Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods all over the country. While this transportation is essential, when truck drivers or trucking companies act negligently, they put innocent people at risk of sustaining terrible injuries in an accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck collision, a Dayton truck accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will stand by your side.
When you have representation from Thomas Law Offices, you can rest assured that we’re going to conduct a thorough investigation of your case and build you a strong claim so you get the compensation you deserve. We understand how truck accident injuries can change a person’s life forever and know that Dayton, Ohio has seen the dangers of truck accidents in the past. In February 2020, a fatal truck accident occurred when a semitruck crossed a median and rolled over, resulting in two deaths.
The lawyers at Thomas Law Offices will hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and seek to maximize your compensation. To build a strong claim, you’re going to need to show the other party owed you a duty of care, they failed to meet that duty by acting negligently, their negligence caused the accident, and you suffered injuries from the accident. Our attorneys will gather the evidence necessary to show these points. Let’s start with the different types of truck accidents.
What Are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?
There are different types of truck accidents that can happen. Unfortunately, all these accidents can cause terrible accidents. Some possible semitruck accidents include:
- Rollover. When trucks rollover, it flips on its side and can hit the other vehicles around it. Rollovers can occur when a truck is traveling at high speeds and turns without slowing down.
- Underride/Override. Truckers have blind spots on their sides, front, and back. When a car is traveling near the front or back of the 18-wheeler, the driver may not know they’re there. This puts the car driver and occupants at risk of underride and override accidents. The truck either drives over the back of the car, or the front of the car gets trapped under the back of the truck. Once the car is stuck, the driver may lose control of the vehicle and the big rig could crush the roof of the car.
- Jackknife. When a driver loses control of their trailer, it swings forward to form a right angle or L shape. The trailer may swing forward if it’s not weighted properly or improperly loaded. Those traveling near the big rig could get hit by the swinging trailer.
Once our lawyers know what kind of accident you were involved in, we’ll look into how it happened. The attorneys at Thomas Law Offices have experience in examining truck accident scenes, accident reports, and will consult with experts to find out what happened and why.
How Do Truck Accidents Occur?
When you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s important for you to know how the accident occurred in the first place. This is necessary information for your claim and can help provide evidence for who was at fault. Let’s look at the common ways that truck wrecks can occur.
- Truck Issue. If the tractor-trailer hasn’t gotten proper maintenance, the vehicle may be unfit for the road. It could have mechanical or other safety issues, which could mean the driver could lose control of the truck while they’re operating it. Trucking companies are supposed to make sure their trucks are safe to drive, and they could be responsible for your injuries. Our firm is prepared to hold a negligent company accountable for their actions.
- Driver Error. A truck driver making an error can result in a devastating accident. The truck driver is making a negligent decision like texting and driving or eating. If the truck driver doesn’t have the necessary training and experience to operate a big rig, they may not be used to the time it takes for the truck to speed up, slow down, and how to execute turns. Drivers can also be aggressive and resort to speeding or driving too fast for conditions.
- Fatigued Driving. Truck drivers can be on the road for hours at a time over a number of days. When truck drivers are drowsy, their ability to safely drive decreases. Fatigued driving can affect their decision-making skills, judgement, speed, and control of the wheel. If a truck driver is fatigued, they could fall asleep at the wheel and veer off the road or into the vehicles in the lane next to them.
Truck Driving Hours of Service Regulations
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations for how long property-carrying drivers can operate their vehicles. This is to reduce fatigued driving and make sure truck drivers are getting enough sleep while transporting goods.
- The maximum driving limit is 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- They cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty. This is following 10 consecutive hours off duty. More time spent off-duty doesn’t increase the 14-hour period.
- For rest breaks, the truck driver can resume driving if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of their last off-duty, or sleeper berth period of at least a half hour.
- A truck driver cannot drive after 60-70 hours on duty in 7-8 consecutive days. To start another 7-8 consecutive day period, they must spend 34 consecutive hours or more off duty.
- If the driver uses the sleeper berth provision, they need to take at least 8 consecutive hours in the berth, plus two separate consecutive hours in the berth, off duty, or a combination.
Unfortunately, if a truck driver feels fatigued but they’re still in their hours where they can drive, they may decide to try and push through their exhaustion instead of taking a break. They may prioritize keeping their schedule over their exhaustion. They may try to use caffeine or loud music to help break through their fatigue, but these methods do not work, and the driver is still at risk of causing an accident.
Truck Collisions Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries have permanent consequences. When someone suffers a catastrophic injury, they may no longer be able to return to work. Some examples include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Loss of Limb
- Burn Injuries
If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, it can inhibit more than your ability to work, it can change how you move or complete tasks. Your injury could result in a permanent disability or disfigurement that will require you to relearn how to get around your house, cook, and keep up with hygienic routines.
These injuries can require extensive medical care. After suffering one of these injuries, you may have been in the hospital for a period of time. This time may have had procedures, treatments, therapy, and medication. After you’re discharged, you may still require continued medical care. As your medical bills start to add up, you may start to feel overwhelmed because you still have other expenses as well.
When you’re under financial stress while adjusting to a major life change, pursing your legal options may seem like too much to add to your responsibilities. That’s where our lawyers come in. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve so you can get the care you need and not worry about being able to put food on the table.
Contact Thomas Law Offices in Cincinnati Today
Truck accidents are preventable. Drivers and companies that don’t prioritize safety can cause irreparable harm. Thomas Law Offices is here to stand up for those who have been harmed because of negligence. We’re prepared to fight for the rights of Dayton, Ohio citizens.
When a truck accident puts your life on hold, our firm can help you move forward. We’ll seek for you to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
If you lost a loved one because of a truck collision, you can still seek justice for them. Our wrongful death lawyers are here to fight for you and your loved one. We’ll hold the negligent party responsible and seek damages for you and your family. This may provide some comfort that will allow you to grieve for your loved one without the stress of worrying about your financial future.
It’s important to act quickly on your claim. Physical evidence that will help your claim can be preserved from the scene of the accident and details will be fresh in your mind. These facts can help your lawyer build a strong claim and give you a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
You also don’t want to run the risk of putting your claim in jeopardy. Personal injury claims often have time limits when a victim can come forward. Waiting too long could render you ineligible to receive compensation. Our lawyers will be able to tell you the statute of limitations and the other laws that apply to your case.
To get started on your claim, get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today. We’re here to help.