Truck Accident Lawyer Dayton, OH
A truck accident lawyer Dayton, OH from Cowan & Hilgeman knows that commercial truck accidents are quite different from car accidents. Not only are you up against a much larger vehicle, but truckers must abide by regulations that the average driver doesn’t have to. Trucks can weigh upwards of eighty thousand pounds, so it’s no wonder that the other car and those inside are often the ones that sustain the most damage.
When it comes to who is liable in a truck accident, the answer may not be immediately clear. There are a few different parties that could have contributed to the accident happening, such as the trucker, the trucking company, the truck parts manufacturer, or a third driver. To know which parties are involved in a truck accident, a lawyer will need to assess your case.
Because the resulting damages and injuries in a truck accident are often steep, you may find that the trucker’s insurance company is attempting to blame you for the accident. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters will do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim, including making you say certain statements during what seemed to be a genuinely concerned phone call. As a Dayton, OH truck accident lawyer may tell you, an insurance adjuster is not your friend. To protect yourself, contact a qualified truck accident lawyer to give you personalized legal support.
Do I Have Cause to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
You may not know for sure whether you have cause to file a lawsuit until you speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer Dayton, OH travelers trust. Why? It is often very difficult to determine the cause(s) of a crash with certainty until the circumstances that led to the accident have been thoroughly and objectively investigated. This is one of the reasons why the dedicated legal team at Cowan & Hilgeman advises injury victims to avoid making assumptions about their legal situation until our investigation has concluded.
Truck accident claims tend to be complex partially because there are often so many invisible forces at work that influence the circumstances leading up to a crash. For example, because the driver of a large commercial truck must undergo rigorous training and testing before they can secure their commercial license, there may be legitimate questions about whether their training was adequate, and even whether their employer pushed them to engage in unsafe behaviors in an effort to operate their vehicle in more profitable ways. As an injury victim, you can’t know all of the possible forces that may impact the potential strength and value of your case until it has been thoroughly investigated by those who understand such issues of causation and legal liability.
What if My Crash Was Work-Related?
If your truck crash occurred while you were engaged in work-related activity, a Dayton truck accident lawyer may advise you to seek workers’ compensation benefits, file a personal injury lawsuit, or pursue both opportunities for financial recourse.
Can I Collect Both Personal Injury Damages and Workers’ Comp?
If you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and your accident occurred while you were engaged in work-related activity, you can likely claim these benefits even if you were at fault for your crash. By contrast, you’ll only be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if it can be proven that a third party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous behavior directly caused your injuries. If you are in a position to seek both kinds of compensation, we can help with both of these opportunities. Know, however, that you can’t name your employer as a defendant in a lawsuit if you’re eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Can I Tell My Loved Ones What Happened to Me?
You can tell your loved ones about your crash and your injuries but avoid social media and be careful with text messaging and e-mail until your case is fully resolved. It is now common for insurance companies and the attorneys representing others involved in an accident to go through the social media and electronic records of an injury victim to find any cause whatsoever to question the validity of their claims. To avoid giving a jury any excuse whatsoever to devalue your claim, be extremely careful with how you communicate until your case is resolved.
What if I Am the Loved One of Someone Who Died in a Truck Crash?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a fatal crash, the compassionate and reputable Dayton truck accident lawyer team at Cowan & Hilgeman can help you to pursue wrongful death damages and/or workers’ compensation death benefits.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
The larger the car, the more devastation that can ensue. When a truck accident happens, victims are likely to endure severe injury, hefty medical bills, and substantial property damage. Common injuries for truck accident victims are listed as follows:
- Head Injuries, Head injuries are common truck accident injuries. During the moment of impact, a victim’s head can strike the headrest, steering wheel or side airbags. This can result in concussions, brain bleeds and traumatic brain injuries.
- Leg Injuries. A car accident can cause severe leg injuries that may need emergency surgery or even amputation. For example, victims can suffer broken legs because of the impact. If a car is struck at high speed, the victim’s legs can get pinned in between the seats.
- Seat Belt Rash. The force of a truck accident can be so strong that it causes painful bruises or rashes on a victim’s chest. These can take days to recover from and can leave permanent scars.
- Broken bones. Many truck accident victims suffer fractures and broken bones due to the force of the impact. This is common in rollover accidents and rear-end accidents.
- Mental anguish and fears. Victims who are injured in a truck accident can experience emotional trauma. Truck accident victims can struggle with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders as a result of their accident.
- Soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries to the nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries are devastating injuries that often occur in severe truck accidents. Truck accident victims can strike their head on the steering wheel, the side of their vehicle, or on the ground if they are ejected.
