Being in a truck accident is a terrifying experience. In Ohio, it is often a deadly one. According to U.S. transportation data, Ohio is one of the top places in the nation for truck accident fatalities, right alongside much larger states like Texas and California. Thousands of people across the state are hurt in collisions with tractor-trailers each year – and sadly, many of the injuries are catastrophic.
Heavy trucks – also known as commercial motor vehicles, semi-trucks, big rigs and 18-wheelers – are mammoths on wheels. The largest rigs weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. In a crash with a standard car or even an SUV, it’s likely that someone is going to be hurt. Most times, it’s the occupants of the smaller vehicles.
The lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law know that the aftermath of an Ohio truck accident is particularly traumatic. The injuries are often severe and have uncertain prognoses. And as your medical bills pile up, the trucking company’s insurers will be busy finding reasons to prevent you from getting the payout you deserve. You need legal representation that can protect your rights and fight for a fair settlement or verdict.
If you were recently injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, let the Ohio and West Virginia lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law handle your claim. We have obtained million-dollar results for some of our clients during our 20+ years in practice. Trucking cases are high stakes and complex, so getting an experienced attorney is essential. Contact our skilled and sympathetic legal team today for a free consultation.
Injuries in Ohio Truck Accidents
Anyone can get hurt in a truck crash. But statistics show that truck drivers are much less likely to be injured or killed in a wreck. The sheer size of the truck protects truckers from the force of impact. Motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians have fewer defenses, even when every precaution is taken to remain safe.
Victims of collisions with tractor-trailers often suffer terrible physical and emotional trauma. While some injuries heal, others are so severe that life will never be the same again. Some examples of truck accident injuries are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns (heat and chemical-related if the truck was carrying hazardous or combustible materials)
- Internal bleeding
- Mental health problems (PTSD, depression)
The catastrophic nature of many truck injuries means that victim’s recovery periods are long, painful and expensive. Aside from the high medical costs of acute care and hospital stays, the costs of rehabilitation, prescriptions, any necessary medical equipment (like wheelchairs), long-term nursing care and home modifications can be staggering. Instead of being able to focus solely on healing, truck accident survivors and their families suddenly find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Adding to the stress is that doctors can’t always predict whether a truck accident victim will fully recover. During this wait-and-see period, the insurance companies are often calling – sometimes daily – requesting a recorded statement about the truck accident. It’s a tactic that insurers use to catch people when they are most vulnerable and thus more likely to make mistakes. Unfortunately, those slip-ups can have significant legal ramifications.
At Jim Leach Attorneys at Law, our lawyers can handle all of the communications with insurance companies so you don’t have to. When they call, you can refer them directly to us and we’ll take it from there.
How Does a Lawyer Find Out Who Is Responsible for My Truck Accident?
Wrecks involving commercial trucks are complicated compared to an average car accident case. Truckers are required to obey the same rules of the road as regular motorists. But the trucking industry is also heavily regulated by the federal government. Truck drivers have to comply with rules that specify how long they can drive before taking a mandatory rest period and keep detailed records of their hours, all of their stops and routine maintenance checks. There are also regulations about cargo weight, loading, driver qualifications and quality control that trucking companies and manufacturers must follow. When these rules are broken and a truck accident occurs, a lawyer’s job is to find out who may be liable for the damage.
When our attorneys represent a client who was injured in a truck collision, the first thing we do is gather information to understand the facts of the case. Some of the documents that we may obtain include:
- Accident reports
- Photos from the accident scene
- Photographs of your injuries
- Eyewitness statements
- The truck driver’s written or electronic logbooks
- Vehicle inspection reports
- Maintenance records
- The driver’s employment history
- Data from the truck’s electronic data recorder (“black box”)
- Medical records
- Hospital bills
- Records of missed wages and other losses, such as property damage
Next, we analyze the evidence to figure out who the defendants should be. In truck accident cases, an individual driver or several parties may have been negligent and could be held liable for your wreck, such as:
- The truck driver
- The truck company
- The truck and parts manufacturers
- Cargo companies
After our analysis, we thoroughly prepare your case. A truck accident claim can result in significant amounts of compensation for victims. But it’s important to begin investigating a truck accident claim quickly before evidence is lost or damaged. Our attorneys also consult with physicians, accident reconstruction specialists and forensic experts to support your claims. Whatever your case needs to prevail, the lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law can go after it.
What Types of Compensation Can I Get in an Ohio Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Truck accident cases can result in substantial awards, depending on the circumstances. An attorney can give you a general estimate of what your case is worth after evaluating the details of the case. In Ohio, you may receive damages for economic losses such as medical costs and lost wages. You may also be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress. The court may also award punitive damages, which is money intended to punish the defendants for their recklessness and deter similar acts in the future.
Reach out to Jim Leach Attorneys at Law to learn how we can help with your commercial truck accident claim. We represent clients throughout Southern Ohio and West Virginia. Call us or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation now.