Many freight trucks pass through Columbus, OH, daily, with Franklin County being one of the busiest stops among truckers according to an article from Fleet Owner. Unfortunately, this also means motorists in this area are at high risk of getting into a big rig accident, which often results in devastating injuries fatalities.
If you or a family member are victims in a semi-trailer accident, call the office of the Fitch Law Firm at (614) 545-3930 for a free case review. A Columbus big rig accident lawyer can guide you throughout your lawsuit.
Dangers of Driving Big Rigs
Semi-trucks or big rigs are typically more dangerous on the road than a regular car for several reasons. For one, their bigger size and heavier weight amplify the force of impact upon collision. They also carry containers as long as 53 ft., which creates huge big blind spots. Too often, vehicles that fall into the blind spot get sideswiped because the trucker cannot see them.
Big rigs are also harder to bring to a complete stop because their weight requires more braking distance. The cargo they carry can even fall off and hit other vehicles. Big rigs can potentially cause even more destruction on the road if operated by negligent or outright reckless truckers.
Ohio Laws That Apply to Truckers
To reduce the number of truck accidents, Ohio implements the regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a Department of Transportation agency regulating truck and bus drivers and companies throughout the United States. These trucking regulations include the maximum hours that truckers can drive in between their break periods. Drivers are also forbidden to drink alcohol or do drugs before or while on-duty.
Moreover, truck employers have to conduct training, health, and drug tests on drivers to ensure that they are sober and fit to work. Companies should also maintain and repair their trucks before each trip and keep a record of service. Not doing any of these is a violation of FMCSA rules and serves as further proof of negligence in an accident claim.
Aside from trucking regulations, Ohio also has its own set of speed limits that all motorists should follow. Both truck and car drivers have to drive any posted speed limits they encounter. Speeding is a misdemeanor punishable with a fine, but additional infractions can lead to higher fines and possible jail time.
Reckless driving in Ohio is also a misdemeanor, with fines on the first violations and a possible jail sentence on repeated infractions. If it results in accidents with injuries or fatalities, it can become a felony with larger fines, lengthy jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. Your Columbus big rig accident lawyer can go over the charges and possible penalties the at-fault driver could be facing during your consultation.
The Fitch Law Firm can send a Columbus big rig accident lawyer with in-depth knowledge on Ohio’s laws to assist you with your claim. For further inquiries and a free case review, you can contact the office at (614) 545-3930.
Potentially Liable Parties in Big Rig Accidents
In a big rig or any truck accident, the driver might not be the only one at fault. Although they may have driven recklessly, their company might have also not repaired a faulty part or did not provide enough training for their employees.
Do keep in mind that the employer’s insurance provider might step in and defend them. One common tactic of theirs is to pass the blame to another party, such as the rig’s parts manufacturer. However, a Columbus big rig accident lawyer can help investigate whose exact fault it is. Once you determine who to hold liable, you can sue them for damages such as medical and therapy expenses, lost income, and your pain and suffering.
Time Limits for Filing Trucking Accident Cases
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline. Under Ohio Revised Statute § 2305.10, the state’s statute of limitations generally gives you two years from the date of the event or the victim’s death to file a lawsuit to pursue damages in a trial. Once you miss this deadline, the civil court will dismiss your claims.
Like other states, Ohio also makes some exceptions depending on the circumstance that could either lengthen or shorten your deadline. One of these exceptions, per Ohio Revised Statute § 2305.16, is if the victim is still a minor. The statute timer will only start counting down when the victim turns 18 years old.
A Columbus big rig accident lawyer has already studied Ohio’s filing deadlines and can determine when your final submission date is. They can also help you compile and review the documents you need to present your case on time.
We Help You Pursue Justice
Any vehicular accident, especially one that involves trucks, is no simple ordeal to recover from. The Fitch Law Firm understands and sympathizes with your struggle, which is why we are here to help you and your loved ones recover from the damage. Our Columbus big rig accident lawyer stands ready to help file your lawsuit and provide further counsel if you need it. For 30 years, we have handled personal injury, vehicular accidents, malpractice, and other civil lawsuits for clients throughout Ohio.
Call the team at (614) 545-3930 if you want to discuss your situation with us. You can also request a free case consultation on this website.