- Crushed extremities. Truck accident victims can get their body, limbs, or extremities crushed inside their vehicle. This often happens to victims who become trapped.
- Organ damage. Because of the severity of the impact in a car accident, injuries to organs are common. Victims in truck accidents can suffer internal bleeding if their body is punctured or cut by sharp debris.
- Spinal cord injury. A serious car accident frequently results in spinal injuries, limiting a person’s ability to sit, stand, and walk. Recovery from a spinal injury can take several weeks or even months if the injuries are particularly serious. Many rear-end accident victims sustain fractures along their spine.
- And More
A lawyer is aware that auto accidents can result in serious injuries. The consequences of a horrific and sudden car accident can impact a victim for months or years, depending on the severity of the injury. Hiring a lawyer to assist you with your car accident claim can help you maximize the compensation that you can receive for your damages.
Contributing Factors of Truck Accidents
There are many ways that truck accidents can unfold, and here are some of the most common contributing factors:
One of the leading reasons that truck accidents happen is due to driver error. The driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel, experienced a seizure or heart attack, or was suddenly impaired for a different reason. A trucker must pay attention to the road at all times, if they are distracted by their phone, radio, food, or something else, they may not be able to observe changing road conditions happening ahead of them. Truckers are hauling thousands of pounds of weight, and must not drive too fast otherwise they may not be able to stop in time when needed.
Lack of Training
Truck drivers must be fully trained before they even get behind the wheel of a truck. It is important that truckers are not rushed into their role, as they may not be accustomed to how a commercial truck moves. Such a truck is bulky, boxy, and doesn’t have the same turn radius as other vehicles. Understanding the nuances between a passenger vehicle and semi truck will be vital to preventing serious collisions. If a trucker lacked sufficient training and the trucking company put them behind the wheel too soon, then the trucking company may also be liable for the victim’s injuries and damages if a crash occurs.
There are so many important parts within the body of a commercial truck. And a driver can only operate a truck as well as the condition that it is in. Recognizing that equipment failures tend to cause truck accidents, every truck driver and the company they work for is required to perform inspections before trips, in addition to routine maintenance throughout the year. Examples of mechanical or equipment failures include:
- Improperly worn or inflated tires
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Unbalanced cargo
- Defective lights and turn signals
- Transmission failure
- Loading too much cargo past capacity
- Manufacturing part defects
- Defective safety equipment
- Overall lack of maintenance
Truck drivers are required to take screenings for substance abuse when they are hired and then throughout their time of employment. This is to confirm that drivers are complying with the laws, and they are not driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Some drivers may take illicit drugs in order to stay awake or to help them sleep during their rest breaks. However, such use of illegal drugs can easily contribute to the wrong maneuver being made on the road and a horrific collision to ensue.
Dayton, OH Truck Accident Infographic
What to Do After a Car Accident
At the scene of a truck accident, do your best to stay calm. The scene is probably hectic and stressful, but assessing yourself for injuries will take precedent. Turn on your hazard lights, call for help, get medical attention, stay at the scene, gather information from all parties involved, collect evidence, and don’t discuss the accident with anyone else but the responding officer. The officer will take a report of the accident, which you can get a copy of in the days to follow.
During this time, it’s important that you put yourself first. Your health and finances are a priority, and you may need a legal team to guide you and protect your best interests. Handling a case alone can be challenging for many reasons. You are probably not familiar with the law and your case could be extremely complex. Having a lawyer at your side can help you prepare a stronger case. If you have multiple injuries or have suffered a moderate or severe injury, it may mean you could be eligible to receive more damages. Some of the top injuries that a lawyer usually sees in car accident cases are described below. Contact a truck accident lawyer in Dayton, Ohio from Cowan & Hilgeman today for immediate help over a consultation.
Dayton Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck driver fatigue is a factor in up to 30 percent of all truck accidents. Driver fatigue is a serious problem that can lead to dangerous driving behaviors. When drivers are fatigued, they are more likely to make mistakes, such as falling asleep at the wheel, driving too fast, or failing to yield the right of way.
What Are Reasons Why Truck Accidents Happen?
Many factors may lead to truck accidents, but we’ll explore eight common reasons why such accidents occur:
- Distracted driving: While truck drivers are held to a higher degree of responsibility than your everyday pedestrian driving, distracted driving also may affect truck drivers. Anything from texting or calling while driving, eating and drinking, changing the radio station, etc., are examples of distracted driving.
- Driver’s fatigue: Truck drivers are often overworked and many might be on the open road for ten hours or more with very few breaks in between. Driving this long is exhausting especially if you’re not given much of a chance to catch up on rest. Truck drivers are expected to meet certain quotas within certain timeframes and this causes them to overwork themselves.
