Truck Accident Lawyer Cleveland, OH
As a Cleveland, Ohio truck accident lawyer, I have witnessed the catastrophic injuries and fatalities associated with commercial truck crashes. A fully loaded semi-tractor trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. An average passenger car or SUV weighs 3,000 to 6,000 pounds. You do not have to be a mathematician to understand that a big rig can do a massive amount of damage to smaller vehicles when a collision occurs. Recovering full compensation for victims of car crashes caused by commercial trucks often requires skilled analysis of insurance coverage, vehicle and trailer ownership, and other circumstances like drunk driving or violations of state and federal trucking regulations. Not only do truck crashes result in serious personal injuries, like spinal cord injuries, brain damage, amputation, disfigurement and permanent disability, more often than with routine car crashes, the unique nature of these accidents require the services of an experienced attorney who can go toe-to-toe with the big resources of insurance companies and trucking company lawyers.
As an experienced Cleveland, Ohio truck accident lawyer, I have investigated a number of injuries and deaths caused by negligent drivers of semi-tractor trailers, big-box trucks, and commercial vans. The trucking companies and businesses that hire these negligent drivers have a duty to investigate training, license, work history and driving history before employing a new driver. Once a new employee is hired to drive commercially, ongoing vigilance is necessary to ensure that the employee is complying with state and federal law and accepted truck industry practices. Both hiring and retention of safe drivers is the company’s responsibility.
But trucking companies’ responsibilities do not end with hiring safe drivers. State and federal regulations set forth requirements on vehicle maintenance, including brakes and lights, work hours, drug testing, and related safety standards. As a qualified truck accident lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, I make it my business to thoroughly investigate all of the circumstances surrounding a commercial truck crash. Even though a business employing a truck driver is responsible for injuries caused by the truck driver’s negligence, the specific acts of negligence must be proven and, if egregious, may entitle personal injury victims to recovery of both compensatory and punitive damages. Every investigation must include a review of the police report, witness statements, the driving log, maintenance records, hiring records, satellite data, “black box” data, sunrise/sunset time tables, meteorological data, toxicology results, drug and alcohol testing, and related information.
In looking for a Cleveland, Ohio truck accident lawyer, it is important to hire a personal injury and wrongful death attorney who is experienced in investigating truck accidents. We keep current on the latest trucking industry trends, rules, and regulations through membership in the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA). But that is not enough. You need a law firm that has the know-how to review medical records in order to determine the full nature and extent of truck-related injuries, and one with the resources to fully evaluate the harms and losses caused by a negligent truck driver. These harms and losses, called “damages” by personal injury attorneys, may include economic projections of future loss of wages, benefits and earning potential as well as future costs of medical care and disability-related expenses. Our law firm routinely hires economists, life care planners, case managers, and rehabilitation experts to prove these complex economic losses.
To learn more about how a truck accident lawyer can help you, contact Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. today.
7 Common Truck Accident Injuries
As a Cleveland, OH truck accident lawyer can confirm, truck collisions often result in serious injuries. These commercial vehicles are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road. The legal professionals at Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A understand how devastating these accidents can be.
Here are seven common truck accident injuries.
- Broken bones. The sheer force of a truck accident can cause victims to break bones in various parts of their bodies, including the arms, legs, ribs and hips. Breaking a bone is very painful and can take a long time to recover from. Common treatments for broken bones include casts, pain medications and splints. If a bone breaks in more than one place, surgery may be needed.
- Head injuries. Head injuries are one of the most common and severe injuries people sustain in truck accidents. Victims can suffer these injuries if they hit their head on an object during a collision. Common symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion and loss of consciousness. Head injuries may require surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries. During a truck accident, people can also suffer internal injuries. Organs inside the body, like the spleen, lungs and kidneys, can get damaged and cause internal bleeding. If internal injuries are not treated promptly, it can be life-threatening.
- Burns. In a truck accident, a truck’s fuel tanks can erupt, causing a fire. As a result, victims can suffer severe burns. As a Cleveland truck accident lawyer can explain, burns are one of the most severe injuries people can sustain in these accidents. Besides causing excruciating pain, burns can cause infection, fluid loss, breathing problems and permanent scars. If you suffered serious burns, you may require skin grafts.
- Whiplash. If your head jerks back and forth suddenly during a truck accident, you may suffer whiplash. The neck injury can cause pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion. Sometimes whiplash symptoms are not present right away. However, if whiplash is not treated promptly, it can lead to chronic pain.
- Spinal cord injuries. Truck accident victims can also sustain spinal cord injuries, which can be life changing. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries include numbness, tingling, loss of movement, difficulty breathing and loss of bowel or bladder control. Spinal cord injuries can also cause permanent paralysis, which may require long-term medical care.
