According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 4,700 people were killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks and tractor-trailers in the United States in 2017. Almost three-quarters of all fatalities were the occupants of other vehicles, and about 10% of all fatalities were pedestrians and bicyclists. These fatalities are in addition to the millions of dollars in property damage, productivity losses, medical care costs, litigation, and insurance overheads associated with large truck accidents.
If you have injuries from an accident with a tractor-trailer, a lawyer may be able to assist you. A Columbus tractor-trailer accident lawyer at the Fitch Law Firm can help you understand your rights and evaluate your case to determine whether or not you have grounds for filing a lawsuit. Please call our office at (614) 963-2808 to speak with a member of our team.
Commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, and semi-rigs are typically defined as vehicles with a gross weight rating of over 10,000 pounds. Buses and vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, such as motor homes, are not included in this category. Tractor-trailer accidents usually involve licensed commercial vehicles that are part of a fleet and are professionally managed and heavily insured. Such fleets must perform extensive driver background and vehicle safety checks on a regular basis.
Because of the many safety measures in place for commercial trucking, truck drivers involved in a fatal accident are less likely to have had a license suspension in the past than their passenger vehicle driver counterparts. The same goes for blood alcohol levels. Truck drivers are less likely to get into an accident due to intoxication behind the wheel than passenger vehicle drivers.
Potential Injuries from Tractor-Trailers
Despite these positive facts, the damage caused by tractor-trailers can be catastrophic because of their size and weight. Some of the injuries commonly seen in tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Lacerations and cuts
- Wrongful death
Other damages and losses that you may suffer after a tractor-trailer accident include:
- Vehicle damage
- Property damage
- Lost income or diminished earning capacity
- Medical care fees
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Medication and assistive device costs
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Burial and funeral expenses, in the case of a fatality
If you suffered any of these losses or damages, you may be able to seek some form of compensation. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident, the type of insurance coverage you have, and who is deemed at-fault for the accident. A tractor-trailer accident lawyer can assist you after an accident. Contact a Columbus tractor-trailer accident lawyer with the Fitch Law Firm at (614) 963-2808 to learn more.
For a free legal consultation with a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Columbus, call 614-963-2808
Fault for Accidents
Because of their sheer size and propensity for causing death and damage, commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers have extensive regulations. There are very specific rules that outline how such trucks must be operated and maintained. These vehicles also tend to be heavily insured. Determining fault for a truck accident can be tricky because of the many parties involved in maintaining safe truck operations. Consider the following scenarios that could lead to a tractor-trailer accident:
- A maintenance team does not perform proper safety checks and a vehicle malfunction occurs
- A truck company skips important checks to save truck downtime and lower maintenance costs
- A truck company pushes its drivers to meet aggressive delivery deadlines, so they drive drowsy or overspeed
- A driver is unaware that certain drugs cause drowsiness and takes those drugs before driving
- A device or equipment manufacturer creates a faulty part that breaks down while the truck is in operation on the road
- A loading team fails to secure loads on the bed of a truck that come loose on the road
- A local municipality fails to maintain safe driving conditions or clear signage on dangerous roads
For each scenario above, a different party may shoulder some of the blame for an accident. A lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for an accident, and what percentage of blame they are responsible for is how
Whether your accident was caused by a driver, a truck owner, a truck operating company, a maintenance team, a parts manufacturer, or a government body, we can assist you with identifying who may owe you damages so we can prepare a claim accordingly.
Columbus Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Near Me 614-963-2808
Contact Us Today
A Columbus tractor-trailer accident lawyer at the Fitch Law Firm can help you with your truck accident case. When you contact us, you can learn more about truck laws and what options you have after your accident. We can also help you:
- Identify fault in your accident
- Gather evidence in support of your claim, including the official police report on the accident, dashcam footage, and eyewitness testimony
- Quantify the extent of the damages you suffered
- Put together a claim if the circumstances surrounding your accident warrant one
- Negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies, truck company representatives, and law enforcement personnel
The personal injuries and financial losses you may suffer after a tractor-trailer accident can be substantial, and we encourage you to seek compensation if you qualify for any. Statutes of limitations apply to personal injury and vehicle accident cases. Contact us today at (614) 963-2808 to initiate the legal process for your accident if your case warrants a claim.