Due to their immense size and weight, trucks pose a significant threat to those on the road, including truck drivers, motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, our dedicated Truck accident lawyers can help.
Let us put our century of legal experience and considerable resources to work to get you the justice you deserve. Our seasoned truck accident lawyers will pursue every legal avenue to hold the at-fault parties liable for their actions and will fight to obtain maximum recovery on your behalf. We offer all truck accident victims a free consultation to ensure you receive the legal advice you need – without any obligation. Don’t hesitate. Contact the accomplished legal team at Slater & Zurz today.
Types of Cleveland Truck Accidents
Truck drivers and their employers have a legal duty to operate and safely maintain their commercial trucks. Unfortunately, devastating truck accidents remain far too common in Ohio. Several types of truck accidents can result in serious injuries. The most common crashes include the following:
When a tractor-trailer, big rig, semi, or other commercial truck brakes suddenly, the trailer can swing out, creating a 90-degree angle. A jackknifed truck can overturn or roll over easily, causing considerable danger to others on the road.
Underride crashes occur when truck brakes suddenly or jackknife and an approaching vehicle get stuck under the semi. The roof of the car is often ripped off, causing serious injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. Many underride accidents can be prevented with the use of side guards.
Also known as a “T-bone” accident, side-impact crashes generally occur in intersections. The full force of the commercial truck causes catastrophic damage to the car or motorcycle.
Semi-trucks have large blind spots on each of their four sides. Truck drivers lose sight of vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians when they are within 20 feet of the truck’s front, 30 feet from the back, and an entire lane’s worth of space on either side.
Trucks are commonly involved in rear-end collisions because it takes the trucker a much longer time to bring the truck to a complete stop. The force of the large truck frequently results in devastating injuries to the motorist and their passengers.
The remains of truck tires are a frequent sight on Ohio roadways. When a truck is traveling at high speed and one of the tires bursts, the tractor-trailer can lose control and hit nearby vehicles or enter the path of oncoming traffic. In addition, cars and motorcycles may swerve to avoid the remains of the tire, causing an accident.
When a truck driver loses control, a top-heavy truck can easily roll over. A car can become pinned under the truck, collide with the overturned truck, or crash into the truck’s scattered cargo.
Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial truck drivers to have commercial insurance coverage that includes bodily injury and property damage. The following is a list of the minimum amounts of liability insurance required for operating a commercial truck.
- Interstate freight carriers under 10,000 lbs. – $300,000
- Interstate freight carriers over 10,000 lbs. – $750,000
- Oil carriers – $1,000,000
- Carriers of other hazardous material – $5,000,000
- Passenger carriers (carrying 15 or less passengers) – $1,500,000
- Passenger carriers (carrying over 15 passengers) – $5,000,000
It is important to note that although all commercial truck drivers must have insurance, the insurance will vary. If the trucker is an independent contractor (self-employed), the driver will carry his own insurance. If the driver is an employee of a trucking company, the trucking company must maintain the minimum insurance requirements set forth by the FMCSA.
Ohio’s Comparative Fault Law
In many truck accident cases, multiple parties play a part in causing the collision. In Ohio, an injured victim who shares some of the responsibility for the accident can still recover damages under the state’s comparative fault laws. Also referred to as comparative negligence laws, a victim can pursue compensation from the other responsible party as long as the victim’s share of fault is 50% or less. However, the injured party’s final compensation will be reduced by their share of responsibility. For example, if it were determined you were 25% at fault for the collision and awarded $100,000, your final recovery would be $75,000.
Under comparative negligence laws, it is essential to minimize your percentage of fault as it will significantly affect the compensation you receive. For that reason, it is necessary to have a qualified and aggressive truck accident lawyer on your side – one who will provide a compelling argument and abundant evidence minimizing your responsibility for the accident.
In truck accident cases, there is often more than one party responsible for the crash. Our skilled truck accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation into the crash to identify all at-fault parties. These liable parties may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The shipping company (cargo loaders)
- The truck lessee or owner
- The truck or truck part manufacturer
The value of a truck accident claim depends on the specifics of the case. Common factors that can affect the amount of compensation you receive include:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- Whether you will fully recover from your injuries
- Whether you had preexisting conditions
- Whether you share responsibility for the accident
- The amount of your medical expenses (past and future)
- The amount and quality of the evidence supporting your case
Consult with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Cleveland
By working with a qualified and dedicated truck accident lawyer, you may be able to recover the full compensation you need to get your life back on track. If you have been involved in a truck crash, you already know how devastating and traumatic these accidents can be. When you are hit by such a large and powerful vehicle, such as a big rig, semi, or 18-wheeler, your injuries will likely be extensive.
Our team of Cleveland personal injury lawyers wants you to know you don’t have to accept the physical and financial toll the accident has caused. If your injuries were sustained due to negligent acts of the truck driver, the trucking company, or a third party, we would help you pursue maximum compensation. Truck accident cases can be tricky. That is why it is essential to have an experienced legal team to handle your case effectively. We not only have the ability to fight for your best interests, but we have the skills and resources to hold all at-fault parties accountable for their actions. We handle our truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about paying any up-front fees. Our fees are only paid if we recover damages on your behalf. To learn more about the truck accident claim process, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated truck accident attorneys. Call Slater & Zurz at (440)557-2861 or fill out our simple online form.