Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima


Group Photo of Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
  1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyers
  4.  | 
  5. Cincinnati Car Accidents
  6.  | Cincinnati Truck Accidents

Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyers

Cincinnati Truck Accident Attorneys

Truck accidents can be complicated, and the evidence can be crucial. As soon as a client asks for our help, our Cincinnati truck accident attorneys start investigating. The weight differential between a truck and a car usually means the physical injuries and other damages are severe, including hidden injuries such as traumatic brain injuries. If a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, contact Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima.

Our personal injury lawyers have investigated many truck accidents, and waste no time in starting the evidence gathering process following a crash. Our attorneys and the experts we bring to the case examine the accident scene and collect evidence immediately.

If You Were Injured In A Truck Accident, You Need Good Legal Counsel. Contact us · 513-496-0134 · Available 24/7

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?

What Are The Common Types Of Trucking Accidents?

At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, we have been handling truck accident cases for more than 30 years. 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, such as the following:

  • Rear-end truck accidents: Semi trucks are extremely heavy. They require substantially more braking time than smaller motor vehicles do. Truck drivers are trained to allow plenty of room to stop. When they fail to do so, it can lead to rear-end accidents. However, there are other factors that can result in these types of truck accidents as well. If a truck’s brakes have not been properly maintained or the tractor-trailer was overloaded, then a rear-end collision can also result. Our attorneys 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 results of unsafe driving in inclement weather. They can also be caused by improper braking or maintenance and equipment issues. Our team reviews 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 rears and sides of tractor-trailers. They are designed to prevent smaller motor vehicles from going underneath the tractor-trailer, which can 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. Our lawyers review these cases to determine whether negligence took place and the truck accident could have been prevented.

What Are The Most Common Factors That Cause Truck Accidents?

When Professional Drivers Fail To Drive Professionally

Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not like getting a license to drive a car. Far more rigorous training is required. The goal of these training requirements is to make certain that the people who end up behind the wheels of semi trucks know how to drive professionally and minimize the danger to those they share the road with. When drivers make errors and fail to drive professionally, it can result in truck accidents.

Truck Tire Blowouts And Injuries

There is a reason why regulations require that truck tires be checked frequently and replaced when the tread grows too thin. If a tire blowout happens, it can result in a truck accident. The truck could careen out of control and collide with another motor vehicle. In some cases, the tread from the truck tire is thrown into traffic behind the truck, and that is what causes the accident. A motor vehicle may hit the tire tread and go out of control, or the driver may try to dodge the road hazard and end up colliding with someone else on the road.

Trucking Company Negligence

Trucking companies must be licensed through the U.S. Department of Transportation, which tracks safety records and notes all violations. Too many violations could lead to a trucking company being shut down.

During the course of our investigation of these cases, our Cincinnati trucking company negligence lawyers frequently find that the business we are currently investigating was once operating under a different name, until it was shut down by the Department of Transportation. It simply created a chameleon business using the same staff and fleet, and continued to endanger the lives of others on the road until it caused another truck accident. We hold these businesses accountable, and we are proud that we do.

Accidents Caused By Drunk Truck Drivers

Commercial trucks were involved in 113 fatal crashes in Ohio during 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Because tractor-trailers can easily cause death and severe injury, it’s illegal to drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 percent or more in Ohio, which is half the legal limit for noncommercial drivers.

Commercial truck drivers are operating instruments of death. Most truck drivers take their jobs seriously and operate sober and in compliance with hours of service (HOS) laws, but some recklessly disregard the law, risking the lives of everyone else on the roads.

If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed in an Ohio truck accident, and you believe that the commercial driver was drowsy or using alcohol or drugs, it is important to get an attorney involved as soon as possible.

Drugged Truck Driving Accidents

While drunk driving has declined among commercial motorists, drug use remains prevalent. Some commercial drivers use stimulants such as crystal meth, cocaine and Adderall to fight fatigue. Others use narcotics like marijuana or oxycodone.

Whether a truck driver’s drug use is illegal or prescribed, he or she can be held liable when it causes an accident. If you believe that drug use factored into an Ohio truck accident, causing harm to you or a loved one, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your situation.

Negligent Truck Maintenance And Equipment Failures

Multiple parties have duties to make sure trucks are in proper working order: truck drivers, trucking companies, maintenance companies and more. There are state and federal regulations that dictate maintenance and upkeep requirements. These requirements are based on a variety of factors, including whether or not the truck is engaged in interstate commerce, as well as the number of miles it is driven each day.

