As part of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area, West Chester township is home to many businesses. Some of the biggest employers in the area include BAE Systems, GE Aviation, and Cornerstone Brands. As a result, it is common to see various trucks traveling throughout West Chester township.
Unfortunately, this means that each year, many people find their lives forever changed by truck accidents. The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that one out of eight traffic fatalities results from collisions involving large trucks. To better prepare you for the danger of these collisions, consider the following critical details about the nature of truck accidents.
Common Causes of Ohio Truck Accidents
Due to their substantial size and weight, trucks are at greater risk of ending up in certain types of accidents than smaller passenger vehicles. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Brake problems, which result in trucks being unable to stop in time
Drivers intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, which frequently means that truck drivers are not able to pay adequate attention to surrounding conditions
Drivers who are not familiar with the area, which can result in motorists heading the wrong way on roads
Drivers who operate vehicles while distracted, who might not have ample time to respond to conditions that arise suddenly on the road
Drivers who operate vehicles while fatigued as well as drivers who fall asleep at the wheel
Drivers who travel too fast, who often end up in rollover accidents
Failure to lookout for surrounding traffic, which can result in trucks colliding with vehicles that have entered their blind spots
Failure to yield the right of way, which can result in side-impact collisions
Overloaded trucks or trucks with improperly stored cargo, which can cause trucks to rollover
Trucks with defective parts or improperly maintained trucks
How Trucking Regulations Apply to Lawsuits
Regardless of how serious a person’s injuries are after a truck accident, it is still vital to establish that the opposing party was responsible. The most common way to establish responsibility is to show that the truck driver violated either Ohio state or federal regulations.
First, truck drivers must follow the same requirements as all other motorists on the road. This means that truck drivers must avoid speeding, improperly changing lanes, and failing to yield. Not following these regulations can serve as strong evidence that a truck driver was responsible for an accident.
Besides these laws, federal regulations address many other aspects of how trucks must be handled. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that truck drivers not operate vehicles for more than 11 consecutive hours on any one day or for greater than 60 hours over seven consecutive days. Truck drivers and trucking companies that violate these regulations as just as accountable for the resulting accidents as passenger vehicle operators who fail to conform to traffic codes.
Injuries Commonly Caused by West Chester Truck Accidents
Because they require some substantial force to stop, the aftermath of truck accidents is often devastating. Some of the most common types of injuries that victims are left facing after truck accidents include:
Internal organ damage
Loss of limbs
Neck and back injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Partial or full paralysis
Spinal cord injuries
No matter what safety precautions a motorist takes, it is unfortunately impossible to eliminate the risk of ending up seriously injured in a truck accident.
Establishing Fault After Ohio Truck Accidents
As if they were not already complex, multiple parties are also sometimes responsible for truck accidents. Some of the parties that can be held responsible for truck accidents include:
The truck driver and his or her insurance carrier
The trucking company and its insurance carriers
The manufacturer of defective truck parts
Local or state agencies that can be held accountable for defective or dangerously designed roads
An additional complication that can arise in pursuing compensation for Ohio truck accidents involves navigating issues with insurance carriers, who frequently do everything possible to reject paying compensation. Even if an insurance company does pay out compensation, they understand that victims are often left facing many bills and rely on the desperation to accept anything to provide a lowball offer.
Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer
Due to their substantial size and weight, truck accidents often result in substantial property damage and life-changing injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in West Chester, Ohio contact Kruger & Hodges today.