If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you have the right to pursue compensation from the liable parties. These cases can be extremely complex with multiple parties involved, which is why a Dayton tractor-trailer accident lawyer may benefit you. Attorneys can help you identify the types of evidence you need to prove liability in a personal injury case.
The team at the Fitch Law Firm LLC conducts investigations into accidents like these, working with accident scene reconstruction experts if necessary to help our clients. For a complimentary, no-obligation review of your case, contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930.
Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
There are many possible causes of tractor-trailer accidents, from distracted and drowsy driving to speeding and maintenance issues. Knowing which of these played a role in your tractor-trailer accident can help you prove negligence and liability.
Truck drivers spend most of their work time on the road and are therefore just as susceptible to using distractions as a way to pass the time. Distracted driving consists of driving while performing any other activity that takes your focus off the road. It could include using a navigation system, eating behind the wheel, or changing the radio. While it is illegal to operate a cell phone while driving a tractor-trailer, even talking on the phone using hands-free technology can be distracting and lead to an accident.
Driver fatigue is another common reason for tractor-trailer accidents. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that truck drivers who are behind the wheel for over eight hours are twice as likely to cause a collision.
Yet, drivers can legally drive up to 11 hours in one shift after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty time, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some drivers even push past the legal time in order to meet tight deadlines for deliveries.
Speeding can significantly increase the likelihood of an accident for any motorist, but especially truck drivers given the weight of their vehicles. Tractor-trailers can easily weigh 20 or 30 times more than the average passenger car on the road. When a driver speeds, they increase the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle, as well as the vehicle’s stopping distance after the driver recognizes a danger.
Speeding is particularly dangerous for tractor-trailer drivers because heavy trucks require a greater stopping distance than passenger cars. Even if they perceive danger in advance, truck drivers may not have time to avoid a collision if they are driving at excessive speeds.
Sometimes it is not the driver who is at fault for an accident. Defective equipment often plays a role in these types of collisions. In one study, researchers found brake defects in 42% of the crash-involved trucks that they investigated, according to the IIHS.
Sometimes accidents are the result of improperly maintained trucks. For example, if braking systems are not properly maintained, a truck driver may have an even harder time avoiding a collision if they perceive some type of danger.
These are just a few factors that can contribute to tractor-trailer accidents. Depending on the nature of the accident, the liable parties can include the truck driver, trucking company, or parts manufacturer.
A Dayton tractor trailer accident lawyer can investigate your accident and examine the evidence to help determine liability for the collision. For a complimentary review of your case, contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930.
For a free legal consultation with a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Dayton, call 614-545-3930
Ohio’s Statute of Limitations Could Impact Your Claim
If you plan to pursue damages after your accident, it is important to understand that you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. In fact, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.10, you have two years from the date of your accident to do so. If you do not file a lawsuit in this window of time, you generally forfeit any right to compensation. There are exceptions in some cases.
Dayton Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Near Me 614-545-3930
Recoverable Damages After a Tractor-Trailer Accident
The damages that victims recover after a tractor-trailer accident depends on the details of the case, including the seriousness and permanency of the injuries, and the extensiveness of the property damage. The impact that the victim’s injuries will have on their future quality of life is also a major consideration. Some types of damages that people recover in cases like these include:
- Medical costs like ambulance rides, surgical procedures, doctor’s visits, and medication
- Therapies, including physical or occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, including future wages if you lost any earning potential
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your collision
- Property damage
How a Dayton Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Can Help
Tractor-trailer accidents can involve several different parties, which can make them more difficult to handle than other car accident cases. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable. A thorough investigation can help determine exactly who is responsible for causing the accident. The team at the Fitch Law Firm LLC can help by:
- Investigating your accident, working with accident reconstruction experts to determine liability if necessary
- Requesting evidence like the black box on the truck, police reports, and eyewitness statements
- Communicating with all parties on your behalf throughout the case
- Calculating the full value of your case
- Negotiating with the insurance company and lawyers for a fair settlement for your injuries
- Fighting for your rights at trial if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached
Our team can be there to guide you every step of the way. For a free review of your tractor-trailer accident case, contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930.