Cincinnati Truck Driver Drowsy Driving Attorneys
Accidents involving large trucks tend to be some of the most severe crashes that can happen. Many commercial truck drivers work for long hours, often late into the night. Eleven-hour shifts are common, and some drivers may even break industry regulations and drive for longer than that. Because of this, drowsy driving is one of the most commonly cited causes of accidents involving tractor-trailer trucks.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drowsy truck driver, you may be understandably worried about recovering from any injuries and paying for the associated medical expenses, as well as lost wages and other economic and non-economic losses related to the accident.
Although trucking companies or their insurance agents may contact you to settle after a crash, the law is on your side and you may be entitled to compensation beyond what they offer you. An experienced Cincinnati large truck accident attorney can help make sure you receive the peace of mind, financial security, and justice that you deserve.
In recent years, regulations have been tightened for long-haul truck drivers carrying freight and other heavy cargo. In particular, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have put stiff restrictions on the amount of time a driver is allowed to drive before taking a required break of a set duration.
Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies do not take these regulations seriously. It is not uncommon for drivers to falsify hours on their logbooks or fail to rest when they are supposed to. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that as many as 100,000 vehicle accidents each year are caused by sleep deprivation and drowsy driving. The same study reported over 1,500 fatalities annually that are related to lack of sleep.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Smaller passenger vehicles bear the brunt of the damage in large truck crashes. According to the NHTSA, 83 percent of those fatally injured in large truck collisions were passenger vehicle occupants, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The self-reporting systems in place allow a considerable degree of dishonesty. Some trucking companies even encourage their drivers to misrepresent their time spent behind the wheel. When an accident is caused by drowsy driving and negligence, the driver and trucking company can and should be held accountable.
Whether you have been injured or lost a loved one in an Ohio tractor-trailer truck crash, the dedicated and experienced legal team at Lawrence & Associates is here to help. We have the resources to conduct an independent investigation into all pertinent evidence and records to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Time is always a factor when deciding whether or not to file a claim. Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10 requires that personal injury lawsuits be filed within two years after the injury becomes apparent, which usually means two years from the day of the incident.
Kentucky law varies slightly. According to Kentucky Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a), the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Kentucky is one year from the date the injury happened.
Beyond these legal time limits, evidence can disappear and witness testimony can get foggy. You should take pictures, videos, get witness contact information, and collect information from the truck driver if possible.
You also need to hire a truck driver drowsy driving attorney immediately after the accident. Your lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement or can take to the case to court if the insurance company settlement offer is not adequate to give you the justice you deserve.
The insurance may offer you a lump-sum settlement right away, but this offer is usually considerably smaller than the full settlement you could receive, and once you accept it, you can’t get any more compensation from the insurance company for the accident.
An Ohio and Kentucky truck driver drowsy driving accident attorney can help make sure you get the maximum compensation possible under the law.
While nothing can undo your injuries and suffering, we believe that no one should have to pay for someone else’s error. If you have been involved in a truck driver drowsy driving accident, a knowledgeable attorney can help you receive compensation for your medical bills and other damages to get back to the quality of life that you had before the accident.
Why Hire Lawrence & Associates?
Lawrence & Associates has many years of experience getting justice for the citizens of the communities we live in when they’ve been victims of accidents that were no fault of their own. We are committed to holding negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Our Cincinnati-based law firm has built a reputation over the years for securing favorable settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are passionate about defending the rights of our clients, who are also members of the community we live in, work in, and we are involved in.
Lawrence & Associates believes that everyone should be able to secure skilled legal representation after a truck driver drowsy driving accident. This is why we handle claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case and earn you the compensation you deserve.
We offer a free legal consultation to review your options, so start on the path to healing and financial security by calling us at (513) 351-5997 to meet with an attorney from our team.
Truck Driver Drowsy Driving Cases We Handle
Collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles can be extremely severe. Accidents involving truck drivers who fall asleep while they are driving often occur at very high speeds and on freeways.
In an accident with a commercial vehicle that weighs between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds, a passenger vehicle and its passengers will fare very badly. This is especially true at highway speeds.
All these factors result in drivers and passengers suffering devastating—and often fatal—injuries. Some of the most common injuries sustained during truck driver drowsy driving crashes include, but are not limited to:
- Spine and back injuries—A truck driver drowsy driving crash can shatter vertebrae and inflict cervical spine damage. Many of these injuries are permanent and require intense, long-term physical rehabilitation.
- Head injuries—Traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, and serious concussions occur frequently in tractor-trailer truck crashes.
- Broken bones—Fractures to the arms, legs, ribs, hip, and pelvis may occur when a driver has been hit with a great amount of blunt force.
- Cuts, bruises, and internal bleeding—The enormous amount of force involved in collisions with tractor-trailer trucks can result in serious damage, including bleeding, to internal organs. Deep cuts are especially common when broken glass is involved.
- Wrongful death
In cases of wrongful death, it is true that no amount of money can bring a loved one back. However, it is both possible and recommended to hold the driver and trucking company accountable for their negligence. Punitive damages can be obtained from the responsible parties in certain cases.
If you have lost a loved one in a truck driver accident and believe that drowsy driving may be the cause, contact the legal team at Lawrence & Associates today to schedule a free-of-charge consultation to discuss your legal options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Damages Might I be Eligible to Receive Compensation For?
Injuries from drowsy driving truck accidents are often extremely severe. Many of them require extensive recovery periods and costly medical care. Although medical bills are often discussed in this context, you may be eligible to receive a host of other types of compensation after an accident. These can include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Lost wages and/or future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, both emotional and physical
- Psychological treatment
- Punitive damages in cases of wrongful death
How Common is Drowsy Driving?
A National Transportation Board Study from 2009 found that 250,000 drivers in America self-reported falling asleep while driving every day, even if it was just for a moment. In that same study, 50% of drivers admitted to driving while sleep-deprived, and 25% admitted to actually falling asleep while driving.
With even more traffic on the road and more sleep being robbed from American drivers because of technology and the push to be “on” all the time in a 24/7 world, those numbers have certainly increased in the last ten years, although they are underreported through official channels.
In the trucking industry, where long hours are the norm, drivers often disobey regulations and drive drowsy so they can make their delivery deadlines.
What if I Am Partially Responsible for the Accident?
Ohio has comparative negligence laws that still allow for an individual to receive compensation for damages if they are found partially at fault. The court will decide what percentage of the blame you can be held responsible for, and as long as it is less than 50 percent of the blame, you will still recover damages. However, this also means that your final reward will be based upon your percentage of fault for the accident. For instance, if you filed for $200,000 in damages but were found to be 25 percent at fault for the wreck, you would be entitled to receive $150,000.
Whether you know or simply suspect that your large truck accident was caused by truck driver drowsy driving, the law is on your side. The experienced legal team at Lawrence & Associates will fight passionately for your rights and will tirelessly work for the compensation you deserve.
Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you. Call us today at (513) 351-5997 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.