Common causes of truck accident claims?
Experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer explains why truck accidents happen and what to do
Truck accidents happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, a careless or reckless action by the truck driver leads to an accident. Other times, the driver's employer - the trucking company - fails to perform certain tasks or forces the driver to work longer hours and the consequences are grave.
In any case, if you or a loved one is injured in a truck wreck, you need to make sure you have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. You need someone who understands Ohio's legal system and knows how to get results. You need Gervelis Law Firm. Call (866) 622-4096 or contact us online.
Located in Ohio and serving truck accident victims statewide and in western Pennsylvania, our experienced tractor-trailer accident attorneys know what evidence to look for to determine exactly why your crash happened. That's why we have such a strong track record of success.
What are common causes of truck accidents in Ohio?
Two other common causes of truck accidents we often encounter at our law firm include:
- Overloaded trucks - A fully loaded tractor-trailer can exceed 80,000 pounds. By law, trucking companies must properly load the truck, secure the contents and not exceed state and federally mandated weight limits. A negligent trucking company or careless truck driver who fails to follow these regulations and overloads the truck puts the lives of everyone sharing the road at risk.
- Truck drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs - There's absolutely no reason why a commercial truck driver should be drunk and operating a large vehicle on the highway. Drivers also have no excuse for abusing drugs - either prescription medication or illegal substances. The legal limit for being considered drunk while driving a commercial truck in Ohio is half compared to most other drivers. If drivers with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over 0.04 percent, they're considered drunk and will lose their CDL license for one year in Ohio if convicted of driving under the influence.
Should I wait to find out the cause of my truck crash before contacting a lawyer?
No. It's always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. Our truck accident response team will get to the scene of the accident as soon as you call us. We then can take photographs, locate witnesses, make measurements and work with accident reconstruction specialists to find out what happened. Experience has taught us that trucking companies and their insurance carriers will be on the scene of the crash within hours to begin finding ways to reduce the liability of the driver or the company.
Investigating truck accidents and figuring out why they happened often takes a tremendous amount of time and work. You also need to consider the statute of limitations, which means you only have a set amount of time to initiate legal proceedings. If you wait too long, you may lose your right to pursue compensation.
Speeding tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks pose a serious threat to other motorists on Ohio's highways and throughout western Pennsylvania. When drivers of large trucks travel too fast, they don't allow themselves adequate time to decelerate and avoid crashes. Speeding trucks may cause rear-end collisions. Drivers may lose control and jackknife or rollover.
Given the large size of such trucks, accidents involving high-speed trucks regularly result in serious injuries. Fatalities caused by speeding trucks also sometimes occur. That's why we take speeding truck accident claims so seriously at our law firm. The stakes are simply too high.
Often, truck drivers deny speeding after a crash. They might even try to point the finger at you. That's why you need us on your side, actively investigating your case. We know how to find the evidence you need to prove the truck driver was speeding when he or she caused your crash.
Commercial truck drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in order to operate a tractor-trailer, delivery truck or other large commercial vehicles, including buses. Even so, simply obtaining a CDL does not automatically make a driver safe. Knowing how to safely operate a truck takes years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation requires trucking companies to make sure their drivers are fully trained and understand the rules and regulations. Without question, trucking companies should hire experienced truck drivers to operate commercial vehicles. Otherwise, they could put everyone on the road at risk. Experience counts. There's no substitute for driving in a snowstorm, heavy rain or on congested highways.
An inexperienced driver might not fully appreciate the responsibility of driving a large CMV. That driver might think it's OK to send or read text messages or otherwise be distracted. That driver might not appreciate the importance of safety checks, including the simple act of checking tire pressure.
If a driver lacks experience, the consequences can be grave.
Truck driver fatigue plays a role in more than 30 percent of fatal tractor-trailer accidents, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Federal law requires all interstate truck drivers to keep daily logs and track how long they spend on the road during a 24-hour period. However, drivers only have to keep these logs for 60 days.
That's why it's critical that you contact us as soon as possible. Our attorneys can evaluate the logs and other records to determine whether hours-of-service regulations were followed. We also know how to analyze U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reviews and investigations to determine whether the trucking company had many hours-of-service violations and pushed drivers to work longer hours.
When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to properly maintain their trucks and inspect other equipment, they put the lives of innocent motorists and pedestrians in danger. Why would trucking companies knowingly not maintain their trucks? Often, it's to save money. It might be laziness or just plain ignorance. An inexperienced driver hired by a trucking company may not recognize signs of a problem with the truck.
The following are some common maintenance problems that can lead to a crash:
- Faulty tires
- Defective brakes
- Faulty lighting or reflective devices
- Lack of underride protection
- Faulty steering components
- Damaged or broken axles
- Faulty tracking systems
By working with accident reconstructionists and other experts and employing our knowledge of state and federal truck maintenance guidelines, we are able to consistently secure successful claims against truck drivers and trucking companies.