At the Brannon Law Firm, our Dayton truck accident attorneys have aggressively represented the victims of car accidents who have suffered devastating injuries, such as paralysis, brain damage and wrongful death. Many people think of truck accidents as simply car accidents with much larger vehicles, but the laws governing trucks are much different and can be very complex. Understanding the finer details of commercial motor vehicle law is essential in representing victims of truck accidents. With over forty years of trucking litigation experience, our firm understands what is necessary to win multi-million dollar verdicts against trucking companies and their drivers who disregard the rules of the road.
The intersection of I-75 and I-70 in Dayton, Ohio is one of the largest cross-roads in the country. The frequency of commercial vehicles puts drivers at a higher risk of being injured in a truck accident. Truck drivers that use these highways often disregard the rights and safety of smaller vehicles. Establishing liability on the part of the truck driver and trucking company is an essential component of litigating any truck accident case. Truck crashes involve professional drivers operating “big rigs” for large companies who often sacrifice safety for larger profits. This results in drivers speeding, drivers being tired, drivers being inadequately trained, drivers using drugs or alcohol, companies failing to fix and maintain the trucks, companies overloading trucks, and many other violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Ohio
Commercial vehicles and trucks are a mainstay in our area, as interstates provide a main thoroughfare for trucks delivering goods to the rest of the country. While commercial vehicles like semis are vital to our economy, they also pose unique dangers. The injuries you sustain in an accident with a heavy truck are often more severe than what you would expect with a car. In fact, victims of truck accidents can often incur incapacitating or permanently disabling injury, which can affect your ability to work or provide for your family. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, reach out to a skilled Dayton truck accident attorney as soon as possible to set up a free review of your legal options. You have certain rights and responsibilities under Ohio law following an accident with a commercial vehicle. In order to protect your right to compensation, we recommend taking the following steps:
Get as Much Information as You Can
While at the accident scene, gather as much evidence as possible. If anyone needs medical attention, call emergency services immediately. Next, begin documenting anything that could prove useful for your case, including:
- The names and contact information of any drivers and witnesses
- Driver’s license number and insurance information of other drivers involved in the accident
- Weather conditions and what happened leading up to the crash
- Any injuries
- Property damages
In the era of smartphones, collecting evidence is easier than ever. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any landmarks.
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, you likely won’t be able to collect evidence. The fortunate news is that the responding police officer will collect much of this information for you before filing a report. When you’re feeling up to it, contact the station who filed the report and ask to provide a statement. While these police reports are “hearsay” and not applicable as evidence in a trial, insurance companies and personal injury attorneys often use them when conducting their own investigations into the accident.
Ask for Copies of Your Medical Records
When you report to the nearest medical facility for treatment, be as thorough as possible when reporting your injuries and symptoms. Your Dayton personal injury lawyer will rely on your official medical records when determining a compensation amount for the full extent of your injuries, so be sure you’re documenting your symptoms completely.
Report the Truck Accident to the BMV
In certain instances, victims of truck accidents can file a crash report with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This applies when personal injury or property damage exceeds $400 or the truck owner or operator lack insurance coverage at the time the accident occurred. Keep in mind that you must report accidents that meet these criteria within 6 months of the accident.
Seek Legal Help
One of the most important steps you’ll take in this process is calling a truck accident lawyer in Dayton. The attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm have been representing victims of truck accidents in the Dayton area since 1975. When you contact our firm, you have the comfort of knowing that one of our partners will be working personally on your case. We are committed to protecting your right to compensation, whether it’s through a settlement process or by taking your case to trial. We hold the liable parties accountable for their actions and won’t stop fighting for you until you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled.
It is important to act quickly after being involved in a serious truck accident so that evidence can be preserved. Most trucking companies and their insurers will immediately send an investigator to the accident scene and try and blame the other driver. When this happens, you need an attorney to protect your rights. For example, the Brannon Law Firm got a large settlement in a trucking case where a semi-truck crossed over the center line of the roadway striking our client’s vehicle and killed her instantly. At the time, the road was covered with snow and ice. The trucking company tried to blame our client because there were no skid marks on the road and the truck driver claimed that our client’s car veered into his line instead. Had we not been immediately contacted by the victim’s family, the little evidence that was left would have literally melted away with the snow and ice. Due to the quick response by our client’s family and our attorneys, we were able to document the marks in the ice to prove that the truck driver was the one who crossed over the center line.