Failure to properly maintain a commercial vehicle is a major cause of truck accidents, and one that our attorneys at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima always take into consideration when they investigate these claims. Our Cincinnati attorneys leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting you fair compensation.

Holding The Negligent Parties Accountable

Victims of truck accidents rarely know whether maintenance was an issue. Perhaps you have reason to believe that a defective truck or trucking part played a role, but it is important that our lawyers bring their more than 300 years of practice into play to find out exactly what went wrong.

Failure to replace tires when the tread has worn thin can result in truck tire blowouts. Failure to change brakes that are worn out can result in rear-end collisions. Failure to replace or clean lights and reflectors can cause other motor vehicles to hit tractor-trailers. Our lawyers will take care to determine whether one of these was an issue in your accident. They will find out who was responsible for the negligent truck maintenance and equipment failure.

While a variety of parties could be to blame, truck drivers are required to conduct investigations of their own before every run. They must clean off lights and reflectors. They must check tires, brakes and other parts. If they failed to do so, we will see that they pay.

Who Is Liable After A Truck Accident In Cincinnati?

Cincinnati Truck Crash Lawyer

It’s easy enough for law enforcement to test a trucker for their blood alcohol content (BAC) level and the presence of prescription or illegal drugs in their 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 that 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.

That is what our team’s investigations are designed to reveal. Our lawyers’ job is to find the liable parties, document current and future medical needs, make the insurance claims and ensure that the victims are properly compensated.

In a truck accident, there may be multiple liable parties. Perhaps the driver failed to conduct the required inspection of the tires before taking the truck on the road. Perhaps the trucking company failed to change the truck tires properly. It is even possible that the truck tires that were used were defective. On an 18-wheeler, the tractor and trailer may have different owners. Owners of the cargo, the maintenance firm or others may be liable.

Our resources include a network of experts on a variety of subject matters who are frequently involved in the personal injury cases that our team handles. The bottom line is that our attorneys will get everything they need to make your case as successful as possible in negotiation or trial.

Do I Need A Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer?

The lawyer you choose to represent you following a truck crash will directly impact your recovery.  Unfortunately, a number of “personal injury” lawyers do not understand the complexities of truck crash cases, including the best way to build liability against the corporate entity behind the truck crash (not just the at-fault driver). Most crashes go well beyond a distracted truck driver and are a result of broader safety issues with the trucking company.

Moreover, there are often more layers of insurance coverage and more responsible parties than most lawyers realize.  For example, we often hear about lawyers who settle truck crash cases for the underlying liability policy of one-million dollars, thinking they maximized the policy limits available for their seriously injured or killed client. These lawyers fail to recognize that a company like Amazon may have been controlling the small owner operator. The control Amazon exerts over its delivery service partners (DSP) creates an agency under the law and increases the amount of coverage and responsible parties that most lawyers miss.

Trucking companies move fast after a crash.  The evidence in truck crash cases must be obtained quickly.  Most large shipping companies have rapid response teams who are on the ground quickly following serious truck crashes.  Their teams often attempt to influence investigating agencies.  They also capture the photographs and evidence they deem most helpful and ignore the rest.

An Ohio accident attorney can assess the facts of the case, determine if further investigation is warranted and help survivors pursue compensation for their tragic losses. When determining whether negligence took place, our lawyers look at the trucking company’s hiring practices. If they determine that faulty hiring practices led to truck drivers being hired who had records of accidents and safety violations, then they will make sure that the employer pays for putting a dangerous driver on the road.

Our team’s investigation also will include a review of the semi truck’s electronic control module, referred to as the black box. This records information about speed, braking and number of hours of operation. It can tell a lot about not only the truck driver but also the habits of the trucking company. We encourage you to move quickly, because the trucking company may tamper with or destroy the black box if a claim is not filed soon.

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 513-496-0134. With offices in Lebanon, West Chester and downtown Cincinnati, our law firm serves clients throughout southwest Ohio.

Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“When we met with Jordan and Matt, we were immediately put us at ease. I was in a very bad motorcycle accident with a semi truck. Jordan came to my home because I was unable to walk due to the amount of injuries. I was very pleased with the knowledge and professionalism this firm had. Along the way with every contact that I had with them and staff. My paralegal Daphne kept me informed at all times. Due to the diligence of the team and all their hard work and caring. Rittgers Rittgers Nakajima was able to recover much more than the insurance company initially offered. I would highly recommend this amazing team to anyone with a personal injury claim. 5 Star service. Thank you all again.” – James O.


Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima

Related Blog Posts