While all vehicle accidents can be traumatic, truck accidents are often catastrophic. Accidents with commercial trucks involve different issues than accidents between two smaller vehicles. This mostly has to do with the sheer size of the trucks. Victims of these accidents deserve the opportunity to hold the negligent parties accounts for their actions, as well as the right to compensation for their suffering.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2017 there were over 6.2 million vehicular crashes. Of the 32,166 fatal crashes, 11.9 percent involved at least one large truck. Of the nonfatal crashes, 7.6 percent involved at least one tractor-trailer. If we narrow our scope to Ohio, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported that in 2017, 23,704 large trucks were involved in traffic wrecks.
Based on the number above, it’s clear that thousands of lives are impacted by truck accidents every year. Many of the surviving victims suffer from debilitating injuries and are unable to function like they were before the accident. Families of the victims that did not survive the accidents often face tremendous grief and economic instability.
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a semi collision, our Cincinnati truck accident lawyers are prepared to help you navigate what can be complex and confusing legal territory. To begin, let’s take a look at the most common types of truck accidents.
Types of Truck Accidents
In order to understand why tractor trailer accidents happen, it’s important to understand the most common types of truck accidents. If you understand the types, you’ll be a more vigilant driver while traveling. Here are the most common types of truck accidents:
Jackknife. When a tractor trailer’s axle brakes lock up, the trailer can skid. If this happens, the trailer may only stop after it has formed a 90-degree angle with the tractor. This type of accident is referred to as a jackknife. These accidents often occur when the truck driver is speeding and needs to suddenly brake.
Override. An override accident occurs when a truck driver runs over a smaller vehicle in front of them. These collisions happen when there isn’t enough space between vehicles, the visibility is low, and when a truck driver is speeding and unable to stop when necessary.
Rear-End Collision. Read end collisions are the less severe version of override accidents. They are typically the result of reckless driving, speeding, driving under the influence, or tailgating.
Rollover. Rollover accidents are some of the most common truck accidents and often involve more than two vehicles. There are several reasons these accidents occur. Most of them are a result of speeding around curves or improperly loaded cargo.
Underride. The opposite of an override accident, an underride accident, occurs when a smaller vehicle gets trapped underneath the back of a semi. Because of the impact to the front of the smaller vehicle, these accidents are often fatal.
Causes of Truck Accidents
In most cases, the causes of truck accidents are related to driver error or poor vehicle maintenance; however, there are a variety of other factors that can cause devastating collisions.
Despite the existing laws and individual company protocols in place to promote truck driver safety, there are times truck drivers choose to drive drowsy, speed, use their phones, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many of those things impair a driver’s ability to recognize what’s going on around them. When this happens, they aren’t always able to make the most proactive driving decisions.
If a commercial vehicle is poorly maintained, major traffic accidents can occur. Because of the number of miles any one tractor-trailer covers in a day, trucking companies, drivers, and maintenance crews should regularly ensure the vehicle is performing at top standards.
Other truck accidents may be caused by equipment failure or a defective part, improperly loaded cargo, or inclement weather.
What to Do After a Truck Accidents in Ohio
In the moments after a car accident, it can be difficult to remember what you need to do; however, there are important laws and protocols in place that you need to follow.
Immediately following an accident, it’s crucial to determine if you or anyone else requires medical attention. After that, it’s important to document as much information from the scene as possible. You can start by obtaining the other party’s contact and insurance information. You should also jot down information about where the accident happened and why you think it happened, the road and weather conditions at the time of the collision, and the extent of your physical injuries.
If the accident exceeds $400 in personal injuries or property damage or one of the parties involved is uninsured, the accident must be reported to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You’ll have six months to file this report. You’ll also need to report the accident to your insurance company, so they can begin the investigation and start the settlement process.
In the event the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement, it may be a good idea to seek legal representation. An experience attorney will help you recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, future loss of earning, pain and suffering, permanent impairments, and property damage.
Holding the Responsible Party Accountable with an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer
There are a number of parties who you may be able to hold liable for the damages you’ve suffered after a tractor-trailer accident. Some of those parties include the truck driver, the trucking company, and the manufacturer. Whether the truck driver was driving irresponsibly, the trucking company was using outdated and dangerous policies, or the manufacturer produced defective automotive parts, an experienced Cincinnati truck accident attorney can help you seek justice.
Our firm is prepared to represent you with the strongest case possible. Whether you’re ready to take legal action or simply looking for answers to your legal questions, we’re ready to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.