Cleveland Truck Accident Attorneys
We Do What It Takes to Seek Results
Commercial vehicles are huge and heavy. Because of this, if a semi-truck collides with a passenger vehicle, serious injury or even death can result. Under personal injury law, if you were in an accident but were not at fault for causing it, you may be entitled to seek compensation for damages you sustained. A fair and just financial payout can help cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain/suffering. But effectively navigating this type of case can be complicated because many factors come into play, and you must identify the liable party to ensure you file a claim against the correct person or entity.
At Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly, our team can guide you through the complexities of your case. Recognizing the impacts the matter can have on you and your family, we deliver compassionate counsel every step of the way. Our Cleveland truck accident lawyers will be available to you 24/7, ready to answer your questions and provide clear explanations of the process and your legal options. At the same time, we can provide the aggressive representation you need to hold the at-fault party financially responsible. When you turn to us, you can trust that you will have an advocate on your side focused on your best interests and committed to protecting your rights.
To discuss your case during a free consultation, call us at (216) 220-6776 or contact us online today.
On This Page
- Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
- What to Do After a Truck Accident
- Who's At-Fault for a Big-Rig Accident?
- How We Help with Truck Accident Cases
- Damages & Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
- Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
- Frequently Asked Questions
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
The trucking industry is highly regulated by the federal government. Truckers, trucking companies, and any other entity that has a role in having cargo shipped across the country must adhere to these regulations. Unfortunately, not all do, and their negligence can lead to accidents that have life-altering consequences.
18-wheeler accidents can arise for several reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Driver error: As with any other motorist, big-rig drivers must operate their vehicles safely. However, some commercial truck drivers might engage in speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, or other unsafe behaviors. When they do so, they can lose control of their trucks and cause accidents.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Mechanics are responsible for ensuring that the truck is adequately maintained. Failure to properly check all parts and systems could lead to a malfunction that compromises the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.
- Improper cargo load: Big rigs carry large items, heavy items, and sometimes hazardous items. To prevent the materials from shifting during transport, they must be loaded and secured properly. Regulations typically specify how cargo should be loaded into the truck. If the shipper or cargo loader did not adhere to these requirements or was otherwise negligent in securing the items, uneven weight distribution may make it difficult for the driver to control the truck, which can result in an accident.
- Inadequate or no training: Generally, the trucking company that employs the driver is responsible for ensuring they know how to operate the vehicle safely. If it fails to provide proper training and the driver is in a situation requiring deft maneuvers, they might not know how to respond and engage in behaviors that endanger others' safety.
- Poor supervision: Semi-truck drivers can only work a certain number of hours per day and must take rest stops throughout the drive. However, some companies might be lax in enforcing these requirements and let their drivers work beyond what is allowed. This can result in fatigue, and a tired driver behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle can weave into other lanes, drive into oncoming traffic, or engage in other dangerous behaviors.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
If you have been in a truck accident, then you should try to follow these steps:
- Call for help: Get emergency responders to the scene immediately, especially if someone has been injured. Emergency responders can render first aid and control the scene to prevent secondary accidents. Also, the reports from these responders can benefit our attorneys while we build your claim.
- Collect evidence: Use your smartphone to collect pictures of the crash scene, including shots of vehicle damage, bodily injuries, traffic conditions, and weather conditions. If you don’t have a smartphone, then see if someone else at the scene can take the pictures and send them to you.
- Record contact information: Don’t forget the crucial step of exchanging contact and insurance information with everyone involved. In a truck accident, you will want to record information about the truck, too, such as unique trailer ID and the company that owns it.
- See a doctor: It is a safe idea to see a medical provider after a truck accident, even if you feel fine. You could have a subtle underlying injury like a soft tissue injury that has yet to become seriously painful. This step also makes a note in your medical record for the checkup, which can be used to prove that the accident happened and what sort of injuries it caused.
Who's At-Fault for a Big-Rig Accident?
Although the semi-truck driver might have caused an accident, they're not necessarily the one (or not the only one) who could be liable for damages. Any party with a hand in maintaining the vehicle, loading it, or supervising the driver can be considered responsible for the collision.
Depending on the circumstances, in a commercial truck accident case, a claim can be filed against:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The shipper/cargo loader
- The maintenance company
- The parts manufacturer
How We Help with Truck Accident Cases
To establish fault and seek maximum compensation for damages, it's essential to know what caused the accident. At Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly, our team can investigate your case to determine who is responsible. We will review all logs, reports, and records to see where errors or negligence occurred. In some matters, it may be necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert to better understand how the collision occurred. You can be confident that our Cleveland truck accident lawyers will do whatever it takes to work toward obtaining a fair financial recovery on your behalf.
Depend on our firm to help by:
- Investigating the circumstances of the accident.
- Determining liability.
- Calculating damages owed to you.
- Sending a demand letter to the defendant.
- Filing a claim if the demand letter is rejected.
- Negotiating for a settlement.
- Preparing for litigation.
- Representing you in court.
Damages & Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
We have decades of collective experience working on complicated truck accident cases. No matter how much compensation is owed to you by the defendant, we will be ready to fight for it. In some cases, we can reach a settlement that gets our clients the compensation that they need sooner than later. We are also ready to litigate if a settlement won’t get you a fair recovery.
Damages that add to the value of a truck accident case can include:
- Past and future medical treatment costs
- Lost wages and unearned future income
- Pain and suffering
- Lowered enjoyment of life
- Shortened life expectancy
- And more
Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
For truck accident cases, Ohio uses a strict two-year statute of limitations that begins on the date of the accident. If you want to file an injury claim against the liable parties, then you must do so within that two-year window. If you don’t, then the court can and likely will reject any claim you file later.
Please keep in mind that an injury claim is not the same as an insurance claim. You should start an insurance claim as soon as possible and might only have 30 days or fewer after the accident.
Call Our Dedicated Team Today
You have a lot to think about after being injured in a truck accident, such as where you can get medical care and how you can keep going to work or school. Don’t add to your frustrations by also trying to manage a truck accident claim against a defendant that doesn’t want to cooperate. Team up with our Cleveland truck accident lawyers for all the help you need from the start of the case to its conclusion.
When you hire our firm for your case, you will have a zealous advocate on your side who truly cares about you and the outcome. You will work directly with one of our attorneys and receive sound guidance and counsel from a lawyer who knows the law well and has an in-depth understanding of the processes involved in resolving such matters.
Speak with a one of our Cleveland truck accident attorneys by contacting us at (216) 220-6776.
Cleveland Truck Accident FAQ
Are there limits to how heavy a commercial truck can be?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires most commercial trucks to weigh no more than 80,000 pounds in total, including all truck parts and cargo. If a truck is overloaded, it can be more likely to tip, experience a brake failure, or become difficult to steer.
Do truck drivers have to check their blind spots before changing lanes?
Truck drivers should make a reasonable attempt to check their mirrors before changing lanes, turning, or merging. Checking blind spots can be impossible based on the size of the truck, though. Before changing lanes or merging, a truck driver should signal and give plenty of time for a smaller vehicle to move from the blind spot.
Should I accept a truck accident settlement?
Don’t accept or sign a settlement after a truck accident. Instead, allow one of our Cleveland truck accident lawyers to review the settlement offer. We can let you know if it is fair and should be signed, or if it will be worth trying to renegotiate.
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