Cincinnati, Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer Investigating Catastrophic Injury Cases for plaintiffs in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
Truck accidents can result from a minor mishap and result in a massive collision. The size of the vehicles involved generally make car passengers very vulnerable. Ohio trucking accidents can result from driver fatigue, driver error, truck tire blowouts and overloading trucks.
Both State and federal governments have imposed laws on trucks and their regulators in an effort to make highways a safer place. However, these laws and limitations are often broken and lead to accidents and injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 4,761 people killed in auto crashes involving large trucks, representing a 9 percent increase from 2016. Seventy-two percent of people killed in the large-truck crashes in 2017 were occupants of other vehicles.
Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Attorney
Following an truck accident where you suspect there was negligence, a defective product or simply have questions about what may have happened, you should contact and experienced product liability and truck accident lawyer to investigate the matter.
The Lyon Firm has developed compelling evidence in catastrophic injury cases through the use of accident reconstructionists, bio-mechanical engineers, forensic design engineers, life care planners, economists, and medical doctors to present the highest quality evidence and arguments on the Plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in significant seven figure settlements that enhanced and secured a dignified quality of life for the Plaintiff’s future.
Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents
Truck driver error is a common problem. Trucking companies can fail to properly train their employees in a multitude of ways. Among many other variables, employees need to know: how to drive a truck versus any other vehicle, what every truck control does, how often they can drive, what loads they are allowed to carry, what to do when other trucks and vehicles are on the highway, what is considered distracted driving, what driving under the influence exactly is, and, consequently, what not to do while driving.
If employers fail to mention or adequately touch on any one of these factors (or others) during training, then they have negligently trained and have not given their drivers the appropriate knowledge they need to be safe on the road.
Additionally, negligent driver training can arise if, after hiring and initial training, trucking companies fail to renew that training or continue to enhance their drivers’ abilities in months and years to come. Furthermore, if trucking companies fail to let go of an employee who has shown signs of inadequate driving, the companies may be charged with negligent training, as well.
Override & Underride Truck Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), up to half of truck-passenger car accidents reported are either an underride or an override truck accident. Underride and override accidents involving semis and tractor-trailers can lead to serious injuries and road deaths for drivers and other occupants of passenger cars.
To help regulate dangerous trucking scenarios on Ohio’s roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have implemented traffic laws to assist in eliminating override and underride accidents.
For example, for trucks a certain size and weight, they are required to have reflective tape or reflector strips on the back of the truck, and along both sides. In the stated requirements, the FMCSA provides proper layouts for how the reflectors are arranged on Ohio trucks.
The FMCSA also requires certain tractor-trailers weighing at least 10,000 pounds to have underride guards installed. These are protective steel bars on the bottom of a truck that prevents a passenger vehicle from sliding underneath a truck.
These safety guards have the potential to reduce underride accidents. Attorneys and experts believe, however, that underride guards need to be stronger than the ones meeting current standards.
What is an Override Accident?
During an override truck accident, a semi drives over a motorcycle or car in front of it. When this happens, the roof of the passenger is often ripped off as the truck comes to a stop on top of the car, resulting in roof crush and crush injuries, severely injuring or even killing car occupants. Truck malfunctions, overloading, tire blowouts, poor truck maintenance, or truck driver negligence may be factors in commercial truck overrides.
If you have been involved in an override truck accident and seriously injured, you may be entitled to receive compensation and recover medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. A truck may be liable for your injury if they did not follow traffic laws, governmental regulations, had an overloaded truck, drove recklessly, or failed to properly maintain their vehicle.
Trucking companies may also be responsible for the actions of the trucker that caused an accident. If a trucking company failed to have reflective strips or underride guards installed on their commercial trucks, they could be held liable.
Truck manufacturers may also be at partial fault in a claim. If a truck component is defective or installed incorrectly and fails, it may cause damage and injuries. Underride and override accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries to drivers and passengers, and should be preventable.
What is an Underride Accident?
An underride accident occurs when a passenger car drives underneath a commercial-sized truck. Trucks are not high enough for a passenger vehicle to fit under, so in many cases a car can be stuck in the truck’s undercarriage and leads to roof crush injuries.
Any driver or passenger in the vehicle may suffer from severe head and neck injuries. Truck underride accidents occur frequently at night when visibility is more difficult and drivers may be fatigued. Vehicle collisions involving the sides of trucks are more common, though rear underride crashes also occur.
