Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for transporting billions of dollars in goods and supplies across the country every day. The massive commercial vehicles they use weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded—and can cause serious accidents when flying down the highway at 70 mph, mere feet from passenger vehicles.
When a negligent truck driver or trucking company fails to uphold a duty to protect others, they must be held liable.
If you or a loved one suffered serious truck accident injuries, a Columbus truck accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your losses. We’ll represent you in holding the negligent party accountable for their actions, working to ensure no one else has to go through a similar situation. In the event you’ve lost a loved one in a semi wreck, we can help your family file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Every Columbus truck accident victim deserves to recover compensation that can make up for the medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering that comes with severe injuries. Contact one of our experienced truck accident attorneys today to set up a free consultation.
Truck Accidents in Columbus, Ohio
With Interstate 71 running through the center of Columbus, truck accidents are not uncommon in the area. Accidents also happen with relative frequency on I-270, the highway traversing Columbus city limits. In just one example of the type of trucking accidents we experience, police responded to a crash in February 2020 involving a tractor-trailer and several smaller passenger vehicles. As a result of the crash, one man died, and the road was closed for some time.
High speeds and heavy traffic contribute to a number of truck wrecks—many of which are deadly. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Franklin County alone experienced 14 commercial vehicle-related crashes in 2021.
The Most Dangerous Roads and Highways for Truck Crashes in Columbus, Ohio
A Columbus truck accident is most likely to occur on one of these highways in and around Columbus, OH:
- Dublin Granville Road (State Route 161)
- U.S. 40
How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Fight for Injured Victims
A trucking accident can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial effects on victims. Our job is to help you recover a truck accident settlement that will ensure your physical health, peace of mind, and financial security going forward.
Our trucking accident lawyers are fully aware of how life-changing a semi-truck accident is. To help you find justice and stability after a serious accident, we will:
- Consider your needs and prioritize your best interests through every step of your personal injury lawsuit
- Communicate with you and be available to answer your questions at every stage
- Field questions from the trucking company’s insurance adjuster so you don’t have to worry about intimidation tactics from the insurance company
- Analyze all Ohio auto insurance and federal trucking regulations that apply to your case
- Give your claim maximum value and continue fighting until you recover fair compensation
- Provide you with a free legal consultation to help you understand your rights and options
We have helped our clients recover millions in financial compensation. Our law firm specializes in helping victims regain independence and security after serious accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries. These types of cases are highly complex, but our experienced and award-winning legal team is well-equipped to help you face the challenges your case may present.
Contact us today to inquire about your free consultation.
Determining Liability After an Ohio Truck Accident
To determine the party responsible for your truck accident, your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation. While many people may assume the truck driver is naturally the at-fault party, this isn’t always the case. If the truck driver isn’t at fault, there are typically two other potential leads—the trucking company or the truck manufacturer. Additional parties that may be liable include the truck’s owner (if not the driver or company), a shipping or loading company, or another driver on the road.
The truck driver may be at fault in the event they were fatigued while driving, distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly. The police officer who files an accident report at the scene will likely discuss whether they believe the driver was committing an infraction at the time of impact.
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers have the resources to operate their vehicles safely—which includes proper training and a well-maintained vehicle. In the event they hire someone unfit for the job, or they fail to regularly perform maintenance on their truck, they may be held liable in the event of a crash.
Because of the size and the weight, they’re built to carry, big rigs are complex vehicles with many moving and stationary parts. It’s important that no mistakes are made during the design or manufacturing process, as even a small error could result in a truck driver’s inability to control the vehicle.
Per the negligence law in Ohio, the victim of a personal injury accident has the right to be compensated for their losses by the negligent party. Part of determining negligence includes looking to see if any laws were broken before or during the collision.
Federal Trucking Industry Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes the trucking industry regulations that trucking companies and truck drivers are required to follow. When either party fails to follow the law, they are putting lives at risk.
Some of these regulations include specifics on:
- Requirements for loading cargo and weight distribution
- Trailer weight limits
- Lighting that must be visible on all parts of the truck
- How long a trucker can be on the road without rest (hours of service laws)
- How often a truck driver must rest, for how long, and what constitutes a break
- Parameters for hiring new truck drivers
- Requirements for holding a commercial driver’s license and any needed endorsements
- Pre-trip and post-trip inspections
- Emergency preparedness
- Insurance requirements
- What happens when a regulation is violated
These are only a few examples of FMCSA regulations that may apply to your semi-truck accident case. It’s likely that one or more federal laws will come into play. You can rest assured knowing that your Columbus truck accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices will have a comprehensive understanding of all applicable laws. We also have a wealth of other resources, such as the support of experts and industry professionals, to ensure no violation goes unnoticed.
Common Causes of Columbus Truck Accidents
Below are listed a few of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents our Columbus truck accident lawyers see in personal injury cases.
Truck Driver Error
Truck driver negligence may involve:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Misjudging clearances
- Poorly-executed turns
- Loss of vehicle control on curves or inclines
- Failure to conduct pre-trip inspection
Commercial Truck Company Negligence
A commercial truck company may be negligent through:
- Poor truck inspection and maintenance practices
- Negligent hiring and training
- Scheduling unreasonable routes for truckers
- Covering up hours of service violations
- Cutting corners on cheap or used auto parts
- Neglecting to fix truck issues when they arise
Truck Manufacturing Company Negligence
A surprisingly high number of truck accidents are caused by faulty parts. If a production or distribution company is negligent at any stage of the design, manufacturing, labeling, or wholesale or retail process, a serious collision can result.
Truck Parts Malfunction
Many of the types of negligence listed above can lead to a parts failure while the truck is on the road. If a tire blowout, brake malfunction, steering system failure, or any other type of malfunction was caused by negligence, your truck accident lawyers from Thomas Law Offices will be aware of it.
