Ohio is a major thoroughfare for the commercial trucking industry in the U.S. If you spend any amount of time on the Ohio Turnpike or I-75, you know that trucks make up a large part of the traffic you are often stuck in. In fact, Ohio is one of only a handful of states that allow commercial trucks to haul three trailers. Given long hours of driving, heavy loads, and the pressure of the job, it’s no wonder these vehicles pose a significant risk to those of us commuting to work or taking our family on vacation on Ohio’s highways. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash with a semi-truck in Ohio, the Cincinnati Law Office of Shane Smith will help you fight for your right to compensation.
Types of Ohio Semi-Truck Crashes
Due to the extreme difference in size between a fully loaded semi-truck and the average passenger car, it’s no wonder that collisions between the two vehicles cause serious injuries to occupants of the car, including:
- Traumatic brain injury or head trauma
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Broken collarbones and pelvic fractures
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Loss of limbs
How do these life-threatening injuries happen? Trucks can crash in a variety of ways on the Turnpike or I-75, including the following:
- Tire blowout. Semi-truck tires take a beating, with thousands of miles being put on them every week. When a driver or his employer fails to inspect tires on a regular basis and do not check air pressure before each trip, the tire may blow out in the middle of a trip. Not only can debris from the tire cause a nearby car to crash, the driver can lose control of the truck following a blow-out and cause a dangerous highway pile-up.
- Jackknife. Improper braking, poor road conditions, inclement weather, and equipment failure can all cause a truck to jackknife, where the trailer swings out at an angle to the cab of the truck. A jackknifed truck can block multiple lanes of traffic, creating a deadly hazard for other cars on the road.
- Lost load. When a commercial truck loses its load on the highway, it obviously creates a hazard for other vehicles. Swerving to avoid hitting cargo or being exposed to dangerous chemicals or other toxins can lead to fatalities among other drivers. At the same time, the truck driver may lose control of his rig due to a balance shift caused by the lost load. Improper loading or securing of cargo may be the fault of the driver, his employer, or a third party who loaded the truck.
- Underride. These deadly and horrific crashes happen when a semi-truck stops unexpectedly and a car driving behind rams into the back of the trailer. If the car is not able to stop, it can slide under the trailer of the truck, shearing off the roof of the car and exposing the occupants to the possibility of decapitation. While trucks are required by federal law to have secure underride guards in place, these can fail due to improper installation or inferior quality.
- Rollover. Fully loaded big rigs can be very unstable and any sudden maneuver could cause a semi to overturn, crushing smaller vehicles and losing cargo. An inattentive tucker may fail to anticipate changes in traffic patterns and take actions that lead to a rollover accident.
No matter what kind of accident you were in with a semi-truck, if you did nothing to cause the crash, the truck driver—and possibly his employer—can be held liable for your losses.
Why You Need an Attorney for an Ohio Truck Accident
Accidents with commercial trucks can quickly become complicated legal battles. Because large insurance policies, teams of attorneys, federal laws, and catastrophic injuries are often involved in these cases, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to represent you when you take on a trucking company. If you were in a truck crash anywhere in Ohio, our Cincinnati office is here to help. Call to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.