Columbus Reckless Driving Lawyers
It can be terrifying and even angering to see another person in a nearby vehicle driving recklessly down the interstate and putting other people’s lives in danger in the process. Exponentially worse is viewing a commercial truck driver doing the same.
Truck drivers have a special duty of care owed to every other driver on the road. As operators of heavy, huge machinery hurtling at great speeds down the highway, they are required by state and federal law as well as simple human ethics to conduct their vehicles with caution.
Despite this obligation, truck drivers often fail. They reject all training, common sense, and human concern by partaking in reckless truck driving habits. All too often, this causes detrimental accidents. Injuries resulting from reckless truck driving in Ohio have been severe, life-altering, and even fatal.
Reckless driving is different from inattentive driving in that there is an element of intent rather than passivity. It does not include accidents caused by fatigue, intoxication, or texting-while-driving, all of which could, in circumstances outside of legal jargon, be considered “reckless.” Instead, reckless driving in a legal sense includes the following actions:
- Aggressive driving or road rage – These broad actions include any type of needless risk-taking and are often marked by intense, emotionally-motivated choices.
- Failure to obey a traffic control device – Truck drivers, like all other drivers, are required to obey traffic devices like stoplights. Without abiding by crucial traffic laws, truck drivers run the risk of collision with other vehicles.
- Improper lane usage – Weaving behaviors are indicative of a truck driver with a lack of concern for others’ safety. Truck drivers are required by law and instructed in training to make absolutely sure that there is an open path for lane changes, as they have limited visibility in certain areas to the sides and front of the truck.
- Speeding – Drivers trying to get to a dropoff point just a little bit sooner can do a whole lot of damage. Speeding usually involves either inattention or a concerted effort to drop off a payload–and receive a paycheck–more quickly.
- Tailgating – This poses a threat to other drivers on the road, particularly because trucks have “no-zone” blind spot areas located in the front that can prevent a driver from accurately assessing the distance between the end of the car in front of them and the beginning of the truck.
These actions are all incredibly dangerous when undertaken by any driver, but most especially by truck drivers, whose vehicles are built to be handled with safe caution rather than quick carelessness. Choosing to forgo safe driving procedures to arrive at a destination more quickly is an act of major negligence and disregard for every driver’s right to safety.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
It may be clear at the time of your accident that it was caused by a truck driver’s negligence, though quite difficult to prove in court. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible after your accident makes it easier for your representation to begin investigating the case while the evidence remains intact.
Without an attorney, you may not be able to access important information pertaining to your case. Some information about the truck driver involved will not be available until you have initiated legal action. This includes social media documentation and cell phone records. Even if you begin to pursue a settlement without representation, you may find it difficult to commit to a deposition of the driver, which allows questioning the driver about personal information and details related to the accident.
An attorney is crucial in accident reconstruction and investigation. Reckless driving cases involve research into the criminal history of drivers as well as into the minutiae of the collision. Attorneys know best how to obtain and handle official accident reports made by law enforcement, which include descriptions of what the officers deemed the probable cause of the accident immediately after it happened. These reports also contain detailed information from testimonies to photographs, all of which contribute to establishing an educated guess as to the cause of the crash.
Attorneys are also responsible for seeking information that may not be included in standard records, to help reconstruct the situation most accurately as possible. This can include getting new witness testimony, pursuing forensic evidence, and understanding truck and insurance company protocol. After a truck accident, you need legal representation to do this heavy lifting for you to win your case.
Why Choose Us
Rinehardt attorneys understand your need for economic reparations. We want to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, and time away from work.
But we also understand that big truck accidents cause more lasting pain than what meets the eye. If you or your loved one has been hurt or killed in a truck accident, we will make sure that we alleviate the stress associated with pursuing legal action.
We build cases based on trust and assured satisfaction with our clients. Our attorneys value an open and honest relationship where we keep you updated so you can make informed decisions. Our services are always free of charge until we win you the compensation you need to heal.
Rinehardt attorneys are experienced in litigating reckless driving accidents. They know how to handle complex cases that involve third parties such as truck and insurance companies. An accident caused by a reckless driver may concern a number of parties, in which case having a Rinehardt attorney who understands the commercial trucking business and commercial insurance coverage policies can make a world of difference in your settlement.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for a free consultation at (419) 529-2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will be responsible for my accident?
Though a truck driver’s reckless actions may have caused your accident, the truck company may ultimately be at fault. This is due to a legal principle whereby the employer takes on responsibility for the actions of an employee.
Truck drivers often have far less insurance coverage for accidents than truck companies. Truck companies are required to have comprehensive accident coverage. They also have a high degree of experience in personal injury law due to the frequency of accidents. Oftentimes, however, a truck company will attempt to avoid liability by claiming a driver was operating outside of the truck company’s liability.
It is important to retain a lawyer to help you determine who will be held responsible, which will depend on the outcome of legal investigations. An attorney will also be able to ensure that no party at fault will not be brought to justice, including truck companies trying to avoid legal repercussions by refusing to acknowledge their driver.
What should I do after a truck accident caused by reckless driving?
The first and most important action you should take is to seek medical attention. Not only will this ensure that your injuries are made known and treated, but it will create a medical record that will be important to your case should you choose to pursue legal action.
Even if you feel okay after an accident, you should see a doctor to eliminate all possibility of internal injuries or injuries that may appear days or even weeks after the collision.
Other documentation practices may also be pertinent to your case. Try to take photos of the scene of the crash from multiple angles, and get the contact information of witnesses who are willing to recount what happened. If you are not capable, have a friend or family member do this for you, as soon as you can after the event. Law enforcement officers may also record this information, as it is important for your records.
Lastly, it is crucial that you hire legal representation. A lawyer can walk you through the process of litigating a reckless driving case.
Every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration surveys truck crashes across the United States. In 2017, the FMCSA found that Ohio was one of the top ten states with the highest average of fatal large truck crashes.
Unfortunately, that means that the state of Ohio is one of just 10 states that makes up 51 percent of all fatal crashes involving a large commercial vehicle. This extremely high proportion of fatal wrecks in Ohio is an indicator of excessive recklessness and negligence on the roads by truck drivers.
Reckless driving in Ohio is particularly fatal. The FMCSA also found that speeding caused or was a factor in 17 percent of all truck crashes with at least one fatality. Truck drivers are motivated by time and are obligated to traverse long distances as quickly as possible, which makes speeding a particularly fatal action for truck drivers in Ohio.
Though many of the trucks that pass us each day abide by regulations meant to keep everyone on the road safe, it only takes one driver speeding or acting otherwise reckless to injure or kill innocent victims.
Contact Us Today
Let us help you build a legal strategy that stands up to trucking companies with deep pockets allotted for settlements. If you or your loved one has been injured by a reckless truck driver in Ohio, call (419) 529-2020. Rinehardt Law Firm consultations are free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing until we win.