Commercial Truck Accidents
Any car accident has the potential to result in serious injuries, but crashes involving commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers are far more likely to involve catastrophic or even fatal injuries simply because of the size of the vehicles involved. With multiple major interstate highways such as Interstate 71, Interstate 74, Interstate 75, Interstate 275, and Interstate 471, the Cincinnati area regularly sees a heavy share of commercial truck traffic.
Commercial truck crashes are much more complicated than traditional passenger vehicle collisions. Depending on the specific aspects of the case, multiple parties may be liable and insurance companies representing the trucking carriers will aggressively attempt to get accident victims to settle their cases as quickly as possible—usually for far less than what victims and their families are actually entitled to.
Lawyer for Commercial Truck Accidents in Cincinnati, Ohio
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a commercial truck crash in the greater Cincinnati area? Do not sign any paperwork or speak to any insurance company representatives until you have legal representation.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Steiden Law Offices fight to get full and fair compensation for automobile accident victims all over Butler County, Clermont County, Hamilton County, and Warren County in Ohio as well as communities in Campbell County, Boone County, and Kenton County in Kentucky. Call (513) 888-8888 right now to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation that will let our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case so you can understand all of your legal options.
Kentucky Commercial Truck Crashes Information Center
- How do most truck accidents usually happen?
- Who is liable for damages in commercial truck crash cases?
- Where can I find more information about truck accidents in the Cincinnati area?
The trucks and semi-trailers that are used to haul goods from location to location nationwide are extremely large and complex machines that travel many thousands more miles every year than other traditional motor vehicles. All aspects of the trucks need to be regularly maintained and the people who operate the big rigs must also be trained on how to safely drive them.
Commercial trucks are also subject to numerous federal regulations, relating to everything from the number of hours a driver can be on the road, the maximum weight a truck can carry, and inspections of the trucks. While many crashes are the result of the inherent braking, turning, or visibility limitations commercial trucks have, several others involve violations of regulations.
Some of the most common causes of tractor-trailer accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Defective equipment;
- Driver error;
- Driver fatigue;
- Excessive speeds or reckless driving;
- Failure to install underride protection;
- Improper truck maintenance or failure to maintain truck;
- Inadequate driver training;
- Inadequate lighting;
- Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI);
- Overloaded truck;
- Unsafe driving for weather conditions; or
- Unsafe lane changes.
Unlike common passenger vehicle crashes in which the accident victim only has to deal with the negligent driver, commercial trucking cases are much more complicated because there may be multiple parties that are financially liable. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires for-hire interstate general freight carriers to maintain a minimum of $750,000 in minimum liability insurance, although this amount is higher for carriers or oil or other types of hazardous substances.
Depending on the cause of an 18-wheeler crash, one or more of the following parties could be responsible for compensating injury victims and/or their families:
- Truck Driver — While the drivers of commercial trucks are responsible in some way for many accidents, they also generally do not have much money. Drivers can be at fault for truck crashes when they were operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI), using a cell phone (a violation of federal law), or otherwise driving recklessly.
- Truck Owner — In some cases, the company that owns the truck may be different than the company that owns the trailer. Depending on the cause of the accident, both companies could be liable to the crash victim.
- Truck Driver’s Employer — Many truck drivers sign agreements to operate as independent contractors, but federal law may still deem some motor carriers as the employers of those drivers. Employers can be liable when a driver who caused an accident had a history of previous crashes or drug or alcohol convictions.
- Freight Owner — In certain cases, the owners of freight can be liable depending on the level of their involvement in the shipping process.
- Manufacturers — The companies that manufacture a cab, a trailer, or any part of either can be responsible if a defective or malfunctioning part causes a crash.
- Third Parties — In some cases, third-party maintenance companies may be liable for failure to properly address certain issues with tractor-trailers. In other accidents, it may be possible that another vehicle caused or contributed to the crash, and that automobile’s driver, owner, or a company that manufactured parts for it could also bear responsibility.
FMCSA | Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) — The FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted this study to examine the reasons for serious crashes involving large trucks using data from 120,000 large truck crashes that occurred between April 2001 and December 2003. On this website, you can download the study data, a user’s manual, and the LTCCS Codebook. You can also view the report to Congress, download a PowerPoint presentation examining why trucks collide with cars, and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Large trucks | Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) — As an “independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses—deaths, injuries and property damage—from crashes on the nation's roads,” the IIHS performs scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles. On this section of the IIHS website, you can find fatality facts relating to large trucks. Data here includes trends, where and when large truck crashes occur, and a comparison of large truck crashes and passenger vehicle crashes.
Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck crash in the Cincinnati area, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Steiden Law Offices represents clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay anything for our services unless we get you a monetary award.
Our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys help accident victims throughout Kenton County, Campbell County, and Boone County in Kentucky in addition to Warren County, Butler County, Clermont County, and Hamilton County in Ohio. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (513) 888-8888 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.