As one of the larger cities in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area, Middletown is home to various businesses. While the city was once the home of AK Steel Holding Corporation (Arcmo), many companies still operate in the city, and it is common to see trucks operating throughout Middletown. The Kruger & Hodges semi-truck accident lawyers in Middletown have deep experience defending the rights of those injured in crashes with semis and eighteen-wheelers. Contact us for a free consultation if you have been hurt in a truck accident.
While many truck drivers safely travel between locations, not all of them do. The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that trucks comprise 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, but comprise 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes. This article examines some additional details about how truck accidents occur in the state.
Establishing Liability After a Semi-Truck Accident
Following truck accidents, it is critical to determine who is liable so you can pursue compensation. The party who will be deemed responsible for a truck accident is the one whose negligence caused the accident. This need not, however, be a single entity.
While a truck driver might be liable for an accident, the company that employed the driver might also be accountable for the accident. Some of the elements that we can help accident victims use to establish that a truck driver should be held liable for compensation include:
Truck driver negligence. Truck drivers have commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and as a result, are held to a higher standard than most other motorists. These regulations are established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and address a wide range of regulations involving inspections, maintenance, the size of vehicles, and insurance coverage. Because CDL drivers must follow all trucking regulations and carefully avoid accidents, truck drivers can be found negligent if they fail to meet this standard.
Trucking company negligence. Truck drivers are classified as either employees or independent contractors. If a truck driver is an employee and negligently causes an accident, the trucking company can also be found liable.
Common Reasons for Ohio Semi-Truck Accidents
To determine who is responsible for a truck accident, it is critical to figure out what the cause of the accident was. While a law enforcement officer will also investigate the cause of the accident, the truck driver’s company will also likely retain a party to investigate things. Some of the most commonly attributed factors for Ohio truck accidents include:
Defective truck parts
Distracted driving, which most commonly involves using a cell phone while driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Drivers who operate vehicles while fatigued or who fall asleep at the wheel
Failure of truck drivers to adequately monitor their blind spots
Improperly changing lanes
Speeding beyond posted limits or too fast for surrounding conditions
Common Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
These factors result in several types of semi-truck accidents, which can include:
Brake failure accidents
Head-on truck accidents
Override or underride truck accidents
Rear-end truck accidents
Sideswipe truck accidents
Tire blowout accidents
Navigating Issues With Insurance Carriers
While no two truck accidents are ever exactly the same, you should not anticipate that the opposing party’s insurance carrier will be helpful. Insurance companies are not focused on the best interests of accident victims. Rather, insurance carriers often want to maximize the amount of profit that they retain and only pay out compensation when necessary. Even when trucking companies pay out compensation, they will often do everything possible to pay a victim as little as possible.
Consequently, it is critical to be cautious when communicating with the other party’s insurance carriers. They will attempt to obtain recorded statements from you that can be used to minimize the amount of compensation you receive. These companies are also known to look for evidence that you were entirely or partially responsible for the accident. Sometimes, insurance carriers also examine the medical history of victims so that they can argue a victim’s injury existed before the accident. Our personal injury attorneys in Middletown can help with these issues.
Why Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers in Middletown, Eaton or Hamilton
The Ohio statute of limitations for personal injury states that a person has two years from a truck accident in which to initiate a lawsuit. This means that if a person files a lawsuit three years after a truck accident, he or she will be likely barred from pursuing compensation. This deadline only applies to lawsuits and not insurance claims.
Speak with Our Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers in Middletown, Ohio
While the aftermath of truck accidents is often frightening for victims, it is important to remember that you have the right to pursue compensation if another party is responsible for your injuries. Contact Kruger& Hodges today to schedule a free case evaluation with our semi-truck accident lawyers in Middletown.
Fun Facts about Middletown!
The Middletown City school district serves the city of Middletown, Ohio through several schools starting at kindergarten including, Mayfield Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, and Wildwood Elementary continuing with several middle school options and accumulating at Middletown High School. The Middletown City School District’s mission is “to engage each student with challenging and innovative experiences in a supportive environment, propelling them to lifelong success.”