Columbus Truck Accident Lawyers
Because trucks and commercial vehicles are so heavy, trucking accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. These injuries are not only life-altering but often require long-term care that can be very expensive. If you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call us. It is imperative that evidence is preserved in these cases, and we know the secrets to get this done.
At Rinehardt Law Firm, we have a team of Columbus trucking accident lawyers ready to help you. Our legal team is available to help people injured due to their involvement in trucking accidents across central and north central Ohio, including along:
- Interstate 70
- Interstate 71
- Route 13
- Route 30
- Route 97
Common Factors of Truck Accidents
A variety of factors can contribute to a trucking accident. Our legal team can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the trucking or auto accident you or a loved one was involved in, including:
- Truck driver fatigue: There are federal trucking regulations aimed to protect road travelers’ safety. These regulations mandate that truckers take rest breaks and limit the number of allowable consecutive driving hours. Many drivers violate these regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines. This is negligent and irresponsible and can result in truck driver fatigue, a common cause of devastating, often fatal, auto accidents.
- Distracted driving: All drivers must remain alert when driving. Due to the sheer weight of commercial vehicles, the consequences of a truck driver engaging in distracted driving can yield far more catastrophic injuries for victims. We can help those victims pursue the financial recovery they need to compensate for their losses.
- Improper maintenance: Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and other mechanical failures could mean that a trucking company is responsible for the accident that resulted in you or your loved one’s injuries. We can investigate the cause of your accident to pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
- Reckless driving: Another common reason truck accidents occur involves the demeanor of the driver. With so many truck drivers hurrying to get to their drop-off location, there are many documented incidents where speeding, improper lane usage, aggressive driving, and tailgating have caused accidents in Columbus and surrounding cities.
- Intoxicated driving: The worst thing truckers hauling more than 80,000 pounds could do is to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If that semi crashes into vehicles, the outcome could be catastrophic; should that driver be hauling refrigerants, gasoline, liquid nitrogen or other corrosive liquids, many innocent lives could be lost.
- Third-party involvement: Manufacturers of bad parts, trucking company maintenance departments or third-party maintenance providers, logistics companies and the truck manufacturers themselves may have had direct involvement through their reckless care, which led to the driver’s accident.
- Unbalanced loads: There are proper ways to load trucks. If the logistics company or dock worker didn’t load the truck proportionately, tip-overs might happen.
If you’ve suffered in an accident involving a truck, this isn’t the end of the line. You may have suffered severe injuries, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer forever. Our team can help you pursue the financial recovery you need so you can move on with your life.
How you handle the events immediately following a truck accident may determine the outcome of your claim once filed. We suggest all drivers who are well enough to move about follow these steps:
- Immediately call 911 to send law enforcement, medics, and firefighters to your accident. This is important if multiple vehicles are involved in your accident.
- Without removing evidence or pieces from the wreckage, attempt to help others who may need assistance. This includes the truck driver, passengers of your vehicle, and any injured pedestrians.
- Begin taking as many photos, videos and audio clips as your phone can handle. Make sure to get the entire scene, including witnesses and close-up shots of your wrecked vehicle. Videos will often capture audio; get as close to all vehicles as possible without invading an injured person’s privacy. Make sure to get the trailer number and DOT number from the truck, usually found either on the cab door or the trailer itself.
- Law enforcement will likely be on the scene, so request a report. Be as detailed as possible, including where you were prior to the collision, what it appeared the truck driver was doing, and so forth.
- If you’re well enough to move around, still seek medical attention. Serious internal bleeding and other delayed symptom injuries may actually take effect when the adrenaline has worn off.
- If you haven’t already done so, trade information with the truck driver. If they are uncooperative, get law enforcement to note that on the report.
- Immediately phone a Columbus car accident lawyer. The quicker this is done, the sooner this accident can be put behind you.
- Continue receiving medical care even after hiring your attorney. This is vital in proving the need for future medical benefits. Keep all receipts, even if you needed Tylenol to ease your pain, as this is a reimbursable expense.
Never flee the scene. Ever. This could not only jeopardize your injury claim but could result in serious criminal charges.
There are many reasons why you should hire an experienced attorney to help you if you’ve been hurt in an accident with a truck or other large commercial vehicle. Those reasons include (but are not limited to):
- Civil procedures in Ohio are complex, especially in tort law. The layman may not understand industry lingo, may miss strict filing deadlines and damage their case before it starts.
- Attorneys are trained negotiators and have established rapport with many insurers nationwide. An experienced attorney will understand how to communicate with the insurer and advocate for you.
- Compensation you may receive will be comparatively higher even after the attorneys take their fees off the top.
- Cases that head to trial require a special preparation process. For many untrained citizens, walking into court without counsel and fighting insurers, negligent parties and counsel for both is an often fruitless endeavor with disastrous endings.
- Truck accident attorneys can get to the bottom of any third-party involvement, including the trucking company’s maintenance department, suppliers of bad truck parts, the truck manufacturer or an outside logistics company who loaded the truck.
Injuries caused by truck drivers deserve compensation commensurate with losses the victim endured. Once your attorney has found the liable party or parties, discussing potential settlements is the first option after filing the case in court. Another option is simply filing the case, waiting for the initial hearing and requesting a trial by jury. From a procedural standpoint, most attorneys representing the insurer will not entertain settlement talks until the case is filed.
Regardless of what path is taken, you deserve justice and fair compensation. And, unless you’re more than 50% responsible in Ohio, you deserve every penny the accident is worth.
Compensation will be based on the economic losses (those which have paperwork with exact amounts you owe or spent, wage losses, auto repair estimate, etc.) and noneconomic losses (consortium losses, pain and suffering). Although not perfect, the calculation method used takes all losses and puts them into one figure. That number is passed to the insurer; from there, they can refute the claim (which they often will), accept the initial settlement offer (a rarity), or do nothing.
Each case has its merits, its pitfalls, and potential net worth. Your attorney will spend hours combing through evidence, recreating the accident and making sure the truck driver, insurer, company, and any third parties are held accountable for their participation in your injuries.
Available When You Need Us
You can contact us online 24/7 or call our office anytime. Our legal team offers free initial consultations, and our personal injury clients owe no attorney fees until we secure compensation for their losses. If you’re feeling helpless in the face of an injury, contact the team at the Rinehardt Law Firm at (419) 529-2020 to learn about the next steps. Recovery from your injury may be closer than you think.
Rinehardt Law Firm is the answer to your personal injury. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Columbus and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if they were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in their best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.