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Columbus, OH Truck Accident Lawyer

columbus-ohio-truck-accident-injury-lawsuit Many people assume truck accident cases are the same as car accident cases. As a result, they either do not need a personal injury lawyer or consider an attorney who handles car accident cases will suffice.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake. Truck accidents are unique in many ways, and you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Columbus truck accident lawyer.

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have handled hundreds of serious truck accident cases over decades of practicing law.

As a result, our legal team understands the best way to protect victims' rights when dealing with large trucks and tractor-trailers involving collisions on our state's highways.

Contact a personal injury attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Truck Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 400,000 large trucks are on the road every day.

It averages four million accidents per year, with approximately five people killed in each crash.

To make matters worse, about half of these accidents are caused by truck drivers who do not take their prescribed medications or who drink alcohol while driving. Data reveals that:

  • 23% of trucking companies hire drivers with a history of driving violations.
  • 40% of truck drivers drive with a blood alcohol content of .04 – .08, which is illegal for the average driver.
  • 28% do not take their required rest periods and continue to drive without adequate sleep. In fact, only 1 in 14 truck drivers gets 8 hours of sleep or more each day.

In Ohio, truck accident statistics reveal that:

  • In 2019, 1,023 crashes involving large trucks in Ohio resulted in 157 fatalities and 794 injuries.
  • Most Ohio truck accidents occur on rural roads, although the number of serious accidents on urban roads increases.
  • Most Ohio truck accidents are caused by driver error, including speeding, following too closely, and improper lane changes.

Large truck accidents can also be caused by faulty equipment, poor road conditions, or bad weather.

Although most truck/motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial vehicles are caused by driver error, this is not always true.

For example, if a truck crash caused faulty equipment or poor road conditions, you will need an attorney who understands Ohio's product liability laws and how they apply to your case.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Truck Accident

Truck accident victims must understand what to do immediately after the collision to ensure their health and the well-being of others.

Firstly, victims of truck/automobile accidents should not move their vehicle until the police have determined that it is safe. Then, if necessary, they should move their vehicle to a safe place off the road.

Secondly, victims should not admit fault to anyone at the scene of an accident – this includes the other driver, the police, and witnesses.

It is important to remember that you may not be aware of all the facts at the time of the accident, and it is unfair to decide who was responsible for the crash before all of the evidence has been collected.

Finally, victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if they do not believe they are injured. Many injuries – such as whiplash – may not be immediately apparent, and it is important to have a doctor examine you to ensure you do not have any hidden injuries.

Were you involved in a truck accident? If so, you should contact an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC for a free case evaluation to discuss your rights and options.

Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident?

Many people assume truck accidents are the same as car accidents because both involve vehicles on the road. It is far from accurate!

Truck accidents often cause more severe injuries than other crashes due to their size and weight.

The driver of the smaller vehicle is usually at fault in a truck crash because trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, and they take longer to stop.

As a result, if you are hit by a truck, you will likely be injured.

However, determining who is responsible for the crash often involves investigating what happened.

In some incidents, attorneys will hire accident reconstruction experts who can re-create the crash through analysis, videos, or computer graphics.

Identifying how the crash happened and who initiated the collision with this data is often easier. Often, the analysis shows how traffic laws were broken, leading to the truck wreck.

At this point, our Columbus truck accident attorneys can pursue compensation on behalf of the truck accident victims against the at-fault party whose negligence led to the crash.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are much larger and heavier than the average passenger vehicle.

