced truck drivers are more likely to cause an accident since they probably haven’t received enough training on how to react to emergency situations. As such, a trucking company can be held liable for not properly training its drivers.
Considering that heavy-duty commercial vehicles require advanced training and skills to operate, truck drivers are held to a higher standard. After all, part of their job description involves operating heavy and complicated machinery. However, if their employer fails to provide them with the training they require, then they (the employer) are held responsible for damages and injuries. This is where our truck accident lawyers in Cincinnati come into the picture.
Truck drivers are generally held responsible for causing an auto accident for a variety of reasons. One common one is failing to check their truck’s blind spots, known as ‘no-zones.’ Commercial trucks have huge blind spots on each side of the vehicle, and a majority of accidents are a result of a driver suddenly maneuvering into these spots, whether in a sudden stop, failure to stop, or in a lane change. While other road users have a responsibility to avoid these no-zones, truck drivers still need to ensure that they take extra precautions while on the road to avoid hitting vehicles in their blind spots.
There are several things that a truck driver will do that will lead to him being held responsible for causing an accident. Some include reckless driving and over speeding. All road users are expected to obey road rules while on the road, and this holds true, especially for commercial truck drivers. But what of cases where the accident was unintentional?
Let’s say the driver overestimated the speed at which the truck could safely go round a corner, causing it to rollover? What about if he caused a jack-knife accident by stepping on the brakes suddenly? In such instances, we investigate the crash from all angles to find evidence to prove that the driver is responsible and use it to help you, our client, receive the largest possible settlement.
Overloaded trucks are the most likely to cause accidents, leaving innocent people paying the price all because of another party’s negligence. Finding the truth about the cause of the crash is one of the most crucial parts of the recovering compensation for damages process. State police investigators and federal agencies may get involved as they try to determine the exact cause of an accident. In some instances, it’s determined that the truck was overloaded, causing it to be unstable, which is why it caused an accident.
Determining which party is responsible for this federal law violation will often lead to the case’s facts being investigated – Who was driving the truck? Who owns it? Which company loaded it?
Improper Maintenance and Inspection of the Truck
When accidents involving commercial trucks happen, the truck driver is often the first person to suspect. Was the driver driving safely? Was he speeding? Was he under the influence? Did he make a sudden lane change? While these, and other related causes, are the top reasons why most trucks crash, there are still other causes! One common cause is not properly maintaining and inspecting the truck. All vehicles require routine repairs from time, and the same applies to semi-trucks since they have more components than regular passenger vehicles.
For instance, trucks have multiple wheels as opposed to four on a majority of passenger vehicles. This equipment is subjected to a great deal of wear and tear, considering how long they operate. If the truck company or truck driver doesn’t inspect and maintain the vehicle routinely, the vehicle will most likely develop sudden mechanical breakdowns, making it a safety hazard to other road users.
Most of the trucking industry regulations enforced by FMCSA or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are designed to address these common accident causes directly. For instance, there is one FMCSA regulation that dictates that drivers should inspect their trucks daily (before heading out and when they are done for the day). The truck must undergo full inspection annually, and the company that owns the truck must ensure that they get and keep all the records regarding their trucks’ repair and maintenance.
A majority of commercial truck accidents near Cincinnati are a result of driver fatigue. Almost everybody with a driver’s license has experienced the struggle of having to keep their eyes open after many hours of being behind the wheel. We all understand how dangerous it can be to drive while exhausted.
The thought that a truck driver – operating a vehicle that weighs well over 70,000 pounds and which could cause catastrophic damages should it hit another vehicle – would risk driving when exhausted is astonishing. Nevertheless, it is something that happens often, and the thought that continues to happen is quite disturbing.
Fatigue reduces a driver’s awareness, increases their reaction time, and may even impair their judgment. Driving while exhausted, in more ways than one, is as bad as driving under the influence. Sadly, so many truck drivers willingly continue to drive their trucks even after they should have stopped for a rest.
Why would anyone do this? Well, one of the reasons why is because most of these drivers are under a lot of pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines. Furthermore, most truck drivers are paid by the mile, which is something that causes many truckers to willingly place their lives, and those of other road users at risk by continuing to drive even though they are exhausted.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have fought on behalf of injury victims from the city of Cincinnati since 1972. Our lawyers have more than 250 years of combined experience, and we use that background to stand up to trucking companies and insurance providers, and pursue the financial security that injury victims need.
We offer free consultations to help you understand your options, and our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we recover on your behalf. Call us today at 513-854-8885 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas. We are also proud to represent clients from Campbell County, Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana.