Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer
With more than 40 years handling truck accident litigation, we have observed firsthand how devastating truck accidents can be for the innocent people involved. Truck accidents are far more complex cases than car accident cases, and present extensive legal issues. Due to their sheer size, accidents involving large trucks often result in serious injuries or death. Truck drivers are often employed or contracted drivers, and big rig trucks may be owned or leased by third parties. Other third parties may be contracted to maintain them and load them. When an accident occurs, the insurance company will immediately arrange for an investigation to determine what happened. It is important to remember that the trucking company’s ultimate goal is to deny or defeat their liability for your personal injury claim and not necessarily uncover the truth. Their investigation will be tailored to their agenda. If you hire GBM Law in your Ohio truck accident case, we can arrange an immediate and thorough independent investigation by a skilled and knowledgeable trucking industry expert. As part of our investigation, we review the truck driver’s qualifications, training, log books and maintenance records to determine if the trucking company and driver complied with all applicable federal regulations.
Leveling the Playing Field for Ohio Truck Accident Victims
It is extremely unlikely that a truck driver will ever admit fault or speculate someone else, like their mechanic, contributed. They are afraid of losing their jobs and their commercial driver licenses, and are trained by their employer to admit nothing, deny everything, and never, ever apologize. The driver will deny fault, the trucking company will deny fault, the trucking company’s insurance company will deny fault, and they will all expect the victim to be bullied into eventually accepting an insultingly low settlement offer. This is unfair and unjust. When injuries are serious and impact your ability to work and enjoy life, settling for anything less than full and fair compensation is unacceptable and is something that could affect the rest of your and your family’s life. Our Ohio truck accident attorneys have firsthand knowledge and experience with how tractor-trailers, big-rigs and semi-trucks contribute to serious injury accidents, and we can help you avoid an unfair settlement.
Get Help Immediately Following an Ohio Truck Accident
Quick action is critical if you have been involved in a truck accident. The truck driver will contact their dispatcher before they even get out of the truck, and the trucking company’s legal team will be contacted immediately to begin building their case. The trucking company, their investigation team and their lawyers are often on the scene before the vehicles have been cleared. Contacting an experienced truck accident lawyer immediately will give you the best chance of a fair result. If the trucking company knows that you are represented by an aggressive and reputable law firm that will go to trial, they are more likely to cut out the denial of liability tactics and negotiate more fairly from the start.
Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides information about truck and bus accidents nationwide. Their latest report published in May 2019 revealed that from 2016 to 2017, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10 percent, from 4,251 to 4,657, and the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent, from 102,000 to 107,000. Statistics for Ohio are published by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. There were 92 heavy-truck-involved fatalities in Ohio in 2016. In 2017, there were 118 fatalities, and in 2018, there were 121.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Ohio
Accidents involving large trucks in Ohio can occur for many reasons including improper driver training, negligent maintenance, failure to comply with federal safety standards and more. Some crashes are even caused by driver fatigue when they are ignoring federally mandated rest requirements, causing them to fall asleep at the wheel. It is often the case that initially, it is unclear what happened and why. Without immediate action and thorough investigation, the trucking company may discard, destroy or alter evidence, decreasing their liability. The following are some of the causes, or contributing causes to trucking accidents in Ohio:
- Driver inexperience
- Driver fatigue
- Drug use while driving (prescription or illegal)
- Driver inattentiveness
- Unsafe trucking company policies and practices
- Negligent maintenance
- Equipment failure
- Failure to use or install recommended trucking safety instruments
- Driver fatigue
- Improper cargo loading and/or securement.
Evidence Preservation – The Spoliation Letter
Our first action when we begin working on a truck accident case is to send a spoliation letter. This puts the trucking company and other parties on notice of a potential claim and gives emphasis to their obligation to not destroy any relevant evidence, including the truck itself. If the truck is immediately hauled away and repaired following an accident, it is impossible for us to arrange an inspection. This spoliation letter also stresses that failure to preserve relevant material could be considered by the court as an attempt to destroy evidence.
Why GBM Law is Different
Truck accident cases are heavily defended, as trucking companies have virtually bottomless pockets to invest in their legal defenses and denying and delaying personal injury cases. As a law firm, we give our clients an advantage in every truck accident case:
Skill: The attorneys in our firm that handle truck accidents are all very experienced in handling truck accident litigation and dealing with the trucking companies and their insurers. They regularly attend events hosted by the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group and other industry groups.
Resources: GBM Law lawyers have handled truck accident cases for over 40 years. We know that truck accident cases can be costly and require significant investment. We have the funds to invest in your case’s fact-finding as well as the network of investigators and witnesses. We invest these funds at no risk to you.
Experience: Success in truck accident litigation requires a thorough approach that includes investigation, expert witness opinions and discovery procedures. This includes knowing what questions to ask and information to gather about the collision, trucking company policies and procedures, and truck driver records.
Free Consultation for your Truck Accident Case
We offer a no obligation, free consultation for truck accident cases, allowing us to answer your questions and review the unique facts of your case. This can be done over the phone or video conference. If you have suffered a serious injury or a loved one has died in a truck accident, please contact us to learn about your legal rights. Due to the need to preserve important evidence, please do not delay in contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Under our contingency fee arrangement, there are no fees unless we recover money for you. We are only paid if and when we reach a settlement or recover a verdict at trial.