As a result, when traveling at highway speeds, they can cause tremendous damage, serious injuries, and sometimes even death to other motorists on the road.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the most common injuries in truck accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: The sudden blunt force trauma to the head can cause a severe traumatic brain injury, leading to permanent disabilities and cognitive impairment. Typically, traumatic brain injuries last a lifetime, significantly altering the victim's life.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Any trauma to the back or neck can cause significant damage to the spinal cord. Any deep laceration can separate or neck the spinal cord and cause significant nerve damage and paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, and tetraplegia.
  • Broken bones: A common injury in any type of accident, but they are especially prevalent in truck accidents when victims collide with a much larger vehicle. Bones can take a long time to heal, leading to chronic pain, restricted mobility, and even permanent disability.
  • Severe burns: Exposure to intense heat and fire commonly cause severe burn injuries in high-speed accidents when the victim's skin comes into contact with hot surfaces, such as asphalt or engine parts. Burn injuries are extremely painful and take a long time to heal, leading to scarring.
  • Cuts and lacerations: Victims of truck accidents frequently collide with the hard surfaces of a commercial vehicle, causing broken bones and lacerations. Lacerations may require stitches or staples to close them, but they can also lead to dangerous infections.
  • Internal organ damage: Victims of truck accidents may sustain severe blunt force trauma to the internal organs such as the spleen, liver, and kidneys. Severe damage can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding and organ failure.
  • Scarring: Most of the injuries listed above can cause severe scarring, especially if the victim requires surgery to repair the damage. Cuts and lacerations can become infected, requiring antibiotics or even emergency surgery. Burn injuries require lengthy treatments with skin grafts and plastic surgery to restore function and appearance.
  • Internal bleeding: The blunt force trauma of a severe impact during a truck/car accident can cause internal bleeding, leading to a reduced blood supply to the brain and other organs. If not treated quickly and effectively, it can cause organ damage and even death.
  • Wrongful death: Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a horrific trucking accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of consortium.

Truck accident lawyers understand these injuries are all too common in truck accidents and that the recovery process for victims and their families is often long and difficult. Therefore, if you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, please do not hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Filing a Truck Accident Insurance Claim

If you are injured in a truck/car accident, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible.

The laws surrounding these accidents involving commercial trucks are complex, and an experienced lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

An attorney working on your behalf will use various means to pursue compensation through a claim, including:

  • Obtaining the accident report filed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol or local law enforcement that arrived at the accident scene identifying all parties involved
  • Review the victim's medical records to identify the extent of injuries, the length of time for healing, and the need for ongoing rehabilitation and therapy
  • Gather evidence from the accident scene, including photographs of tire skid marks and property damage
  • Gather evidence from eyewitnesses to help determine how the accident involving a commercial truck happened
  • Consideration of any traffic cams or video surveillance footage that might have recorded the crash that might reveal distracted driving
  • Consulting with accident reconstruction experts

You can see that a lot of work goes into successfully filing a tractor-trailer/car accident insurance claim.

Are you the victim of a large commercial vehicle due to another driver's negligence or recklessness? Was the other driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

Consider hiring an attorney specializing in semi-truck accidents to represent your interests against big insurance companies whose first priority is their bottom line (profits) rather than justice for victims like yourself. Contact us today for a free case review.

What Are Third-Party Claims?

Determining who caused the tractor-trailer/motor vehicle accident is often a clear-cut decision where the evidence proves that the truck driver or other motorists were negligent in the moments before the collision.

However, other parties may be at fault or partially responsible for causing the crash over and above the negligent driver.

When the Trucking Company Is at Fault

In some incidents, the trucking company failed to provide sufficient training to their employee (the truck driver).

Other times, the trucking company is at fault because of:

  • Bad hiring processes were inexperienced drivers or those with bad driving records are employed and given the responsibility of operating commercial trucks
  • A failure to ensure that the driver can operate the vehicle safely and within the proper guidelines of the industry
  • A failure to ensure that their vehicles are being properly maintained and safe for operation on public roadways

A claim can be filed against the trucking company for personal injury and property damage in these instances.

When the Truck Manufacturer Is Responsible

Sometimes, truck makers design, manufacture, and sell commercial trucks with defective components and parts.

The truck manufacturer may be legally liable under strict liability laws for selling defective equipment in these cases.

