Protecting Your Rights after an Ohio Truck Accident
Anyone who has spent even a bare minimum of time on the roads and highways of Ohio knows that trucks, tractor trailers and commercial vehicles make up a good percentage of the traffic. Trucks are an important part of our economy, bringing every conceivable consumer good from iPods to SUV’s to retailers across the state. While the trucking industry plays an important part in providing jobs and goods for many of us, it is the profit-based aspect of this industry that can be a danger to the rest of us that are sharing the roads.
Tractor Trailers are enormous and cumbersome vehicles, and even with all the safety advances for automobiles implemented in recent years, an accident with a truck can cause enormous damage to both cars and their drivers. Some people who are involved in truck accidents are fortunately able to emerge from these wrecks either unscathed or with minor injuries. But the harm that can be delivered from a 90,000 pound vehicle can be considerable. Truck injuries can result in permanent injuries to the spinal cord or the brain, and there is no real way to “recover” from that sort of damage. It should also be mentioned that these injuries require long term or life long care, which can cost millions of dollars.
The trucking industry is, for the most part, based on rewarding its drivers for quick delivery. Drivers have a financial incentive to get their freight to its destination either on or ahead of schedule. With some freight being delivered thousands of miles, some drivers engage in risky behavior like going without adequate rest in order to make or beat their deadline. The results of this behavior are being felt all across the nation, and its being felt in Ohio in particular. Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ohio State Highway Patrol recently released some alarming statistics.
Fatal Accidents in Ohio Involving Semi Trucks
Number of Fatal Truck Accidents in the U.S. in 2014: 3,903
Top Five Counties for Truck Fatalities:
Percentage of tractor/semi trailers involved in fatal accidents in 2016: 67%
Where most 2016 fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles occured:
- 37% on State Routes
- 24% on Interstate Routes
- 22% on U.S. Routes
Rate of fatalities caused by commercial vehicles in Ohio: One in seven
These statistics are hardly surprising. Trucks are certainly not agile and maneuverable vehicles. It takes a truck moving 50 miles an hour at least a quarter of a mile to come to a complete stop, and even with their array of mirrors they still have an enormous blind spot on both their right and left sides. If this scenario is combined with a lack of sleep on the part of the driver or poor maintenance by the freight company mechanics, death could be the result.
It isn’t surprising that most Americans aren’t aware of what their rights are and what they are entitled to in compensation when they get injured. Getting into an accident is a frightening and emotionally draining experience, and the primary concerns of the average accident victim are basic: Will I live? Will I be able to walk again? Am I going to be okay? Worrying about whether or not your injury will bankrupt you should be the least of your concerns.
You would think that a truck accident where the driver of the truck was at fault would be a cut and dried matter in terms of liability. Unfortunately, the insurance companies do their best to lower costs, cut corners, and offer low settlements in order to maximize their profits. One of the standard tactics of truck insurers is to offer injured parties a settlement quickly, before the victim has a full understanding of what the injury is going to cost.
Having a lawyer that has a complete understanding of your rights as a truck accident victim is crucial to securing the compensation that you deserve and will need in order to pay for your lost property, medical bills and loss of income. There is also the possibility of emotional distress, limitation of lifestyle, and pain and suffering, each of which can not only affect the victim, but also the families and loved ones of the victim.
Need an Ohio Truck Accident Attorney?
Charles Boyk has a history of aggressively representing the victims of truck accidents in Ohio, and is widely respected as an expert on trucking industry litigation. Should you or a loved one be involved in an accident involving a truck or other commercial vehicle, having Charles Boyk on your side could be the difference between waiting for years for an inadequate settlement and waiting for months for a fair one. Contact our offices for a free case assessment today or call 419-241-1395 to schedule your free consultation.