Personal Injury Lawyers

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866-823-3332Local: 216-522-9000

After a Truck Accident, Don’t Go It Alone

Ohio attorneys for people injured in tractor-trailer crashes and commercial vehicle accidents

Commercial truck accidents in Ohio can be extremely complicated. Crashes involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles often involve a wide range of legal issues.

Truck collisions can be more complicated than crashes between two passenger vehicles because drivers work for trucking companies. As a result, you must consider the liability of the trucking company. Additionally, the company that owns the cargo or loaded the trailer could be liable. There may be a lot of finger-pointing among the several parties that may potentially be liable for what happened.

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle this on your own. At Merriman Legal, LLC, our knowledgeable Ohio truck accident attorneys can work with you and make sure your rights are protected. Simply contact our law firm. Call 866-823-3332 and schedule a no cost consultation.

Damaged tanker truck and car after a head-on collisionBy contacting us promptly, we can begin investigating on your behalf. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers often are on the scene of an accident within hours of the crash. Their goal is to find ways to minimize the role the driver or trucking company played. That’s why you need someone on your side, looking out for your interests.

We can interview eyewitnesses and scour the scene for physical evidence. We can take photographs and reach out to accident reconstruction specialists.

Our investigation typically includes requests to the trucking company to preserve evidence. If you wait too long, the company may destroy crucial evidence.

What should I know about commercial truck accidents in Ohio?

Truck accidents tend to raise many questions. Whether you were injured in a rear-end collision in downtown Cleveland or a highway crash on Interstate 71 near Columbus, it’s critical to have access to as much information as possible. To learn more, simply click on one of the links listed below:

We also strongly urge you contact our law firm as soon as possible to discuss the details of what happened, no matter how minor or straightforward your accident might seem.

Do I need an Ohio truck accident lawyer to handle my case?

Along with Ohio state laws, many federal regulations apply to crashes involving commercial trucks. The trucking companies and their insurance carriers will have attorneys familiar with the intricacies of the law ready to fight claims against them. You will need to even the playing field by consulting with a lawyer who also understands the specific rules and regulations concerning commercial truck accidents.

T-bone accident involving a truck and a car in ClevelandOur experienced attorneys know Ohio’s justice system inside and out. We have a proven track record for consistently obtaining sizable verdicts and settlements for victims.

The Statue of Limitations for taking legal action after a truck accident is two years. That might seem like a long time. However, building a strong legal case can sometimes take much longer than many people realize. Don’t delay. Talk to us at Merriman Legal, LLC, as soon as possible.

Common Causes

What are the top factors that contribute to commercial truck accidents? Some of the most common causes we regularly deal with at our law firm include:

  • Distracted truck drivers – Many truck drivers fail to pay attention to other vehicles on the road. Sometimes, distracted  drivers are texting while driving, which is against the law nationwide for commercial truck drivers. Other times, they’re operating a cellphone or GPS device.
  • Tired truck drivers – Strict federal laws exist mandating that commercial truck drivers take breaks to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. These are known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service Regulations. Unfortunately, some drivers ignore such rules and continue driving. They may fall asleep or their extreme fatigue may lead to delayed reaction times and poor decision making. Other times, trucking companies pressure drivers to work longer hours, resulting in exhausted operators who put everyone sharing the road at risk.
  • Speeding truckers – To maximize profits, truck drivers might ignore posted speed limits or drive too fast for the road conditions. When drivers speed, they increase the risk of causing serious accidents. A speeding driver may not have enough time to stop and avoid crashing into other vehicles. This is especially true on busy highways in Ohio like I-71, I-76 and I-80. The driver also may lose control of the big rig when entering a curve on a highway.
  • Overloaded trucks – Regulators put limits on the weight of trucks and tractor trailers. Ohio applies a formula to determine weight limits for individual trucks, but generally the weight of commercial vehicles should not exceed 80,000 pounds. When trucks weigh more than the legal limit, they can be harder to stop or turn. They may be prone to rolling over or “jackknifing.”
  • Drunk or drugged truck drivers – Drinking and driving can be an especially dangerous combination if the driver happens to be operating a tractor-trailer or another large commercial truck. Truck drivers under the influence of drugs (often used by drivers to stay awake) also often cause serious accidents involving other vehicles.

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Common Injuries

Many of the injuries people sustain in car crashes are the same ones passengers and drivers sustain in truck accidents. The main difference is injuries caused by large commercial trucks are often much more severe due to the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks.

Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries and fatalities are just some of the consequences of large truck crashes. Another difference: Large commercial trucks often cause multiple injuries to several people in difference vehicles, especially when such collisions occur on busy highways in Ohio.

Whatever the circumstances of your truck accident injury, attorneys at Merriman Legal, LLC, can work with you and make sure your rights are protected and insurance companies take your case seriously right from the start.

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In 2021, Ohio saw 3,500+ commercial vehicle injuries and 170 fatal truck accidents.
Source: Ohio State Highway Patrol

Commercial Truck Accidents

Large trucking companies own many tractor-trailers and delivery trucks used in Ohio and across the country. If you’re involved in a collision with a truck owned by one of these corporations, obtaining compensation can sometimes be a complicated ordeal.

What makes accidents involving trucks owned by trucking companies so difficult is the wall of bureaucracy that these companies often have in place which makes it nearly impossible to contact these companies and obtain information from them.

Our experienced attorneys know how to track down trucking companies and their insurance carriers and hold them accountable. We will go toe to toe with the insurance companies and the lawyers that represent all of them. Don’t underestimate the complexity of your case. We can help you hold trucking companies responsible for their actions and fight to obtain the information you need from them to build a strong legal case.

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What are common types of truck accidents?

Some of the most common types include:

  • Jackknife – A tractor trailer’s cab and trailer closes in like a folding jackknife. Cars may be trapped in between the cab and trailer.
  • Rollover – Can be a result of overloaded or speeding trucks.
  • Tire blowout – Large trucks become difficult to control after the tires blow out.
  • Under ride – Term used to describe vehicles that travel underneath a tractor trailer.
  • Rear-end – Large commercial trucks that don’t stop in time may crash into vehicles in front of them. Sometimes a distracted, impaired or fatigued driver is to blame.
  • Head-on collisions – Among the most serious truck accidents we handle at our law firm. In many cases, these collisions result in catastrophic or fatal injuries and may be grounds for a wrongful death claim.

Who investigates truck accidents in Ohio?

Depending on the location and the contents of the truck, the investigation will likely be handled by either local or state police. However, it’s important to make sure that the investigating officers take into account special federal rules and regulations created specifically to govern such accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, regulates the trucking industry. As lawyers who are well-versed in all aspects of the FMCSA regulations, we investigate on behalf of clients. We interview witnesses and search the scene for evidence. We typically hire accident reconstruction engineers and other outside experts to assist in the investigation.

Fatigue contributes to 13% of all commercial truck accidents.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Should I talk to an insurance company if they contact me?

No. Politely decline to answer questions about your truck accident, no matter how simple or innocent the questions might seem. Insurance company adjusters often ask questions with one goal in mind – to keep payments to injury victims as small as possible. Anything you say to an adjuster could be used against you.

Should I accept an offer from an insurance company?

We recommend discussing any offer you might receive with a lawyer before accepting it. What might seem like a generous settlement could turn out to be far less money than you actually need to cover expenses.

Can I file a lawsuit if I’m a victim of a truck accident?

Yes. Sometimes, the best way to obtain compensation is to file a lawsuit. We can help you do that if we believe that’s the best course of action.

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