Early in the morning of September 14, 2021, a semi-tractor drove north on Hamilton Eaton Road carrying a steel coil. Tragically, the steel coil unfastened and tumbled into the southbound lane, striking another car around 6:20 am. Sadly, the 33-year-old driver of the car, died at the scene.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and it's still unclear how the steel coil came undone.
Unforeseeable vs. Preventable Truck Accidents
Heart-breaking events like this occur every day. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2020, there were 4,560 crashes involving large trucks in Ohio. Almost 2.5% of these crashes were fatal.
Unfortunately, some accidents are unforeseeable. They are simply mistakes where no blame can be laid. But other accidents can and should be avoided.
Caution and care are the two allies needed to maintain safety. When these two principles are foregone, there is a risk of an accident that could have been prevented if better care was taken. The law protects against these types of accidents by holding responsible parties accountable.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Truck Accident
Many times, there is nothing you can do to prevent an accident with a large truck. There are things, however, you can do to reduce your risk.
- If you have to pass a large truck, do so quickly.
- Do not follow closely behind a large truck. Debris can be thrown up from the road and items can be dropped from the truck or trailer the truck is pulling. It is also very difficult to see around large trucks and if you follow too closely, your reaction time is reduced in the event of an emergency.
- Do not travel next to large trucks. Truck drivers have blind spots and if they need to move over quickly or lose control, they might not see your car, resulting in an accident.
- Do not engage in confrontations or aggressive responses to truck drivers, even if they “start it” (i.e. brake checking, tailgating, intentionally driving slow, etc.)
- Avoid stopping in front of a truck in traffic whenever possible.
- Avoid traveling slowly in front of a truck while descending a long hill or mountain. Truck brakes can fail and you don’t want to be in the way when they do.
A good general rule is to give large trucks plenty of space.
This is where personal injury and negligence law comes in.
Personal injury encompasses a vast area of law where victims can recover compensation from those who did them wrong. Negligence claims are the avenue that the law provides for recovery. To bring a successful negligence claim, there are four elements a claimant must prove:
- Duty: The claimant must prove that the party they are suing had a duty, or standard of care, they were obligated to follow.
- Breach: The claimant must prove that they violated this duty.
- Proximate Causation: The claimant must prove that the violation of this duty caused their injuries. The claimant must show that the accident was a foreseeable consequence of the breach of duty. In other words, was it foreseeable that the accident would happen because of the violation?
- Damages: The claimant must be able to prove their injuries. This will generally be in the form of medical bills and a doctor’s diagnosis.
Truck drivers are obligated to follow both federal safety laws set by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and state laws of Ohio set by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. These rules and regulations exist to keep the road and highways safe. This is their standard of care. When they violate these rules, they breach their duty to keep the roads safe.
In this semi-truck case, the trucking company is obligated to follow FMCSA policies on cargo securement, as well as state vehicle load codes. If the investigation reveals that the company may have breached its duty to follow these laws during the securement or transportation process, they could be subject to a negligence lawsuit by the family of the deceased, as well as legal penalties from the federal and state authorities.
The Moore Law Firm: Cincinnati Truck Accident Attorney
Hiring a Cincinnati car accident lawyer gives victims of accidents and their families the tools they need to fight for fair compensation and justice. The Moore Law Firm's Cincinnati truck accident lawyers represent people who have been injured or lost loves in accidents like this. With years of experience in handling negligence claims, they are dedicated to fighting for their clients and obtaining the compensation that they deserve.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.