Columbus Truck Accident Attorneys
Our Award-Winning Lawyers Have Recovered Millions for Clients
Truck accidents usually involve life altering injuries and losses. Even when it seems clear that the truck driver was at fault, these cases are aggressively defended by trucking and insurance companies to in an effort to minimize their financial exposure. If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, it is important that you hire an attorney who has significant experience handling truck accident cases given how much is at stake. Rourke & Blumenthal has successfully handled many truck crash cases over the years.
Most trucking companies send out investigators and lawyers to the crash scene within hours of the crash in order to get a head start on the victim in building their defense. In order to make sure that your best interests are being properly protected, you should hire a legal team with the experience, resources, and proven results to take on the trucking and insurance companies. Upon being hired, we immediately begin the investigation process by gathering evidence, retaining the necessary consultants and experts in various specialties, and contacting the trucking company to make sure that all evidence is preserved.
Trucking crashes occur for a number of reasons, such as inattentive driving, violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, fatigue, improper truck maintenance, and negligent safety practices by the trucking company. Trucking cases are unique from other crashes in that there are certain federal rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry because it is so widely known that trucks can be dangerous and incredibly harmful.
With technology advances, critical evidence such as dash-cam video in the truck and tracking devices provide incredibly helpful information regarding the crash, and must be preserved in order to prove what exactly happened in the crash. These are just a few examples of why experienced truck accident lawyers like the ones at Rourke & Blumenthal are needed in these cases.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
Trucking companies and their drivers are heavily regulated by the FMSCA in order to reduce the chances of an accident since trucks can cause so much damage to other vehicles in the event of a collision. The hours of service regulation are one such rule that are aimed at preventing fatigued driving. According to these rules:
- Truck drivers can work only 14 hours in one day
- Truck drivers must rest or take meal breaks totaling 3 hours in a day, meaning they are only allowed to drive for 11 hours a day
- Driver must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours at the end of the day
- Truck drivers must take days off work regularly
Who is Liable After a Truck Accident?
A truck driver is not usually the one who is held liable after a truck accident, instead it is most often the trucking company. The main reason for this is because trucking companies are often caught expecting their drivers to break trucking regulations in order to save their company money. At times, the truck driver is held liable, especially if the accident was caused by their negligence, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
There are other parties that can be held liable, such as a truck manufacturer or cargo loading team, although it happens less often. The legal team at Rourke & Blumenthal is experienced in investigating truck accident claims and is ready to help you today.
How Truck Accident Cases Vary From Car Accident Claims
Truck accidents and car accidents may both include motor vehicles but the claims or lawsuits that surround them can vary significantly. In particular, evidence necessary to win a case and liability – or who to sue for damages – in a trucking accident may seem like night and day compared to the typical car accident claim.
In a car accident, most of the evidence pertinent to the case can be found right there at the scene of the crash; photographs, eyewitness testimonies, and a police report can come in handy for a car accident case. In a commercial truck accident, you may need to look elsewhere for evidence you might not have even suspected would be useful for your claim.
Talk to your attorney about obtaining:
- Truck driver’s qualifications and training
- Schedule for the day and the last few weeks
- Electronic on-board recorder files
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance records
- Cargo weight tickets
- Specific instructions from truck’s dispatcher
It is important to realize that many crucial documents that can be used in your case are time-sensitive. Some logbooks can be disposed of after only six months, according to regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You should act quickly with a lawyer’s help to get the documents you need while they still exist.
How Liability May Differ
When you get struck by a driver in a civilian vehicle, you will have one person in mind when creating your lawsuit: the driver. They might ultimately be defended by the efforts of their insurance company but liability, according to your lawsuit, falls solely on them. When you are injured in a semi-truck accident, liability may fall on one or more parties.
Parties that could be liable for your injuries in a truck accident include:
- Truck driver that drove recklessly
- Maintenance crews who failed to make the truck serviceable
- Employer who worked the trucker too many consecutive hours
- Load crew who poorly stacked or loaded freight
There are even instances in which the owner of the trailer, not the tractor rig pulling it, could be liable. With so many potentially liable parties, the chance of filing against the wrong person and losing claim validity increases. If you want to have confidence in your lawsuit, you should make certain you work with professional lawyers who have handled countless car and truck accident claims.
Why Do I Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?
Recovering the compensation you deserve after a truck accident without an experience attorney on your side can be very difficult. Trucking companies are usually backed by top-tier lawyers who are hired to protect their company which usually means keeping you from recovering proper compensation. The attorneys at Rourke & Blumenthal are experienced in handling truck accident claims and know what to expect during the entire claims process. Call our firm today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.
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