The Columbus truck accident attorneys handling your case will be sure to hold the appropriate party liable for your serious injuries and medical expenses, whether the at-fault party be the trucker, the trucking company, a truck parts manufacturer, or another involved party.
Common Injuries in Trucking Accident Cases
While a car accident may range in severity, accidents involving tractor-trailers are almost never minor. Large commercial trucks are 20-30 times the size of a typical passenger vehicle. When auto accidents between semi-trucks and smaller cars occur, the occupants of the smaller car are at serious risk of catastrophic injuries or fatality.
Some of the most common injuries in a truck crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Permanent disability
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
Many truck accidents are fatal. If a close family member lost their life in a trucking accident, our Columbus personal injury attorneys can help you pursue justice through the means established by Ohio law, a wrongful death claim. Get in touch with our law firm to learn more about how we can help.
You Deserve Compensation for Your Losses
Trucking companies are required by federal law to carry millions of dollars in insurance coverage for a reason—the consequences of truck accidents are devastating. Victims may be left with a lifetime of expenses due to the negligent actions of a person or company.
Because of the size difference between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle, it’s likely for the victim in a commercial vehicle crash to sustain serious injuries that require continual care, like head trauma, spinal cord damage, limb loss, and burns. Recovery requires extended time spent in the hospital, physical therapy, and homecare.
In truck accidents, non-physical injuries are also common. Victims may be left to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, fear, depression, anger, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Professional counseling, therapy, or medication may be needed to improve the victim’s emotional and mental health.
When you decide to pursue a personal injury claim with Thomas Law Offices, we’ll thoroughly investigate your case and determine how much you’re owed in both economic and non-economic damages.
What Are Considered Economic Damages?
Economic damages are the calculable losses of your truck accident. Bills and financial losses can come from:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Domestic services
- Transportation costs
What Are Considered Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages do not come with a bill. These are the other ways your life was altered by the commercial truck accident. These may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
How Do I Know What Fair Financial Compensation Looks Like in My Case?
How much financial compensation can you recover in your case? The answer depends on the lawyer you have representing you.
At Thomas Law Offices, we do not stop calculating when we reach the end of your bills. We know that your life has been impacted in many intangible ways, and that your losses may extend far into the future as well. Not every law firm’s Columbus truck accident attorneys go the extra mile to give your claim maximum value.
When you recover economic and non-economic damages, you should be sure that your settlement amount addresses all current bills, lost wages (including benefits), lost future income if you can’t return to your previous position, non-financial injuries, and the cost of future care. If your award falls short of this amount, it is less than you are entitled to under Ohio law.
What To Do After a Columbus, OH Truck Accident
There are a few steps you can take at the accident scene and immediately after to ensure your health and rights are protected.
Call 911 or the Columbus Police Department
Communicate with the arriving officer to help prepare a police accident report. Make sure to obtain a copy of this report.
Seek Emergency Medical Treatment
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible after a truck accident. Go to the emergency room, or, if you have been cleared by EMTs, schedule an appointment with your doctor for an examination soon thereafter.
Exchange Information With the Truck Driver
Ask the truck driver for their name, contact information, employer, and insurance information.
Take photos and videos of the crash scene if you can, including surrounding property damage, weather and traffic conditions, and any debris or skid marks on the road.
Call a Truck Accident Law Firm in Columbus
Once you are in a safe place, contact an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer to schedule a free consultation.
How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Help Win Your Case
Without an experienced Columbus truck accident attorney, it’s difficult to prove fault, especially when the trucking company, their insurer, and their legal team have built up a shield of defense. Hiring a lawyer gives you the advantage of access to the resources, experts, and knowledge you need to get the compensation you legally deserve.
Gathering Evidence To Prove Your Case
Strong claims rely on strong evidence. To prove your claim, your Columbus truck accident attorney will draw on evidence such as:
- The police report
- Your medical records
- Trucker’s logs
- Trucking company documents
- Truck black box data
- Eyewitness reports
- Expert testimony from an accident reconstructionist or other expert
Negotiating a Full and Fair Settlement
Once we have a solid case, we’ll begin negotiations with the insurance company. The adjuster assigned to your case will most likely do what they can to lower your settlement offer. They may even try to deny your claim. When you work with us, you won’t have to worry about having difficult conversations that could jeopardize your claim. Your truck accident lawyer will handle the phone calls and paperwork for you.
Defending You in Court
While most cases settle outside of court, a truck accident claim may go to court. If we’re unable to reach an ideal settlement through negotiations, we can prepare your claim for trial and proceed with a lawsuit. The litigation process is complex, but your truck accident attorney will guide you and ensure the verdict is in your favor.
How Long Do I Have To File a Truck Accident Claim in Ohio?
Truck accident cases are subject to Ohio’s statute of limitations. This refers to the amount of time you have to file your case in court. Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action. If you fail to do so in that timeframe, it’s likely you’ll have rendered yourself ineligible for compensation.
Those injured in Columbus truck accidents know they can turn to Thomas Law Offices for help. A Columbus truck accident lawyer is prepared to take on your case, determine the best course of action, and fight for your right to full and fair compensation.
The attorney-client relationship is central to all that we do. Learn why our clients trust us to get the best case results.
Thomas Law Offices Takes Most Cases on a Contingency Fee Basis
We offer free consultations to victims of truck accidents in Columbus, Franklin County, and elsewhere in Ohio, and we take most cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless you win your case.
To get started with your claim, contact us today. A Columbus truck accident attorney will review your case, explain your legal rights and options to you, and guide you through the personal injury process, so you receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Don’t wait. An accident lawyer is ready to speak with you today.