There are many types of motor vehicle accidents, but few pose the magnitude of danger of an accident involving commercial trucks (tractor-trailers, big-rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers). The massive size, length and weight of these motor vehicles can cause bad accidents because they are harder to stop, less maneuverable and heavier when involved in a collision. A passenger vehicle weighing less than 2 tons may be badly mangled with it collides with a fully loaded tractor-trailer that may weigh in excess of twenty times more than the passenger vehicle. At Montlick and Associates, our experienced Columbus truck accident attorneys understand the substantial risk to vehicle occupants in such a collision. We are committed to holding careless truck drivers and indifferent trucking companies accountable to their victims.
Accidents unique to tractor-trailers include jackknife collisions and carriage truck override or underride accidents. Both of these types of Columbus commercial trucking accidents are particularly dangerous for passenger vehicle occupants. Jackknife accidents occur when the front portion of a tractor-trailer combination swings around toward the rear of the vehicle so that it resembles a folding pocketknife. These Columbus tractor-trailer accidents are caused by the cab portion of the commercial truck skidding, which causes the trailer to force the cab to spin around and face toward the rear of the vehicle. This type of accident can cause major wrecks because the commercial truck may rollover on vehicles or obstruct multiple lanes of the roadway causing a multi-car accident.
Columbus underride or override tractor-trailer accidents involves a passenger vehicle traveling beneath the undercarriage of a tractor-trailer because of a fifteen inch height differential between undercarriage of a car and that of a large truck. In a Columbus underride trucking accident, a passenger vehicle slides under the undercarriage of the tractor-trailer where the passenger vehicle may be crushed or the upper portion of the vehicle may literally be ripped of the vehicle. An override accident involves a truck running over the top of a passenger vehicle because of the height differential between the vehicles. Columbus underride and override trucking accidents frequently result in horrific accidents and life-altering injuries.
The inherent limitations of commercial trucks in handling and braking increase the risk of motorists being involved in a Columbus tractor-trailer accident. Tractor-trailer accidents account for approximately 33 percent of all motor vehicle related fatalities despite the fact that these massive vehicles account for a relatively small proportion of registered vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country are injured in big-rig accidents each year. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that it is the occupants of the other vehicle that suffer serious injury or die in virtually all tractor-trailer collisions.
Because of the serious nature of the injuries associated with Columbus trucking accidents, it is important to have an experienced Columbus trucking accident law firm on your side. Trucking accident claims are not just “car accident claims involving bigger vehicles.” Our experienced Columbus trucking accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates understand the unique issues that must be effectively addressed in a Columbus trucking accident claim. A successful Columbus trucking accident claim entails understanding and effectively handling a wide range of unique issues:
Regulatory Structure of the Trucking Industry-The trucking industry is subject to an extensive matrix of state and federal regulations that govern intrastate and interstate commercial trucking. These regulations govern many safety issues including inspections and maintenance, pre-employment screening and qualifications, drug and alcohol policies, fatigue rules, restrictions on cell phone use and a wide variety of other safety issues. Trucking companies and commercial drivers often disregard these regulations in the pursuit of higher revenue. When drivers fail to comply with trucking safety regulations often with the express or implicit approval of trucking companies, these violations may serve as the basis for liability in a Columbus trucking accident claim.
Trucking Litigation Tactics and Resources: The commercial trucking industry has both experience and expertise in successfully defending trucking accident claims. Trucking companies have enormous financial resources, a stable of experts and an experienced team of trucking lawyers. Commercial drivers and trucking companies also engage in unethical tactics when facing accident claims, including doctoring driver logbooks that are designed to track fatigue and maintenance issues. Trucking companies often have experts dispatched to a trucking accident scene within minutes so critical evidence can disappear or be altered. Our experienced Columbus trucking accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those injured in Columbus trucking accident since 1984 so we have the resources, experience and expertise to level the playing field.
There are many types of negligent practices that may be a factor in causing a Columbus trucking accident including the following:
- Drunk or drugged truck drivers
- Failure to conduct inspections or perform maintenance
- Driver fatigue resulting from violations of hours of service rules
- Lack of awareness of “no zones” which are the large truck blind spots
- Truck drivers who do not properly plan routes to avoid unsafe inclines and other unsafe roads for big-rigs
- Drivers that fail to drive at a safe speed given the braking and handling limitations of commercial trucks
- Brake failure and tire blowouts resulting from inadequate maintenance practices
- Insufficient screening of potential drivers
- Drivers that are not medically fit to drive
When Columbus truck drivers operate commercial vehicles unsafely and trucking companies turn a blind eye to the unsafe practices, it can result in permanent life-altering injuries. Our dedicated team of commercial trucking accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates has represented many people who suffer serious injuries. Some of the most common types of trucking accident injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries causing paralysis, loss of mobility or impaired sensation
- Severe disfigurement that requires reconstructive surgery
- Severe head injuries resulting in traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of extremities
- Injuries to the joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee or other joints
- Severe damage to internal organs
- Whiplash injuries that may cause pain and disability for months
- Broken bones including injuries that require pins and other medical devices
- Wrongful death
When you suffer serious injuries like these that may cause long-periods of disability, it can prevent you from returning to work while medical and household bills continue to accumulate. These types of injuries may even result in permanent impairment of mental or physical functioning. These kinds of injuries can interfere with even the enjoyment of simple pleasures of enjoying one’s family. Our compassionate and experienced team of Columbus trucking accident attorneys may be able to seek a variety of forms of compensation including the following:
- Costs associated with hospitalization and medical expenses
- Loss of past, present and future wages/salary
- Pain and suffering
- Impairment of marital relationship
- Wrongful death type damages including burial and funeral expenses
- Other damages based on specific facts and circumstances
Know your legal rights! If you or someone you love has been injured in a Columbus tractor-trailer accident, our experienced Columbus commercial accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are committed to seeking the best possible outcome for our clients. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation because there is absolutely no obligation for us to evaluate your Columbus tractor-trailer accident claim. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.