Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer: Driver Negligence Identified in Ohio Trucking Accidents
Ohio’s roadways may be getting more dangerous, according to accident statistics compiled by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which reported that fatal crashes increased to 1,094 in 2017, a year-on-year increase—the fifth straight year road fatalities have increased in Ohio. The 2017 road deaths include 116 heavy truck-involved fatalities, over 10 percent of the total, do not even tally the number of severe injuries sustained in Ohio trucking accidents each year.
Truck Accidents in Ohio occur daily, endangering every motorist, and most are classified as preventable, caused by truck driver fatigue, high driver turnover, driver inexperience, poor truck maintenance, reckless and negligent driving behavior, excessive speeding, overloading, substance abuse, illegal operation, and defective truck components.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that large trucks, which make up 4 percent of vehicles on U.S. roads, account for as many as 11 percent of fatal accidents. The majority of those killed in Ohio trucking accidents are passengers of cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, and road construction workers.
Regardless of the cause of Ohio trucking accidents, any auto occupant involved in a crash with a semi, bus, tractor trailer, or another heavy transport vehicle will likely suffer serious injuries, and may have a claim against the responsible parties, including a transport company or truck manufacturer.
The Lyon Firm has the resources required to assist victims in filing a claim and lead them through a difficult legal process following Ohio trucking accidents. Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati personal injury attorney, experienced in investigating and settling truck accident claims in Cincinnati and nationwide.
In 2016, of around 305,000 traffic accidents in Ohio, over 23,000 crashes involved a medium or heavy truck, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s annual traffic crash report. Semi-trailers were involved in the most fatal Ohio trucking accidents of any type of truck. Accidents included collision and non-collision: overturns, rollovers, fires or explosions, jackknifing, underride accidents, tire blowouts and other dangerous crashes.
One often overlooked factor in road safety and cause of Ohio trucking accidents includes the inexperience and lack of training of commercial truck drivers, sometimes due to high driver turnover, and transport companies putting new drivers behind the wheel too fast.
Commercial trucking jobs were once a high-paying secure job, but with a lack of unions and deregulation in the trucking industry, truck drivers now earn lower salaries and the turnover rate is much higher. According to American Trucking Associations, the turnover rate is sometimes as high as 90 percent. Perhaps the number of accidents and injuries in Cincinnati and Ohio is positively correlated with a lack of training and experience.
Even for mature, experienced drivers, the long hours on the road lead to exhaustion and fatigue that may endanger everyone on the road. Drivers recognize the dangers, but are under pressure to deliver goods promptly and to sometimes cut corners. Trucking companies are partly responsible for improving road safety for drivers as well as for other motorists and occupants on the road. Victims of Ohio trucking accidents have the right to seek compensating for injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
Truck-related accidents are not only extremely perilous events, but often very complex legal matters as well. Following a serious truck accident, where a commercial transport vehicle and driver may be liable for damages, there can be several unanswered questions that only a thorough investigation can uncover.
The factors involved in truck liability are numerous, and may include driver error, defective truck parts like brakes and tires, missing safety features on trucks like underride rails and reflectors, driver fatigue, and improperly keep log books, which are required by law.
Digging more into the employers and driver’s history, and looking at log books can assist victims and lawyers build a compelling case against those responsible for injuries. The goal is to determine who is responsible, and recover compensation for medical costs and other damages. This may require an in-depth investigation into a specific trucker’s record and actions leading up to the crash.
Following trucking accidents, a driver and carrier’s records regarding hours of service and vehicle maintenance can be very telling. It is prudent to hire an experienced Ohio trucking accident lawyer to assist you.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a heavy truck accident in Ohio or Kentucky, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.