In Ohio, strict liability is a product liability cause of action based on negligence. However, it is an exception to the general rule requiring proof of fault or negligence in Ohio products liability claims.

Typically, strict liability (liability without fault) applies to cases where the defendant makes and sells a defective and unreasonably dangerous product.

When Other Motorists Are at Fault

In multi-vehicle collisions, one or more other motorists are also legally responsible for causing the crash.

In these cases, a personal injury attorney working on behalf of the victim will likely hire an accident reconstruction expert to accurately determine what happened and who is responsible for all damages.

There may be other insurance companies involved in the case other than the truck driver's insurance company in these cases.

These cases sometimes have multiple parties filing multiple claims and lawsuits based on which party caused what and who initiated the chain reaction.

Filing a Third-Party Claim

Typically, third-party claims are filed over and above the initial lawsuit involving a truck driver or trucking company. These cases are often highly complex and require the skills of an experienced Columbus truck accident attorney.

Usually, the length of time to file a third-party claim is the same as any other truck accident case or lawsuit. However, in Ohio, the statute of limitations restricts that time to two years from the accident date.

If you are considering filing a third-party claim against other trucking companies and truck drivers, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

So often, evidence disappears, and memories fade over time. Speaking with an attorney will help you understand your rights and ensure that you can properly protect them in court.

Truck Accident Cases and Workers Compensation

Sometimes, truck drivers involved in collisions are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits through the truck driver's employer (trucking company).

In these cases, the workers' compensation insurance company will likely become involved in the personal injury lawsuit.

In many instances, the workers' compensation carrier may step in to take responsibility for the full extent of damages.

In other cases, they may protect their interest by offering a 'settlement' amount to the injured party to avoid going to trial.

If the semi-truck driver was working as an independent contractor at the time of the collision, there might be additional legal remedies for financial compensation to recover their damages.

A competent Columbus truck accident lawyer can assist the negligent truck driver ensure they receive the maximum compensation available under the law.

A third-party claim involving the driver or trucking company may be filed in these cases.

Therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney for assistance if you consider filing a third-party claim against the truck driver or company.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits: When Surviving Family Members Can Seek Compensation

Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a catastrophic trucking accident have legal remedies to secure compensation.

Qualifying family members usually include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.

Under Ohio civil tort law, family members can file a claim within the statute of limitations that usually restricts that time to two years from the date of death.

To prove a wrongful death claim, family members must typically show that the loved one who died would have been entitled to a lawsuit for serious injuries and damages if they were still alive.

In many cases, the survivors have the burden of proof and must undertake the initial effort of investigating and determining liability for the truck/car accident.

Again, an experienced Columbus Truck accident attorney can often help.

When There Is No Will Executor

If the decedent passes on before making a will or naming an executor, the Court system typically steps in.

The judge handling the decedent's estate will appoint an administrator to manage the estate and seek financial compensation on behalf of the family.

A wrongful death lawsuit provides a powerful legal tool for the loved ones of those killed in semi-truck/motor vehicle accidents.

With the help of an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer, these family members can seek the financial compensation they need that includes:

  • Payment for past hospital costs and medical bills
  • Funeral and burial bills
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • The decedent's pain and suffering before passing
  • The family's pain, suffering, grief, emotional distress, and mental anxiety over losing a loved one

Wrongful death lawsuits have an enormous impact on the lives of surviving family members. If you have lost a loved one in a Columbus truck accident, it is important to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

How Long It Takes to Resolve a Columbus, OH, Truck Accident Lawsuit

Under civil tort law, within Ohio, most truck accident lawsuits typically settle within one to two years. Settlements usually take less than six months.

However, the truck accident case can go on much longer if both parties cannot agree on a settlement. If the case does go to trial, it can last a few days or several weeks.

Discovery

The court will order each party to exchange information, known as "discovery," before the trial.

Discovery can include having each party answer written questions under oath, also called interrogatories, and request any relevant documents, also called requests for production of documents.

