Case Illustration of Semi-Truck Accident Injury Claim in Blanchester, OH
Blanchester, OH is a small village in Clinton and Warren Counties, with a population of approximately 4,500, and is a part of the Wilmington, OH “Micropolitan area.” Suppose you are headed to Wilmington on Highway 68 when a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, veering into your lane and sending your vehicle into a spin. Because the highway is so busy, you are subsequently hit by two more vehicles before traffic can stop. The truck driver that caused the accident denies he is at fault for the accident, and you are left with serious injuries, unable to work and make a living—and frustrated from trying to secure a settlement from the trucking company’s insurer.
The insurance company engages in typical delay, deny, and undervalue tactics, and in desperation, you are considering taking the extremely low settlement they are offering. This is a time when you should immediately contact the Kruger & Hodges semi-truck accident lawyers serving Blanchester, OH. We will be the advocate in your corner you need during this difficult time. We will ensure you get the medical treatments you need for your injuries. We will then begin building a comprehensive case on your behalf—first definitively proving liability, then carefully calculating your actual damages. This is not a situation that you should face on your own—and once you contact Kruger and Hodges, you won’t have to.
Truck Accident Crash Statistics in Blanchester, OH
Across the United States, there were 5,788 semi-truck accident fatalities in 2021, with 154,993 serious injuries. According to the Institute of Safer Trucking, in Ohio, there were 220 fatal truck accidents in 2021. Ohio had a 45% increase in fatal truck accidents between 2012 and 2021, with the Ohio counties of Franklin, Lucas, Montgomery, Geauga, and Cuyahoga having the highest number of fatal truck accidents. Almost a third of all severe truck accidents occurred in Ohio road construction zones.
How Truck Accidents Can Lead to TBI, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Scarring
Truck accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries or death to those in smaller passenger vehicles. A passenger vehicle is simply no match for an 80,000-pound fully loaded semi-truck. If the truck is carrying hazardous cargo, the injuries may be even more severe. A catastrophic injury is one that alters the victim’s life—if not forever, then for a significant length of time. A catastrophic injury usually means a full recovery is not possible, and that the injury is life-changing. The most common types of catastrophic injuries include:
Spinal cord damage that results in paralysis
Permanent hearing loss
Loss of sight
Facial injuries that cause disfigurement
Permanent nerve damage
Traumatic brain injuries
Severe organ damage
Occupational illnesses like mesothelioma
Injuries to the spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries are among the top catastrophic injuries. A spinal cord injury can cost millions of dollars, depending on the level of paralysis and the age of the victim. According to spinalcord.com, an individual with high tetraplegia can expect to pay about a million dollars in care costs during the first year, with about $184,000 each year after that. An individual with low tetraplegia can expect to pay about $769,000 in medical expenses during the first year, and about $113,000 each year thereafter.
For those with paraplegia, the first year of costs will be about $518,000, with about $69,000 each year thereafter. Even those with good health insurance can expect to pay a portion of all these expenses—usually enough to leave most families in financial ruin. Both spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries can be severe enough to require a full-time caregiver and many different assistive devices to accomplish even the simplest tasks. It is essential that you have knowledgeable Kruger & Hodges semi-truck accident lawyers serving Blanchester, OH who can accurately calculate the lifetime costs of your catastrophic injuries.
Semi-Truck Accident FAQs
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are often the result of an overly fatigued truck driver. Although there are federal limits on the number of hours a truck driver can consecutively drive (11 hours, with some exceptions), there are still two problems. First, if you have ever driven for eleven hours straight you know how exhausting it can be, and that’s assuming you got a good night’s sleep before you began driving. Truck drivers notoriously get less sleep than most adults. They may be sleeping in a small sleeper berth in a noisy truck stop, causing sleep to be elusive.
Second, many truck drivers keep two sets of logbooks so they can exceed the allowable hours. Truck drivers are only paid for the time they are driving, therefore, there is a financial incentive to exceed hours for both the truck driver and the trucking company.
According to truckdriver.org, the NHTSA estimates that truck driver fatigue contributes to 40 percent of all semi-truck accidents. Further, 65 percent of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving, and half of all truck drivers admit to actually falling asleep behind the wheel within the prior year. It is believed that the risk of a semi-truck crash doubles from the 8th to the 10th straight hour of driving, and doubles again between the 10th and 11th hour.
Overly fatigued truck drivers may be responsible for as many as 750 deaths and 20,000 injuries each year in the United States. Lack of sleep can lead to slower reaction times, impaired balance, impaired judgment, being less risk-averse, increased distractibility, and memory impairment. Some studies have found that being awake for 18 hours is equal to having a .05 BAC while being awake for 24 hours is equal to being legally impaired, with a BAC of .08.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?
Truck accidents cause much more severe injuries and can also be more complex because there is often more than one liable party. The truck driver could be responsible for the crash, whether due to impairment, fatigue, distraction, carelessness, or recklessness, or the trucking company could be partially liable if they hired an unvetted or untrained driver or was aware the driver was exceeding his or her allowable hours. If the accident was the result of shifting or falling cargo, the loading company could be partially responsible, or if the accident was the result of poorly maintained brakes or tires, the maintenance company could be partially liable.
If the accident was the result of a dangerous or defective truck part, the manufacturer could be held liable through a product liability claim. When any of these other parties are held liable for a semi-truck accident, it is known as third-party negligence. It is important to speak to knowledgeable Kruger & Hodges semi-truck accident lawyers serving Blanchester, OH.
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Semi-Truck Accident Case?
The only way to know whether you have a valid semi-truck accident claim is to speak to highly experienced personal injury lawyers in Blanchester, OH. The Kruger & Hodges attorneys have been helping people just like you for many, many years. We understand your situation and have built our practice around the best interests of our clients. We can accurately assess what your case is worth, explain the types of damages you are entitled to receive, then fight hard for you, your family, your rights, and your future. Once we have a number, we will aggressively pursue a full and fair settlement on your behalf.
Many people choose a semi-truck accident lawyer based on a referral by a friend, family member, or co-worker. Others will contact the Ohio State Bar or browse the web to find a law firm that looks like it might be a good fit. At Kruger & Hodges, we understand that you have choices when looking for semi-truck accident lawyers serving Blanchester, OH. We also believe that once you’ve spoken to one of our attorneys your choice will be clear. We have a strong commitment to our clients along with the skills necessary to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.
How Kruger & Hodges Personal Injury Lawyers in Blanchester, OH Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident, you may be wondering whether your life will ever resemble anything close to normal again. You need someone in your corner who will determine the best strategy, based on your injuries and the facts of the case. We will definitively prove liability and are well-versed in holding multiple parties liable for truck accident injuries. For a free evaluation of your potential claim, contact the Kruger & Hodges personal injury lawyers in Blanchester, OH.