Truck accidents in Ohio can be devastating. Large commercial trucks make up a small percentage of the total vehicles on Ohio roadways. Yet, they cause a disproportionate number of serious injuries and deaths during crashes. This is simply due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. They often weigh up to 80,000 lbs. when loaded with cargo.
If you were involved in a truck accident, you may not be fully aware of your legal rights or know where to turn. It's important that you understand what to expect from your truck accident claim and why it's critical that you hire an experienced truck accident attorney to handle your case.
Truck accidents differ from car accidents
Like car accidents, truck accidents are often the cause of negligent or reckless behavior. This includes distracted driving, impaired driving, drowsy driving and speeding. Here's why truck accidents are typically different from car accidents:
More than two insurance companies involved
Trucking companies often insure the cab and trailer separately. They may be owned by different companies and have liability on them provided by different insurance companies. More insurance companies will be involved if there are multiple cars hit by the same truck.
The more insurance companies involved, the more complex your truck accident case will be. Don't let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Let an experienced attorney sort it out for you.
There are more regulations on trucking companies and their drivers
There are several state and federal regulations placed on trucking companies and the drivers they employ. Some regulations that pertain to truck accidents include:
- Hours-of-service regulations
- Mandatory electronic logging devices
- Inspections and maintenance
- Hiring of qualified and experienced drivers
- Drug and alcohol testing
Trucking companies more prepared for cases brought against them
Trucking companies and their insurers are already aware of the amount of damage a big rig can inflict in a crash. They already know that multiple people could sustain serious or fatal injuries from one crash. This can cost both a trucking company and insurance company millions of dollars.
Before a crash even occurs, trucking companies are already prepared for potential cases that could be brought against them in the event that someone is injured or killed. The last thing either company wants is to have to pay millions of dollars in damages to crash victims and their families.
A trucking company may promptly deploy their own team of investigators and adjusters to the scene of a crash. The information gathered at the crash scene may be used to defend the trucking company and its driver.
Our attorneys can conduct our own investigation into your truck accident
Trucking companies may already have an advantage over drivers of smaller cars, but that doesn't mean that they can't be held accountable. Dealing with trucking companies on your own is risky. Even if they, and their insurance companies, are generous enough to offer you a settlement, it's important that you never accept it without first speaking to an experienced Ohio truck accident attorney.
You need a strong legal advocate who can gather all of the facts, including those omitted by the trucking company and its insurer. The attorneys at Gervelis Law Firm can collect:
- Pictures of the crash scene
- Witness statements
- Surveillance camera footage (if available)
- Documents and records proving that a trucking company or driver failed to comply with a state or federal law. For example, we may find evidence that:
- A driver violated the hours-of-service law
- A trucking company failed to properly inspect and maintain its vehicles
- A trucking company knowingly hired a driver with a history of reckless driving
Truck accidents are often fatal, but even those who survive them sustain:
- Severe traumatic brain injury
- Multiple broken bones
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Crushed limbs
- Bruises and contusions
- Spinal injuries
Our law offices are conveniently located in Toledo, Youngstown, Akron and Columbus, Ohio. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.