Trucks don’t always meet Ohio state and federal standards. Accidents may occur if:
- A truck is missing required underride guardrails
- Trucks are missing reflective markings or reflector tape
- A truck driver fails to signal
- A driver fails to check blind spots when switching lanes
- A has broken brake lights
- A driver is speeding
- Distracted or fatigued drivers operating trucks
- Drugs or alcohol abuse
- Failing to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
- Faulty brakes
- Overloaded cargo
- Defective tires on truck—tire blowout
- Low visibility from rain, fog, or snow
- A truck is parked on the shoulder without proper lights
Ohio Truck Accident Injury
Due to the size and force involved in Ohio truck accidents, the injuries are often catastrophic or fatal:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Orthopedic Trauma
- Crush Injuries
- Degloving Injuries
- Traumatic Amputation
- Wrongful Death
Truck Accident Lawyer Reviews Settlements
The legal options will depend on what caused the truck accident and injury. In any case, these injuries are usually too serious for the injured party to negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement without an attorney. The interplay of complex liability questions, subrogation, and future life care plans require the attention of an attorney experienced in complex product liability and industrial lawsuits.
There are personal injury cases where an attorney may not be necessary, but truck accident injuries are usually permanent and should be addressed by a truck accident lawyer in Ohio, qualified in complex personal injury matters.
Vehicle Accident: If the case involved a vehicle accident, there is typically insurance available to compensate the injured party. However, often individual vehicle insurance policies will not be sufficient to fully compensate the victim. In those cases, it may be necessary to find additional defendants that contributed to the accident sequence and can therefore contribute to compensating the injured party.
Product Liability: Where the injury was caused by a defective product, the litigation path is much more expensive and complex. The attorney will need to evaluate the viability of the defendant and cost to prove the case through expert testimony.
Product liability cases can be some of the most expensive types of litigation, but where there is a viable defendant, the cases should be evaluated carefully to determine if a defective automotive product caused the trucking accident.
Workers Comp as Exclusive Remedy: If you were injured at work by another worker, the first step is whether the case is limited to Worker’s Compensation. This analysis requires a thorough understanding of Employer Intentional Tort law which has become more difficult in recent years.
Often the case requires a removal of an equipment safety guard or a knowing violation of an OSHA regulation to move past a motion for summary judgment. Joe Lyon is a truck accident lawyer and has successfully litigated cases and obtained settlements for workers in addition to Workers Compensation.
Ohio Truck Driver Safety Standards
In addition to federal truck safety standards set by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motors Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Ohio and Kentucky regulate commercial trucks to ensure all motorists enjoy a safe road experience. Truck drivers and transport companies are subject to strict regulations in matters such matters such as:
- Driving Time: Hours on the road
- Safety procedures
- Maintenance requirements
- Weight limits
- Zero alcohol / drug tolerance
- Underride prevention equipment
- Reflecting Tape/Markings
- Allow the car or cars in the accident to be destroyed. This evidence must be preserved
- Remove any social media postings.
- Make any statements to insurance companies or automotive company private investigators without first speaking with a qualified truck accident lawyer.
Ohio Trucking Accident Statistics
- In Ohio in 2013, there were 13,370 crashes involving trucks.
- 7,852 of those 13,370 accidents were directly caused by the truck drivers. Thus, truck drivers cause 60% of all trucking accidents in Ohio in 2013.
- 3,835 injuries and 121 deaths resulted from these accidents in 2013.
Kentucky Trucking Accident Statistics
According to a study released by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, semi trucks consist of 7% of the traffic between Jefferson County and Gallatin County. Near downtown Louisville, as many as 5,000 to 11,000 trucks will travel along the highway in a given day.
TRI-STATE: Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky Trucking Accidents
- North of the Ohio River, 12% of I-75 traffic consists of trucks (17,700 per day).
- South of the Ohio River, up to 25% of I-75/I-71 traffic consists of trucks (40,400 per day).
- North of the Ohio River, up to 7% of I-71 traffic consists of trucks (7,400 per day).
- According to the Brent Spence Truck Ban Analysis from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the segments of the tri-state area experiencing the largest number of severe accidents (directly related to heavy truck flow) are I-75 between the Norwood Lateral (SR-562) and I-275 and the segment of I-71 between the Norwood Lateral (SR-562) and I-275.
- The average number of crashes per year along these small, specific segments were 68 and 64 respectively.
Trucking Accident Injury & Passenger Deaths
- About 98 percent of all semi-truck accidents result in at least one fatality.
- 90 percent of all commercial truck accidents are the direct result of some sort of human error (driver, passenger, pedestrian, etc.).
- Fatal tractor trailer accidents cost America $20 billion each year.
- Semi-trucks make up 3 percent of all vehicles on the road in the United States, but cause anywhere between 10% and 20% of all accidents.
- In 2013, there were 13,370 crashes involving trucks, 7,852 of which were crashes directly caused by the truck drivers; truck drivers caused 59 percent of trucking accidents.
Contact a Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer
Roadway collisions and accidents involving commercial trucks in Ohio and Kentucky can be serious, life-changing events that can lead to severe injuries and even death. The responsibility of damage caused can be traced back to negligent truck manufacturers, employers, overloading, defective tires, and fatigued drivers.
Unsafe driving conditions and failing to maintain a large commercial vehicle can result in major truck crash scenarios that almost always preventable.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a truck accident and have questions about the implications and the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a truck accident lawyer, and he will help you answer these critical questions.