New Law Aimed at Reducing Unsecured Load Truck Accidents in Ohio
Posted in: Truck Accidents
Legal Help for the Injured
Large trucks and commercial vehicles fill Ohio’s roadways and interstates like I-70, I-90, I-480, and I-490. And Cleveland is no exception.
When trucks crash, devastating injuries can occur. If you suffered in a truck crash caused by negligence, contact our Cleveland truck accident lawyers right away.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our Cleveland attorneys, know that being hurt in a truck accident can turn your life upside down. You may not know how to handle a serious truck accident, from medical bills to lost wages.
Our attorneys know what to do and will fight to obtain everything you deserve after a truck accident.
You do not have to rely on our word alone. We have secured many favorable settlements and court awards for truck accident victims in Cleveland. Please review our case results to learn more.
We also have been recognized for our work by many well-respected legal organizations, including Ohio Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, The American Trial Lawyers Association, The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, and Martindale-Hubbell.
To assign responsibility, you must determine the underlying cause of the truck collision. After the crash, an officer will conduct a cursory investigation. The trucking company and its insurer will also perform an investigation.
However, you should not rely on either the police report or the other insurer’s conclusions. It is best to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who will thoroughly and independently investigate the cause of the accident.
We have found some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we have handled truck accident claims in Cleveland for decades. We have recovered compensation in all types of truck crashes, including:
If you were involved in a Cleveland truck accident, the following could help you prepare for an insurance claim or lawsuit:
After suffering in a Cleveland truck accident, it is important to determine who is liable. You need to know who is at fault and who is financially responsible.
Was it the driver? Was it the trucking company?
Once you know who was responsible, you can determine if that party or another is ultimately liable under the law.
The party at fault for a truck accident is the one whose negligence led to the collision and your injuries. For example, the truck driver’s negligence may have caused the crash if they were speeding.
But, the truck driver may not be the only liable party. If a business employed the truck driver, they might be liable if they failed to maintain the truck. As a result, you will need to pursue a settlement from the insurance carrier or the business itself.
Negligence arises when a party or business fails to act reasonably. Instead, its actions increase the probability of an accident. Another way to think of negligence is carelessness. When a person acts carelessly, they potentially place themselves and others in harm’s way.
CDL (commercial driver’s license) holders must obey the rules of the road. This means complying with federal trucking regulations and acting carefully to avoid an accident. The truck driver is negligent when they fail to take these steps.
However, truck drivers are not always the negligent party. The truck driver’s employer is often responsible, and their neglect is the underlying cause of the collision.
Trucking companies that fail to inspect and maintain their vehicles properly are negligent. For example, a runaway truck accident could occur if poorly maintained brakes fail.
These factors must also be considered in construction zones. Construction companies and municipalities need to ensure signs and safety equipment are visible yet do not impede the driver’s ability to drive safely.
In some circumstances, truck accidents arise because the roadways or work zones are poorly designed and do not take into account the size, weight, and limitations of commercial vehicles.
At first glance, a violation may seem minor. However, failure to conduct even one inspection could lead to a defective truck going out, placing the driver and other motorists at risk.
Prior violations can establish a truck driver or motor carrier negligence. Therefore, they should be held liable for your injuries.
Fight for Everything You’re Owed
When a truck accident injures you, and it is another person or business’s fault, we are here to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
A truck accident claim can help you recover your:
We will pursue compensation for your expenses and financial losses. These are known as special damages. This includes your medical bills, lost wages, employment benefits, out-of-pocket expenses, and reduced earning capacity due to a disability.
We will also demand compensation for your non-economic injuries as well, including your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish.
Special and general damages are known as compensatory damages. This is because they compensate you for a specific injury.
Punitive damages are different because they punish the negligent party. These damages are not allowed if your injuries are the result of ordinary negligence. You must be able to establish recklessness, malicious conduct, or fraud.
If a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident and later passed away, talk to a Cleveland truck accident lawyer about a survival action claim.
When someone passes away before they can file the lawsuit or resolve their claim, then this personal injury action survives their death. Your relative’s estate can continue to pursue damages.
If your loved one was tragically killed in a truck accident, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick about filing a wrongful death claim. Through such a lawsuit, you and your family can seek compensation for the lost financial support, companionship and services, and mental anguish.