- Lacerations. If objects hit your skin during a truck accident, you may suffer lacerations. While lacerations may seem minor compared to other truck accident injuries, it is still important to seek immediate medical treatment. Lacerations can also cause complications like infection and permanent scarring.
- Emotional distress. Truck accident injuries are not just physical. Some victims may also suffer depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder. They may lose interest in their favorite activities and withdraw from family and friends. If you suffered emotional injuries after a truck accident, mental health counseling may be helpful.
Schedule a consultation with a Cleveland truck accident lawyer from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A today.
MOST COMMON TRUCK ACCIDENT INJURIES INFOGRAPHIC
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A Cleveland, OH truck accident lawyer knows that driving a large commercial truck is a lot different than operating a smaller, passenger vehicle. This is one reason why anyone operating a commercial vehicle is required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Not only is the size of the vehicle a factor in potential difficulties the truck driver may have, but there is also the added factor of hauling tons of cargo and traveling long distances with that cargo. There is also the risk of mechanical issues due to the wear and tear placed on these large vehicles that can cause a dangerous malfunction.
Unfortunately, truck accidents do happen – and far too often. As a Cleveland truck accident lawyer is aware, injuries from these crashes are usually catastrophic and lead to a high number of fatalities. This has led to multiple studies, including one major study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency in charge of oversight of the trucking industry.
In its study, the FMCSA examined almost 1,000 truck accidents that involved approximately 1,100 large trucks and 960 types of other vehicles. Almost 80 percent of the trucks involved were semi-trailer trucks. Approximately 5 percent of the trucks were transporting hazardous materials. There were almost 250 victims killed in these truck accidents, and another 1,600 injured.
There were two criteria the FMSCA used for the study:
- Critical event – This was the event or action that put the accident vehicles “on a course that made the collision unavoidable.”
- Critical reason – This was the cause (reason) the critical event occurred.
The critical events cited in the study were as follows:
- Ran out of lane – More than 30 percent of the trucks involved in the crashes studied occurred because the truck driver drove out of the lane they were in – either into another lane or off the highway/road.
- Rear-end – More than 20 percent of the trucks involved in the crashes ran into the back of the vehicle in front of them.
- Other causes – Thirty percent of the crashes involved trucks that involved the truck driver traveling too fast, shifting cargo, poor road conditions, or the vehicle had mechanical issues.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today
As you can see from the data from the FMSCA study, the majority of truck accidents are due to the negligence or reckless actions of the truck driver and/or the trucking company. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses those injuries have caused, including medical expenses, loss of income, loss of future income if you are unable to return to your profession, pain and suffering, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment.
Do not delay in contacting Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated Cleveland truck accident lawyer. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Truck accidents can be devastating and cause serious injuries, property damage, and even fatalities. In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims and their families may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what steps to take next. This is where a Cleveland truck accident lawyer can be of great assistance. Here are some ways in which an accident lawyer can help:
Investigation: Truck accident lawyers are experienced in investigating the cause of accidents involving commercial trucks. They can work with experts in accident reconstruction, trucking regulations, and engineering to gather evidence, analyze the facts, and determine who is responsible for the accident. This may involve reviewing the driver’s logbook, the truck’s maintenance records, and the company’s safety policies and procedures.
Negotiation: Truck accident lawyers can negotiate on behalf of victims with the insurance companies of the trucking company or driver. They can work to obtain fair compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate with a lawyer than with an individual who is not represented.
Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, a truck accident lawyer can represent victims in court. This may involve filing a lawsuit against the trucking company or driver and presenting evidence in front of a judge or jury. A lawyer can work to prove the negligence of the trucking company or driver and seek damages on behalf of the victim.
Determining Liability: Truck accidents are often complex, involving multiple parties and factors that can contribute to the cause of the accident. A truck accident lawyer can help determine who is liable for the accident and seek compensation from those responsible. This may involve holding the trucking company accountable for failing to properly maintain the vehicle or hire qualified drivers, or seeking damages from the driver for their negligence or reckless behavior.
Navigating Trucking Regulations: Trucking companies and drivers are subject to numerous federal and state regulations that govern the operation of commercial vehicles. A truck accident lawyer Cleveland, OH turns to from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. can help victims understand these regulations and determine if they were violated in the accident. This may include regulations related to driver training, hours of service, drug and alcohol testing, and vehicle maintenance.
Maximizing Compensation: Truck accident lawyers can help victims obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law. They can work to ensure that all medical expenses, lost wages, and future expenses related to the accident are taken into account when negotiating a settlement or seeking damages in court. They can also help victims understand their legal rights and options, and ensure that they are fully informed throughout the legal process.
Help From Our Firm
A Cleveland truck accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance to victims of truck accidents. They can investigate the cause of the accident, negotiate with insurance companies, represent victims in court, determine liability, navigate complex regulations, and help victims obtain fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced and qualified truck accident lawyer from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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