Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyer
The weight and size of commercial trucks makes them dangerous, especially in the hands of a negligent driver. A person in a car or any smaller vehicle that is hit by a truck may suffer devastating or even fatal injuries, while the driver of the truck walks away unscathed. Often, trucking companies and their insurers mount aggressive defenses against truck accident claims even when a truck driver's liability is clear. It is critical to retain an attorney who understands these challenging types of cases. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a collision, call the Cleveland truck accident lawyers at Rubin Guttman & Associates.Holding a Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for Your Injuries
Many truckers pass through Ohio, since it is one of the country’s manufacturing centers and is criss-crossed by a network of interstate highways and freeways. Both I-90 and I-80, two of America’s longest interstate highways run through our state, from the Toledo area through Cleveland to Ashtabula, Youngstown and beyond. Even with every safety device found on today’s cars, no car can fully protect its occupants when it is hit or runs into an overturned 80,000-pound semi or tractor-trailer. That’s why, collisions between a car and a commercial truck often result in a first collision, and then a second or third, causing injuries to several vehicles’ occupants. Just determining who is at fault in a chain collision and who is responsible for each person’s injuries, requires a knowledgeable and experienced trucking accident lawyer.
The issues arising from commercial truck accidents don’t just involve proving what happened, but also why. Proving why can be significantly different from proving fault in car accidents, since under both the Ohio Revised Code and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act the duties imposed on truck drivers and others in the trucking industry are more specific and technical than those imposed on drivers of passenger vehicles.
For example, under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act there are strict federal regulations for interstate truck drivers governing how many hours they can drive before they must take a rest break. There are also federal regulations covering background checks, drug and alcohol testing, truck maintenance, and securing cargo, among other things. Trucking companies are required to supervise drivers and ensure that they follow hours of service rules, do not drive drunk or impaired and perform appropriately in other ways.
A truck may also not be oversized or overweight, as determined by Ohio Revised Code §5577.05.
A truck accident attorney in Cleveland may be able to help you hold a truck driver liable for his negligence. We will need to show that the truck driver’s failure to use proper care resulted in the accident in which you were injured. A truck driver's violation of the federal or state regulations applicable to commercial drivers may be strong evidence of negligence. Like drivers of passenger cars, truck drivers can also be negligent if they are texting while driving, driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol or even certain medications or medical conditions, or because they are too tired, distracted, fail to obey traffic signals, take inappropriately wide turns, speed, or weave through traffic.
While a truck driver may have more insurance coverage than a passenger car driver, it may not be enough coverage to address the claims of multiple accident victims with catastrophic injuries. It can be helpful to examine the circumstances of the accident and determine whether there were others at fault. Often, the trucking company can be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for a truck driver's negligence. Moreover, the trucking company can also be held directly liable by a Cleveland truck accident attorney who can prove negligent hiring or negligent supervision. For example, if a trucking company does not conduct a background check or drug and alcohol testing before hiring a truck driver, and then the truck driver's drunk driving results in an accident that causes injuries, it may be possible to hold the trucking company directly liable for its negligent hiring. Other negligent conduct that can result in trucking company liability includes a failure to properly train drivers, a failure to properly maintain the truck or other equipment, or a failure to ensure that proper records are kept. In some cases, trucking companies encourage interstate truck drivers to falsify their logbooks, and in these cases, it may be appropriate to request punitive damages.
In some cases, especially when a load has shifted and caused an accident, it may be appropriate to hold a third-party loader or a truck manufacturer responsible for an accident. Each case presents unique circumstances which require thorough investigation by knowledgeable attorneys, accident reconstruction and trucking experts, and our firm will thoroughly explore every possibility we can to prove your case and obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.Seek Guidance from a Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyer serving Northeast Ohio
At Rubin Guttman & Associates, our knowledgeable truck accident lawyers may be able to represent you if you suffered injuries in a trucking accident in Cleveland. Our firm also represents victims in Parma, Lakewood, Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Strongsville, Akron, Columbus, Chardon, Toledo, Youngstown, Ravenna, Lorain, Mentor, Beachwood, and Elyria. You can call us at (216) 696-4006 or (888) 488-8529, or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your case. We will arrange a time and place to meet that works for you. We offer Russian, Hebrew, and Spanish language services by appointment.