As a result of their massive size and weight, a commercial truck accident involving a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian can cause devastating injuries. These injuries are often life-threatening, requiring ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. In addition to the pain and suffering caused by your injuries, the costs for medical treatment can be substantial and cause severe financial hardship.
If you were injured in an accident with a commercial truck, the legal representation you choose to represent you will make a considerable difference in maximizing the value and success of your case. Our experienced attorneys know what to look for when investigating and analyzing the circumstances of your truck accident. We are familiar with the many unique issues involved in these cases, such as federal regulations and commercial insurance matters, and will expertly resolve any challenges. Let our Akron truck accident Lawyers provide you with the legal guidance you need to ensure your rights and best interests are protected.
Why Truck Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries
Truck accidents are typically more dangerous than passenger vehicle accidents because they have a significantly greater potential to cause devastating and catastrophic injuries, even fatalities. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that nearly 70% of truck accident fatalities are those of the occupants of other vehicles, and an additional 15% of the deaths were motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Several factors contribute to why serious injuries and fatalities are likely to occur in a tractor-trailer crash.
- Trucks generally weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle. The increased mass of a tractor-trailer means the impact on the vehicle and the force on a passenger’s body is more significant, resulting in more serious injuries to those involved.
- Many trucks carry hazardous materials that make them more dangerous in the event of a crash. Cargo such as flammable liquids, heavy objects, toxic chemicals, and oversized loads all play a role in the increased risk of harm to others.
- The large weight of a truck makes braking more difficult. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that when a passenger vehicle travels at 65 mph, it requires a distance of approximately 270 feet to stop. However, when a truck travels 65 mph, it takes nearly double the distance, or 525 feet, to come to a complete stop.
- Passenger vehicles are often pushed or pulled under a commercial truck during a collision due to a truck’s high ground clearance.
- Semis and other large trucks have a high center of gravity, making it much easier for them to roll over.
- Big rigs and other large trucks have massive blind spots, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
Types of Ohio Truck Accidents
Truck accidents occur in a wide variety of situations. Some of the more common types of semi-truck accidents are as follows:
- Rear-end collisions – A rear-end collision between a truck and an automobile generally takes place when the truck is unable to come to a stop in time and hits the passenger vehicle in front of them. Due to the truck’s substantially larger mass, this often results in severe damage to the car and devastating injuries to its passengers.
- Underride crashes – One of the deadliest types of trucking accidents is what is known as an “underride” accident. These collisions occur when a truck stops quickly, and an approaching car or motorcycle gets stuck underneath the tractor-trailer. In many cases, the roof of the car is ripped off, resulting in catastrophic injuries to its passengers.
- Roll-over accidents – With a truck’s higher center of gravity, it is prone to roll-over crashes. A car can be pinned underneath the truck or crash into it after it has rolled over.
- Jackknife accidents – Nearly 5% of all truck crashes involve jackknife accidents. These crashes occur when the truck’s trailer swings out from behind the cab, forming a 90-degree angle. Jackknife accidents are caused by high speeds, curves in the road, slippery or wet road conditions, and equipment malfunctions.
- Blindspot crashes – A blind spot is any place around the truck where the truck driver is unable to see. Big rigs have blind spots on all four sides. Truck drivers cannot see cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians within 20 feet of the front of the truck and 30 feet from the back. The blind spots on the sides of the truck extend across an entire lane.
- Tire blowouts – Tire blowouts occur when the truck’s tire suddenly bursts or ruptures. They typically happen when the semi is traveling at a high rate of speed. As a result of the blown tire, the truck driver can lose control and crash into nearby vehicles. Vehicles may also swerve to avoid the shredded parts of the tire, causing a collision.
We Will Fight to Get You the Maximum Compensation
Sharing the road with commercial trucks poses a high risk to both you and your passengers. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a truck accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your losses. Our Akron truck accident lawyers have recovered damages for our clients that include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Rehabilitation therapy costs
- Property repair or replacement
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs for in-home or long-term facility care
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Truck accident injuries can be life-long and severe. Common injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Severe burns
- Neck and back injuries
- Spine injuries
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Wrongful death
Truck Accident Lawyers in Akron
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident, be it with an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or tractor-trailer, we can help. The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Slater & Zurz have helped injured victims recover compensation for their truck accident injuries for over 40 years.
Negligent truck drivers and the companies they work for need to be held liable for the harm they cause, and we know exactly what steps to take to ensure that happens. We will handle every step of the legal process, including investigating the accident, compiling evidence proving fault, negotiating with the insurance company, and representing your best interests in court, if necessary. Letting us handle your truck accident case will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track. In Ohio, an injured victim generally has two years from the date of their accident to file a truck accident lawsuit, so it is best to act quickly. Call (330)762-0700 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Akron truck accident lawyers.