Filing Motions

After discovery is complete, each party may file motions with the court. Motions are requests for the court to rule on a specific issue in the case.

For example, a party may file a motion to dismiss the case, asking the court to end the lawsuit without a trial.

Another motion might request that the other party produces additional documents or ask that the opposing party be deposed or questioned under oath.

When Going to Trial Is the Only Option

If the parties cannot reach a settlement, the case will go to trial. The parties present their evidence and witness testimony before a jury at trial.

The jury will decide the outcome of the case based on the evidence presented.

Dealing With the Insurance Claims Process in Ohio

Under Ohio civil tort law, the insurance claims process is not often clear-cut. Typically, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to the case who will work with the truck driver's insurance company to try and reach a settlement.

However, if the insurance company and the injured party cannot agree on the claim's value, a lawsuit may be filed in court seeking damages.

There may be instances where a defendant and the plaintiff agree to settle out of court. These settlements usually involve payment from one party to the other, but they do not always require that money be exchanged.

A settlement could also involve some sort of service being performed for the other party.

How Long Will the Claims Process Take?

The length of time it takes to complete an insurance claims process varies depending on several factors. For example, settlements could take as little as a few weeks or as much as several months.

However, a lawsuit can last for years, though most are settled out of court.

What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Truck Accident?

A few additional damages may be available in a truck/car accident. These include compensatory damages, punitive damages, and emotional distress damages.

  • Compensatory damages: A successful personal injury claim can result in a claimant recovering compensation for financial and non-financial losses.
  • Punitive damages: This is an additional sum of money that, in some cases, might be awarded to punish the defendant.
  • Emotional distress damages: When a person's emotional health has been damaged due to an accident, recovering compensation might be possible.

Paying Doctors for Your Health Recovery

From the moment after the serious accident, you likely needed extensive medical attention at the emergency room, urgent Center, or doctor's office.

Unfortunately, paying the doctors upfront or turning and claims to your health insurance company can take time and often be denied or payment delayed.

Our Columbus truck accident lawyers are concerned about our client's health and returning to normal life as quickly as possible. Our law firm handles truck accident victims like our family, ensuring that they have access to the best healthcare available without paying any upfront costs.

As a part of a personal injury lawsuit, we ensure that our clients can see any doctor needed for care, with billing set up and paid by insurance companies when the case is resolved.

For example, we represented a driver rear-ended by a truck in one case. The force of the impact sent her car into a telephone pole, resulting in a broken neck.

Even though she had health insurance, the bills were piling up, and her insurance company denied payment for some of the care she needed to recover.

Forcing Insurance Companies to Pay

Our semi-truck accident attorneys took immediate action and turned her case over to our injury lawyers, who got the insurance company to pay the costs of her care and get her bills cleared up.

By doing this, a Columbus, OH truck accident lawyer from our law firm was able to get our client back on track physically and not have to worry about the financial stress that was delaying her health.

Setting Up Financial With Our Client's Doctors

In another case, where a truck accident victim had been in a coma for weeks, our attorneys worked with our client's doctors to ensure they were paid. When the case was resolved. Again, this agreement was clearly written by attorneys and agreed to by the doctors.

Our law firm also handles workers' compensation for people injured on the job, including being in an accident when driving a company truck or car.

Our legal team ensures that the injured employee receives fair compensation to the workers, program, and additional third-party claims filed against the truck driver, another motorist, vehicle manufacturer, and others.

Hiring an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer to Resolve Truck Accident Claims

Are you the victim of a severe truck accident, or did you lose a loved one through truck driver negligence?

The Columbus truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure that your family can recover compensation for all your damages.

Call our legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal representation or schedule a free legal consultation.

Then, let us deal directly with the insurance company to resolve your truck accident claim and receive compensation on your behalf for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement.

This promise ensures you pay nothing until your truck accidents lawyer resolves your truck accident case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

Columbus Truck Accident Lawyer Resources:

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