A blind spot is the area around a vehicle that cannot be seen by a driver who is looking ahead, or looking in a front view, rear-view or side mirror. The blind spots around a commercial vehicle are large and include the sides of the truck, as well as the front and rear of the truck. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are around 840,000 blind spot accidents each year. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a blind spot accident in Ohio, you should consult the Cleveland truck accident attorneys at Rubin Guttman & Associates.Pursuing Compensation for a Blind Spot Crash
Blind spot accidents are often caused by truck drivers who fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes. When a truck driver is appropriately trained, he will use methods to eliminate the blind spots as much as possible and stay aware of the vehicles around his truck. A driver may be able to eliminate a blind spot by adjusting the front, side and rear-view mirrors and by turning his head to check for vehicles in the adjacent lanes that may be traveling in a blind spot. However, some truck drivers are careless, fatigued, or not properly trained, and they may injure somebody who is in their blind spot.
Because a semi tractor-trailer may weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or sixteen times the weight of the average car, injuries that may arise as a result of colliding with a truck in a blind spot collision may include some of the most serious life altering injuries, including traumatic brain injury, multiple organ damage, crush injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures or broken bones and even paralysis or death. If you sustain serious injuries as a result of being hit by a truck driver who failed to check his or her blind spot, you may be entitled to recover damages from the truck driver, their employer and possibly others. To establish the driver's liability, your attorney will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the truck driver was negligent and caused the accident.
A trucking company also may be held vicariously liable for its employee's negligent acts in the course and scope of employment. This means that it could be held liable for an employee's failure to check a blind spot while delivering cargo, driving over the road or even while parking their truck, so long as they were working on behalf of the company when the collision or accident occurred, although it would not be vicariously liable if the employee were off on a personal errand during his rest break and failed to check the blind spot during that time. A trucking company can also be held directly liable for its own negligence in some cases.
Interstate trucking companies, like interstate truck drivers, must maintain certain documentation to be in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These documents include vehicle and inspection records, drug and alcohol tests, and records to show that a driver has a valid commercial driving license and has passed a physical exam. They are supposed to check a truck driver's compliance with hours of service restrictions and check to make sure that a truck driver keeps an accurate log of how long they have rested between trips. They are supposed to maintain certain important data, such as information about what a truck driver was doing that gets gathered in a black box for a certain minimum period of time. If a truck driver gets into a blind spot accident, it can be important to consult the black box information to figure out exactly what happened before the truck driver hit the car.
A trucking company is not required to preserve black box and other records for very long. It is crucial to retain an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that a preservation of evidence letter is sent to the trucking company, ensuring that the black box evidence is preserved. When this preservation of evidence letter is sent by a personal injury attorney, a company cannot claim that it did not know of pending litigation and destroy critical evidence without facing the possibility of serious sanctions in the lawsuit.Retain an Experienced Truck Crash Attorney in the Cleveland Area
At Rubin Guttman & Associates, our attorneys will investigate an Ohio blind spot accident that caused catastrophic injuries and hold the appropriate parties responsible in a civil lawsuit for damages. You can call us at (216) 696-4006 or (888) 488-8529, or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation. We will arrange a time and place to meet that is convenient for you. Russian, Hebrew, and Spanish language services are available by appointment. We represent victims in Cleveland, Parma, Lakewood, Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Strongsville, Akron, Columbus, Chardon, Toledo, Youngstown, Ravenna, Lorain, Mentor, Beachwood, and Elyria, among other areas of Northeast Ohio.