If you’ve ever been near a tractor-trailer while driving, you probably have a sense for how dangerous they can be. As the driver of a car, being behind or beside a semi-truck puts you at risk for sitting in one of their blind spots. If you’re passed by a speeding big-rig, the sheer force of the wind they create can make your car rock or shake as you drive.
The size and limited visibility of 18-wheelers makes them difficult to operate and can easily cause a serious accident in the blink of an eye. If you’re driving nearby when that happens, you and your passengers could suffer severe injuries or even death. Fortunately, the truck accident lawyers at Colombo Law have years of experience helping the victims of tractor-trailer accidents in Chillicothe, Ohio. We’ll work diligently with you and aggressively with the at-fault party to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accident Injuries
There are a variety of injuries that could occur when pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of passenger vehicles are involved in truck accidents. While some victims may be lucky enough to walk away with only minor scrapes or bruises, the vast majority are not so lucky. Big-rig accidents can inflict lasting damage like:
- Neck and back injuries
- Ligament and disc injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
Emotional damages can also occur after a traumatizing experience like a truck accident. Some victims may even experience PTSD, depression, anxiety, or a fear of driving again.
What Causes Chillicothe, OH Truck Accidents?
By far, most truck accidents are caused by some form of driver negligence. This negligence could be purposeful or it could be by mistake. Regardless, these are actions that can destroy lives. Some of the most common examples of driver negligence include:
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving while distracted (using a cell phone, eating, etc.)
- Ignoring traffic signals/signs
- Driving while drunk
- Ignoring current weather conditions
- Violating company, state, or federal trucking laws
- Engaging in road rage/aggressive driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
Who Else Can Be Responsible for Truck Accidents?
Drivers aren’t the only ones who can cause 18-wheeler accidents. There are also other parties responsible for making sure a truck is safely operated and well-maintained.
The first entity that could have some liability in a truck accident is the driver’s employer. Trucking companies are required to adhere to laws that dictate things like vehicle maintenance and driver hours. Unfortunately, these companies don’t always follow the rules and could be found liable for your truck accident if they:
- Forced the driver to work more hours than they should have
- Enforced deadlines that made the truck driver hurry
- Hired a driver without adequate training or experience
- Failed to perform routine maintenance on the truck’s safety equipment, parts, and computers
- Neglected to investigate the driver’s history (background check, drug test, etc.)
- Used an overloaded truck
The manufacturer of the truck or its parts could also be potentially liable for a truck accident if they neglected to inform consumers of defective or recalled products.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident, it is common for victims to seek compensation for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning ability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Physical injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Medical expenses and equipment
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death
National Commercial Vehicle Accident Statistics
These 2015 statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show just how common truck accidents are:
- That year, there were 3,598 fatal accidents that damaged 4,050 trucks and resulted in 4,067 deaths
- Pedestrians and occupants of passenger vehicles made up 84 percent of these deaths
- 83,000 of these accidents caused 116,000 injuries and damaged 87,000 trucks
- 328,000 of these accidents only caused property damage
Chillicothe, Ohio Truck Accident Statistics
Chillicothe sees a fair amount of trucking traffic. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in 2016 there were:
- 27 truck accidents
- These resulted in 24 instances of property damage, 3 injuries and no deaths
- All 3 injuries were suffered by victims in passenger vehicles
- The number one cause of truck accidents in Chillicothe in 2016 was a collision with another motor vehicle
Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Absolutely. Truck accident lawyers specialize in helping the victims of these catastrophic events pursue recovery from the parties responsible for the personal injuries they’ve suffered. In this situation, you need the help of an expert to fight against entities that are only interested in paying you as little as possible and making sure you stay silent.
Not only does a tractor-trailer accident lawyer know how to handle the big tasks, like fighting against greedy trucking companies and insurance adjustors, they can handle the smaller tasks too, like gathering:
- Camera footage (if available)
- On-scene and expert witnesses
- Police reports
- Phone call recordings/logs
- Medical records
- Driving logs
- Maintenance records
- Weigh-in information
- Vehicle and driver history
- Evidence of violations of trucking laws
- Criminal records
- Vehicle/part defect and recall information
Chillicothe, Ohio Truck Accident Lawyers
After a truck accident, you’ll be bombarded by representatives from the trucking company, their insurance company, and their lawyers. You may be told your case is worth nothing. You may be advised that the best thing to do is get on with your life. You may even be offered a small settlement.
No matter what any of these people tell you, remember that you have rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Hiring a Chillicothe truck accident attorney is the best way to preserve your rights. It’s also the best way to ensure you are compensated fairly.
If your truck accident was in Chillicothe, Ohio, get in touch with Colombo Law to find out if you have a case. We’ve worked with local families in Chillicothe neighborhoods like:
- Belleview Heights
- Brewer Heights
- Richmond Dale
- Interstate 70
- Interstate 270
- Ohio Route 161
- Ohio Route 16
- Ohio Route 37
- S. Route 40
- S. Route 33
- S. Route 22
- S. Route 23
Truck accident claims are complicated and require the attention of a legal professional as soon as possible so they can be filed within Ohio’s two-year statute of limitations. Call Colombo Law at 614-362-7000 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and take the first step toward getting the compensation you deserve.