Columbus Truck Accident Lawyers
Because large trucks like 18-wheelers and commercial vehicles are so heavy, truck 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 truck accident, call us. Evidence must be preserved in these cases, and we know the secrets to get this done.
At Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, we have a team of Columbus truck accident lawyers ready to help you. Our legal team is available to help people injured due to their involvement in truck 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 truck accident. Our legal team can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to the truck or auto accident you or a loved one was involved in, including:
- Truck driver fatigue: There are federal truck 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 truck 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, truck 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.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
When it comes to large commercial trucks, there are several types of accidents that can occur involving these big rigs, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks:
- Head-On & Rear-End Collision Accidents: Although different both types of accidents are extremely dangerous especially involving a smaller car or SUV. Head-on collision accidents occur when a big truck crashes into another vehicle head-on. Rear-end accidents occur when crashes into the back of another vehicle.
- Roll-Over Accidents: When a large truck or 18-wheeler tips over on it’s or rolls over onto its roof during a collision with another vehicle it is considered a roll-over accident. Roll-over accidents are especially dangerous for the occupants of the truck as they are at risk of being ejected from the truck.
- Blind Spot Accidents: The areas around a vehicle that is unable or has trouble seeing is referred to as the blind spots. Larger trucks like 18 wheelers have many blind spots making collisions more likely. Truck drivers are supposed to check these blind spots prior to changing lanes, braking, or turning to detect if there may be a vehicle in these places.
- Blowout Accidents: A blowout accident refers to the sudden rupture of a tire on a large truck. This often occurs when a truck is traveling at a high rate of speed. The truck driver may lose control of the truck due to the explosion and can collide with other vehicles.
- Underride Accidents: Underride accidents occur in the unfortunate event that a smaller vehicle crashes into the back or side of a large tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler and slides underneath the truck. This type of collision is among the most fatal accidents that occur on our roadways.
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.
Truck Accident FAQs
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 before 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 personal injury 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.
- The compensation you may receive will be comparatively higher even after the attorneys take their fees off the top.
- Cases that head to trial requires 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 truck 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 non-economic 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.
Being involved let alone injured in an accident with a large commercial truck can be a frightening situation. You may be left at a loss of what next steps you should take. Following the steps below can help you after you’ve been involved in a truck accident.
- Stop and report the accident to law enforcement
- Seek treatment from a medical professional
- Exchange information with the other involved party and check for witnesses
- Document the accident
- Contact an experienced truck accident attorney
If you are injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another large truck and choose to take legal action, you will likely need someone to represent you. There are many benefits of hiring a truck accident attorney. An experienced attorney has dealt with cases similar to yours before and they know the ins and outs of the legal system. A truck accident lawyer will make your problems their problems so that you are able to recover from your injuries without worrying about paperwork. Your attorney will also be able to investigate the accident further and determine if there were other causes or mistakes made by the driver. Overall, an 18-wheeler or truck accident attorney will fight for you to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. If you are injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another large truck and choose to take legal action, you will likely need someone to represent you. There are many benefits of hiring a truck accident attorney. An experienced attorney has dealt with cases similar to yours before and they know the ins and outs of the legal system. A truck accident lawyer will make your problems their problems so that you are able to recover from your injuries without worrying about paperwork. Your attorney will also be able to investigate the accident further and determine if there were other causes or mistakes made by the driver. Overall, an 18-wheeler or truck accident attorney will fight for you to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
When it comes to truck accidents and car accidents there are major differences. There are differences in severity, evidence, regulations, operation, liability, and more. Most drivers try to avoid driving next to big rigs on the interstate or freeway and there’s good reason for that. Truck accidents are many drivers’ worst nightmare. The size and weight of commercial trucks alone make a huge difference in the accident types. The maximum weight of a semi-truck legally allowed in the U.S. is 80,000 lbs. These trucks take longer to stop and need more space to turn and maneuver than normal vehicles which can cause devastating accidents and injuries. Another difference is the rules and regulations for truck drivers. Truck drivers are required to document information about whether or not they were in compliance with safety regulations that can later help with your case. With a car accident, your attorney and the insurance companies will attempt to put together the cause of the accident and determine if the driver was in accordance with local traffic laws.
Without speaking to an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney first, you should not accept a settlement from the trucking company. You may be out of work without pay after the accident or never able to work again. Medical bills can be high and you may have to pay for ongoing therapy. These are all situations that your attorney will be able to take into account when determining the compensation you deserve. An attorney will be able to ensure that the offer you receive is the correct amount for the damages and injuries you’ve experienced.
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 Injury Attorneys at 419-529-2020 to learn about the next steps. Recovery from your injury may be closer than you think.
Rinehardt Injury Attorneys 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.