Following a truck wreck, the best way to get compensation is typically through an insurance settlement. The trucking company should have a liability policy with a significant policy limit. The truck driver also should have an insurance policy. As an independent contractor, the truck driver typically needs proof of insurance to work.
However, the presence of an applicable insurance policy does not guarantee a settlement or a smooth claim process. You can run into all sorts of issues when pursuing a truck accident settlement.
The minimum policy limit depends on the truck’s weight and the cargo type. For example, vehicles under 10,001 pounds moving non-hazardous freight must have at least $300,000 in coverage.
These regulations are often helpful to truck accident victims. Such insurance requirements increase the likelihood that the at-fault party has insurance. Also, truck drivers and companies’ policy limits are higher than personal auto insurance requirements. As a result, there is a greater likelihood of obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries.
The insurer is not focused on your best interests. Instead, they want to protect the policyholder and its bottom line. It will only pay out if it has to. Even then, it will work to pay you as little as possible.
You should be cautious in communicating with the truck driver or company’s insurer. The insurance company will try and get you to make a statement on the record. Your best response is to decline and speak with a Cleveland truck accident attorney.
Comparative negligence claims are common following truck accidents. Kisling, Nestico & Redick regularly fights claims that our clients were negligent. We strive to reduce your percentage of liability for the collision.
The insurer will also want to look into your medical history. Insurers often ask crash victims to sign a medical waiver, which gives the insurer the right to look through all of your medical records -not only the records associated with your truck accident injuries.
By working with an attorney, you can avoid this. Your lawyer will ensure the adjuster receives the necessary medical records but cannot dig into your past and blame your injuries on something from before the crash.
However, a settlement is not always possible. You may find that the truck driver or trucking company was not insured as required. Or, the insurer may have wrongfully denied your claim and refused to settle. Another possible problem is an insurer that simply refuses to negotiate in good faith and resolve the claim for a fair amount.
When we cannot obtain a pre-trial settlement and the insurer is acting in bad faith, we will prepare for trial.
Then, after establishing that negligence occurred and caused the crash, you must also prove you suffered injuries. You will need to present evidence of the type and severity of your injuries and the financial costs associated with these injuries.
During a trial, we will present this information to a judge and jury. It is up to us to present the evidence in the most persuasive manner possible to convince the jury of the other party’s liability and the value of your injuries.
One of the pre-trial phases is discovery. During discovery, the parties exchange information through interrogatories (questions), requests for documents, and depositions (out-of-court interviews with witnesses and relevant parties).
Discovery is essential to our investigation. Prior to filing a truck accident lawsuit and discovery, we will begin our independent investigation into the crash and gather as much evidence as possible.
However, there will be information and records controlled by other parties that we cannot obtain outside of discovery. For example, during discovery, we can obtain the trucker’s driving log and employment history, the trucking company’s maintenance records, the trucking company’s history of accidents, and the truck’s stored electronic data.
Gathering evidence during a truck accident claim is critical. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we obtain a copy of the police report. We gather any photos you or your witnesses took. We look for possible video footage from nearby traffic, weather, or surveillance cameras.
Our team will seek out witnesses who did not automatically come forward and ask all of the witnesses to provide statements regarding what they saw and heard leading up to and during the accident.
KNR will also thoroughly investigate the background of the truck driver and trucking company to see if there is a history of traffic violations, accidents, or regulatory violations.
During truck accident cases, we may hire one or more experts to support your claim. Our team may hire an accident reconstructionist, engineer, or other trucking experts to testify regarding the other party’s actions and why they amounted to negligence.
KNR might also hire a medical expert to discuss your injuries, including the pain you suffered and the future medical care you will need. Additionally, if you suffered serious injuries, we may hire a vocational or economic expert about your ability to work and your lost earnings.
Witnesses to your truck crash can make a significant difference, especially if a witness is an objective third party. If someone saw the crash and is willing to testify, we will ask them to speak in court regarding what they saw and heard.
Insurers require that you notify them of a claim soon after the accident. Waiting to notify the insurer can lead to your claim being denied based on the delay.
Contact a truck accident lawyer if you are worried about the statute of limitations.
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What Makes KNR Special?
After an unexpected truck accident, you suddenly have to deal with pain, grief, and a large financial burden. This can make it extremely difficult to deal with an insurance adjuster or contemplate going to court. When you need assistance with a truck accident claim, our dedicated legal team is here to handle everything and help you obtain the funds you deserve.