Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyers
Injured in a Commercial Truck Accident in Cleveland, OH?
Truck accidents can be some of the most devastating motor vehicle collisions. Large vehicles are inherently more dangerous than smaller cars and motorcycles. Because of the additional weight, size, and blind spots, big rigs and trucks have a higher likelihood of causing severe injuries to other motorists. If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
At Murray & Murray, we have a proven track record of successfully handling truck accident cases in Cleveland and throughout Ohio. Our legal team is well-versed in the intricacies of state and federal regulations that govern the trucking industry. We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice, aiming to establish liability and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
A truck accident refers to a collision involving a commercial truck, also known as a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or big rig, and one or more other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects. These accidents can result in significant damage, injuries, and even fatalities due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. Trucks are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, which makes accidents involving them particularly dangerous.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions: These occur when a truck collides with the back of another vehicle. Due to the truck's weight and momentum, these accidents can result in severe damage and injuries.
- Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out to the side, forming a "V" shape with the cab. This often happens when the truck's wheels lock up, causing the trailer to skid.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollovers happen when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. This can be caused by factors such as high speeds, sharp turns, uneven road surfaces, or improper cargo loading.
- Underride Accidents: These occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of a truck and becomes wedged beneath it. This can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Trucks have large blind spots, especially on their sides and behind them. Accidents can occur when smaller vehicles are not visible to the truck driver and get caught in these blind spots.
- Runaway Trailer Accidents: When a truck's trailer becomes disconnected from the cab, it can lead to a runaway trailer. This uncontrolled trailer can cause significant damage and pose serious risks to other vehicles on the road.
- Tire Blowouts: When a truck's tire suddenly bursts, it can lead to loss of control, swerving, and potential collisions.
- Wide Turn Accidents: Trucks require more space to make turns, and sometimes they swing wide to navigate a corner. This can catch other vehicles off guard and result in collisions.
- Cargo Spill Accidents: Improperly secured or loaded cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to lose balance or spill its contents onto the road, leading to accidents.
- Tired or Fatigued Driving Accidents: Truck drivers often drive long hours to meet delivery deadlines, which can lead to driver fatigue and reduced alertness, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Weather-Related Accidents: Trucks can be more challenging to control in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, leading to accidents.
- Distracted Driving Accidents: Just like any other driver, truck drivers can be distracted by activities like texting, eating, or using electronic devices, which can contribute to accidents.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident Claim?
Determining liability in a truck accident claim can be complex due to the various parties involved in the operation of commercial trucks. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, several parties could potentially be held liable, such as the following:
- Truck Driver: If the truck driver's negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, fatigue, or violation of traffic laws, contributed to the accident, they can be held liable. Violations of hours-of-service regulations (limits on driving hours to prevent driver fatigue) are also common factors in truck accidents.
- Trucking Company: The company that employs the truck driver may be held liable under the legal doctrine of "vicarious liability" or "respondeat superior." This doctrine holds employers responsible for their employees' actions while performing job-related tasks. If the truck driver was working within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred, the company could share liability.
- Truck Owner: If the truck involved in the accident is owned by a separate entity from the trucking company, the truck owner may bear some responsibility, especially if they were responsible for maintaining the vehicle in a safe and operational condition.
- Cargo Loading Company: Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can contribute to accidents, causing the truck to become unstable or creating hazards for other road users. If the cargo loading company didn't properly secure the cargo, they could be held liable for accidents resulting from cargo shifts or spills.
- Maintenance and Repair Contractors: If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure due to improper maintenance or repairs, the company responsible for servicing the truck could be held liable.
- Manufacturer or Distributor: If a defective truck part or component contributed to the accident, the manufacturer or distributor of that part may share liability.
- Government Entities: If the accident was caused by dangerous road conditions, inadequate signage, or poorly designed roadways, government entities responsible for road maintenance and design could be held partially liable.
- Other Negligent Drivers: In some cases, more than one vehicle may be involved in the accident. If another driver's negligence contributed to the accident, they could be held liable alongside the truck driver or other parties.
You or your attorney must conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene and analyze evidence such as witness statements, police reports, electronic logging device data, and potentially expert opinions. In some cases, liability may be shared among multiple parties, depending on their respective levels of fault.
Why You Need a Cleveland Truck Accident Attorney
After a truck accident, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. Our Cleveland truck accident lawyers are skilled negotiators who are dedicated to maximizing the compensation you receive. We meticulously calculate the full extent of your damages and work tirelessly to ensure you are fairly compensated for both current and future losses.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Cleveland, OH, don't hesitate to contact Murray & Murray for a free consultation.