Many freight trucks pass through Columbus, OH, daily, with Franklin County being one of the busiest stops among truckers. Unfortunately, this high level of traffic means motorists in this area are at serious risk of getting into a big rig accident, which often results in devastating injuries and fatalities.
If you or a family member are victims of a semi-trailer accident, call The Fitch Law Firm or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case review. A Columbus big rig accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve after such an accident.
Ohio Laws That Apply to Truckers
To reduce the number of truck accidents, Ohio observes the regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a Department of Transportation agency regulating truck and bus drivers and companies throughout the United States.
These trucking regulations include the maximum hours truckers can drive between break periods. Drivers are also forbidden to drink alcohol or do drugs before or while on duty. Moreover, truck employers have to conduct training, health, and drug tests on drivers to ensure that they are sober and fit to work.
Companies should also maintain and repair their trucks before each trip and keep a record of service. Not doing any of these is a violation of FMCSA rules and serves as further proof of negligence in an accident claim.
General Rules of the Road That Must Be Obeyed
Aside from trucking regulations, Ohio also has its own set of speed limits that all motorists should follow. Both truck and car drivers have to drive any posted speed limits they encounter. Speeding is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, but additional infractions can lead to higher fines and possible jail time.
Reckless driving in Ohio is also a misdemeanor, with fines on the first violations and a possible jail sentence for repeated infractions. If it results in accidents with injuries or fatalities, it can become a felony with larger fines, lengthy jail time, and a driver’s license suspension.
Your Columbus big rig accident lawyer can go over the charges and possible penalties the at-fault driver could be facing during your consultation. We can send a big rig accident attorney with in-depth knowledge of Ohio’s laws to assist you with your claim. For further inquiries and a free case review, you can contact the office by phone or through our online contact form.
For a free legal consultation with a Columbus big rig accidents lawyer, call: (614) 545-3930Call Now »
Potentially Liable Parties in Big Rig Accidents
In a big rig or any truck accident, the driver might not be the only one at fault. Although they may have driven recklessly, their company might also not have repaired a faulty part or did not provide enough training for their employees. Do keep in mind that the employer’s insurance provider might step in and defend them.
One common tactic of theirs is to pass the blame to another party, such as the rig’s parts manufacturer. However, a big rig accident lawyer in Columbus can help investigate whose exact fault it is. Once you determine who to hold liable, you can sue them for damages such as medical and therapy expenses, lost income, and your pain and suffering.
The Last Thing You Should Worry About Is How You’re Going To Pay For Your Medical Bills.Talk To a Lawyer Now »
Time Limits for Filing Trucking Accident Cases
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline. Under Ohio Revised Statute § 2305.10, the state’s statute of limitations generally gives you two years from the date of the event or the victim’s death to file a lawsuit to pursue damages in a trial. Once you miss this deadline, the civil court will likely dismiss your claims.
Like other states, Ohio also makes some exceptions depending on the circumstances that could either lengthen or shorten your deadline. One of these exceptions, per Ohio Revised Statute § 2305.16, is if the victim is still a minor. The statute timer will only start counting down when the victim turns 18 years old.
A Columbus big rig accident attorney has already studied Ohio’s filing deadlines and can determine when your final submission date is. They can also help you compile and review the documents you need to present your case on time.
Damages You Can Recover After a Big Rig Accident
If you were injured in a big rig accident, there are a variety of damages you will likely be eligible to pursue. A Columbus truck accident lawyer can help you sort through your losses and determine what damages apply to your case. All compensatory damages are split between economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover the losses you incurred that had a direct impact on your finances. Common economic damages include:
- Both current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Damage to your earning potential
- Property damage
- Home or vehicle modifications need to accommodate a disability
Non-economic damages cover the losses resulting from your accident that did not directly impact your finances. Common non-economic damages include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
In cases involving criminal negligence or the intent to cause harm, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.
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Be Wary of Insurance Companies
Despite the fact that insurance companies are supposed to protect people when the worst happens, these companies are far more concerned with protecting their profit margins. If you were injured in a big rig accident, you can expect the insurance company to use a variety of tactics in an attempt to deny or devalue your claim.
The best way to protect yourself against these tricks is by hiring an experienced big rig truck accident attorney in Columbus shortly after your crash. By hiring an attorney, you will force the insurance adjuster to deal with them, preventing them from employing the tactics they would use if dealing directly with you.
Dangers of Driving Big Rigs
Semi-trucks, or big rigs, are typically more dangerous on the road than regular cars for several reasons. For one, their bigger size and heavier weight amplify the force of impact upon collision. They also carry containers as long as 53 ft., which creates huge big blind spots. Too often, vehicles that fall into the blind spot get sideswiped because the trucker cannot see them.
Big rigs are also harder to bring to a complete stop because their weight requires more braking distance. The cargo they carry can even fall off and hit other vehicles. Big rigs can cause even more road destruction if operated by negligent or outright reckless truckers.
We Help You Pursue Justice
Any vehicular accident, especially one that involves trucks, is no simple ordeal from which to recover. The Fitch Law Firm understands and sympathizes with your struggle, which is why we are here to help you and your loved ones recover from the damage. Our Columbus big rig accident lawyer is ready to help file your lawsuit and provide further counsel if needed.
For 30 years, we have handled personal injury, vehicular accidents, malpractice, and other civil lawsuits for clients throughout Ohio. Call our team or complete our online contact form if you want to discuss your situation with us. You can also request a free case consultation on this website.
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