- Driving while under the influence: Driving while under the influence also causes truck accidents. Besides the usual culprits like alcohol, truck drivers may also use stimulating drugs like cocaine or meth. Due to needing to work long hours without many opportunities to sleep, some truck drivers turn to drugs like cocaine, meth, or medications like Adderall to keep them awake.
- Weather conditions: During massive snow or even rainstorms, pedestrians are advised to stay inside if they can help it. However, truck drivers may not always have this privilege. An icy road paired with falling snow obscuring visibility can quickly cause an accident.
- Poor road conditions: While we tend to think of truck drivers as driving out on the open highway solely, they still need to use roads inside cities, towns, and villages to deliver and pick up their cargo. Unfortunately, not every road is the same and issues like crumbling infrastructure, missing or confusing traffic signage, or missing guardrails may cause an accident. In these situations, the government might be held liable.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Properly maintaining a vehicle is crucial for every vehicle owner and this is even more so the case with truck drivers. Normally it’s the truck driver’s responsibility to maintain their truck or inform the necessary parties when repairs or checks are needed. However, sometimes the trucking company itself might be at fault.
- Cargo loads: Cargo that’s improperly loaded can quickly take a nasty turn. Cargo can fall out while on the highway or cause a truck to tip over. For cargo loads, multiple parties might be involved. It might be the trucking company’s responsibility to load the cargo themselves, a third party such as a warehouse, or even the driver themselves. At the very least, a truck driver should check their cargo before departing.
Inadequate driver training: Truck drivers are expected to go through a rigorous training process before officially driving. However, poor training can still occur and is often a problem contributed to the trainer or trucking company as a whole versus the driver themselves. Sometimes, a driver might not even be aware of having inadequate skills.
Dayton Truck Accident Lawyer Statistics
Truck accidents are serious collisions that should be warded against at all costs. There are regulations that truck drivers have to follow, such as taking rest periods after so many hours of driving, not driving more than a set number of hours within a week period, and so on. But despite these regulations, truck drivers may violate them in order to get to their destination on time which can cause accidents. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 5,000 trucks were involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2019.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can result in very serious and life-threatening injuries or even death and if you have been involved in one, it could be beneficial to reach out to a truck accident lawyer in Dayton, Ohio. A truck accident lawyer can assist you after you have been involved in a truck accident. You are going to need an experienced and skilled truck accident lawyer because it can be extremely challenging to file a claim and seek justice when a commercial truck is involved.
Working with a truck accident lawyer has the skills and experience of helping other clients who have suffered injuries that have been caused by a commercial truck accident. A professional like a truck accident lawyer will work towards getting you the compensation that you rightly deserve for your losses. When a commercial truck is involved that will most likely mean that multiple liable parties are involved, so having help from a lawyer can help you manage every aspect of your claim. A lawyer will have the time and resources to take action on your behalf with your best interests in mind. Here are a few reasons why you should have a truck accident lawyer on your side to help you get full justice:
- Being involved in a truck accident could mean that it becomes difficult to know who all the parties involved are liable for the accident and your injuries. Sometimes those liable parties could include the driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or even government entities. Having a lawyer could ensure that all liable parties involved are held accountable so that you can get the compensation promptly.
- A truck accident lawyer in Dayton, Ohio can provide the skills and expertise that are needed to handle multi-defendant cases. They will be able to handle complex negotiations which would most likely be confusing and challenging for anyone who is not an experienced lawyer.
- A lawyer will understand which appropriate legal strategy would be beneficial to you as their client. Without a lawyer, you probably would have a hard time determining the best legal strategy to prepare your case for trial. A lawyer will be able to analyze your case, retrieve evidence and expert witnesses, and come up with the best course of legal action to get the justice and the compensation you deserve not just now but for the rest of your life.
- Having a truck accident lawyer on your side will guide you through your entire legal process. Legal processes can be complicated and overwhelming, however, a truck accident lawyer, they will be able to deal directly with the trucking company and its insurance company to reduce your stress and any more trauma that could be caused if you had to communicate directly with them. A lawyer will be able to guide you in a better way when it comes to your case and its settlement.
Being a victim of a truck accident can be extremely traumatizing both mentally and physically and you don’t have to go through this alone. Working with a truck accident lawyer can ensure that your best interests and needs are recognized and met. A lawyer will fight for you and anything that you may be owed as a result of this traumatic experience.
Call today to schedule a consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Dayton, Ohio from the firm Cowan & Hilgeman.