Facts on Truck Accident Investigations in Ohio
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. Trucks weigh 20-30 times more than passenger cars, are taller and have greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles behind lodged under trucks in crashes.
Truck braking capability (loaded tractor-trailers may take 20-40% farther to stop than cars) and truck driver fatigue are known crash risks. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch. Surveys indicate many truck drivers violate these regulations and work longer than allowed.
2017 was tragic for crash victims remaining alive after a crash involving a truck.
- Number of people killed in 2017 from crashes that involved large trucks climbed 116, a 16% increase, to 841 from 725.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said fatal incidents involving tractor trailers rose 5.8% in 2017 from the previous year.
How Trucking Companies Respond to Truck Accidents
After a truck accident, it is important to determine how the accident happened and who was responsible. Trucking companies send accident investigators to the accident scene. The investigators begin gathering evidence to support the trucking company. Other investigations by the police and sometimes the National Transportation Safety Board “Go Team” (which investigates major accidents) are conducted simultaneously.
Determining Responsibility: Driver or Trucking Company?
Generally, a trucking company is responsible for an accident when its employee causes an accident. Some companies enter contracts with private trucking companies for distribution. When an accident occurs in this situation and the truck driver is responsible for the accident, the private trucking company might be liable. Sometimes the truck driver is the owner of the truck.
Trucking companies may be held responsible for an accident when negligence on their part caused or contributed to an accident. Examples of negligence might include:
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Truck equipment failures
- Not enforcing driver rest breaks
When accidents occur, trucking companies can be held responsible for negligence.
Truck Accident Investigations
There are many types of truck accident investigations that happen after a crash. If you plan to file a claim against the truck driver or trucking company, a legal team will obtain copies of these:
- Police accident report
- Government agency investigation
- Trucking company investigation
- Private investigation
- Driver logbooks
- Drug and alcohol test results/citations
- Eyewitness testimony
- Truck maintenance records
- Truck inspections/truck registration
- Driver cell phone records
- Black box transcripts
- Weather information
- Driver employment history
- Medical reports
- Police citations
- Cargo records
- Truck receipts
Connecting with Veteran Trucking Accident Attorneys
Truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles and drivers from out of state. If you are an out-of-state driver or an Ohio resident involved in a highway crash with an out-of-state driver, you need an attorney who will aggressively represent you and protect your rights. We have the experience you need when you’ve been injured on the Ohio Turnpike or any of Ohio’s roads.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in Northwest Ohio, call Contrada & Associates today at 419.841.4400 or contact us online to set up a free consultation about your case. Our office is in Sylvania, and if you cannot come to us, we can visit your home or hospital room.