Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents can be complicated, and the evidence can be crucial. As soon as a client asks for our help, our attorneys start investigating. The weight differential usually means the physical injuries and other damages will be severe. If a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, contact Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law.
The Rittgers & Rittgers law firm’s personal injury lawyers have investigated many truck accidents, so we waste no time in starting the process. Our Cincinnati attorneys and the experts we bring to the case examine the accident scene and collect evidence.
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We examine the log books to determine if the driver had been behind the wheel for too long. We go through the mechanical records. Was the equipment properly maintained? We check the freight weight, examine the personnel and training records of the driver, investigate adherence to DOT regulations, and determine if there were any prior incidents. Was the driver on drugs or alcohol? Was the driver distracted by a cellphone, navigation equipment, onboard faxes, or texting?
We Pursue All Available Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
In addition to getting the facts about an accident, our lawyers assess liabilities. In a truck accident, there may be multiple liable parties. When the injuries are serious, that can increase the available financial resources for the injured person or the family of a wrongful death victim. On an 18-wheeler semi, the tractor and trailer may have different owners. Owners of the cargo, the maintenance firm or others may be liable.
Our job as personal injury attorneys is to find the liable parties, document current and future medical needs, make the insurance claims, and assure that the victims are properly compensated.
Types of Truck Accidents
At Rittgers & Rittgers, our lawyers bring more than 30 years of experience to truck accident cases. That experience has taught us that every case comes with its own unique nuances, and those nuances may ultimately define the legal strategy we create. One of the first differentiating factors we look at when reviewing a case is the type of truck accident.
Rear-End Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks are extremely heavy. They require substantially more braking time than smaller motor vehicles. Truck drivers are trained to allow plenty of room to stop. When they fail to do so, it could lead to a rear-end accident. However, there are other factors that could lead to these types of truck accidents as well. If a truck’s brakes have not been properly maintained or the tractor-trailer was overloaded, a rear-end collision could also result. We look at all these possibilities when reviewing a rear-end truck accident and hold all responsible parties accountable.
Truck Jackknife Accidents
When a semi-truck pulling a trailer skids and the trailer pushes it from behind, forcing it to turn around and face the opposite direction, it is referred to as a jackknife accident. These trucking accidents can be the result of unsafe driving in inclement weather. They can also be caused by improper braking or maintenance and equipment issues. We review these cases to determine what negligence played a role in causing the truck to jackknife.
Truck Underride Accidents
Truck underride guards can be found beneath the rear and sides of tractor-trailers. They are designed to prevent smaller motor vehicles from going underneath the tractor-trailer, which could result in decapitation or serious injuries to drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, if these guards are poorly maintained or defective, they will not do their job. For example, the law requires commercial trucks to line the back and side of the trailer with reflectors to give drivers advance warning of stopped or slow-moving trucks. We review these cases to determine if negligence took place and the truck accident could have been prevented.
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Examining the Causes of a Deadly Ohio Truck/Pedestrian Accident
After a motor vehicle crash, police officers usually fill out an accident report to record details from the scene of the wreck as well as witness accounts. The accident report provides basic information that can be used to determine which driver or drivers were at fault. Law enforcement officers, however, do not have the resources or time to conduct an intensive investigation.
Personal injury lawyers who understand crash investigation and accident reconstruction are often able to uncover critical pieces of evidence pertaining to the liability and damages resulting from a crash.
Ohio Pedestrian Killed by Large Truck
Take a recent fatal Ohio truck accident involving a pedestrian victim as an example. WHIO-TV reported that a semi-truck traveling south on Interstate 75 between Interstate 675 and State Route 725 hit a 45-year-old woman who was crossing the highway on foot at approximately two in the morning.
The TV station quoted Sgt. John Chesser of the Ohio State Highway Patrol that excessive speed apparently played no role in the fatal crash. Troopers told WHIO that there appeared to be nothing the truck driver could have done to avoid hitting the woman, who had apparently abandoned her car a short distance away.
Factors to Investigate in Fatal Truck Crashes
There are a number of factors that should be investigated before concluding that there was no negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the truck driver:
- Were the truck’s headlights in working order? Were they on?
- Was the driver distracted at the time of the deadly crash or immediately before it? (A check of cellphone records could help determine this.)
- Did the driver receive the mandatory amount of rest before the shift he was on at the time of the deadly crash? (Checking the driver’s log could help determine this.)
- Were the 18-wheeler’s brakes in working condition? Were they applied?
- What, if any, evasive action was taken by the driver? Was the truck properly loaded, allowing the driver to properly brake and conduct evasive actions?
- Were the emergency lights flashing on the woman’s vehicle? Did the truck driver notice them?
It’s easy enough for law enforcement to test a trucker for blood alcohol content and the presence of prescription or illegal drugs in his system. But determining liability in crashes is not always as simple as assessing whether a driver was intoxicated.
In many cases, families of survivors have strong reason to believe a police accident report doesn’t add up or give a full accounting of what happened to their loved one. In these situations, people typically contact a personal injury attorney experienced in accident investigation and wrongful death litigation. An Ohio personal injury lawyer can assess the facts of the case, determine if further investigation is warranted, and help survivors pursue compensation for their tragic loss.
Talk to an Attorney Now
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, tell us about it. Contact us for a consultation by calling 513-932-2115. With offices in Lebanon, West Chester and downtown Cincinnati, our law firm serves clients throughout southwest Ohio.
Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“At only 22 years old I was in a car accident, when a guy driving a construction pick up truck ran a stop sign, directly into the front driver’s side of my car totaling it and he just had a broken headlight. I hurt my shoulder pretty bad on the seatbelt from the jerk and had to get medical attention, physical therapy and I was moving to Texas in a few months. Eric P. Allen (attorney) & Daphne R. Mahle (paralegal) were amazing walking me through the entire process…Absolutely amazing, always transparent about what was happening with my case and fought hard for me. Doubling the settlement I’d said I’d be happy with. Highly recommended, 5 Stars, if you want a responsive team that’s behind you 100% even when you move 1200 miles away, call Rittgers & Rittgers.” – Jessica Ann