Ohio Commercial Vehicle Accidents Attorney
Ohio Revised Code § 4501.01(J) defines a commercial car or truck as simply being any motor vehicle that has motor power and is both used and designed for carrying freight or merchandise. A similar vehicle that is used as a commercial tractor is also considered a commercial car or truck. Under Ohio Revised Code § 4501.01(H), a noncommercial motor vehicle is any motor vehicle designed to carry a load of no more than one ton and used exclusively for non-business purposes.
Commercial vehicles are much larger than noncommercial vehicles. The drivers who operate them need to be specially licensed, and the companies that own the vehicles need to take out insurance policies with much higher limits than those that apply to standard passenger vehicles.
When a commercial car or truck causes a motor vehicle crash in Ohio, the results can be tragic. The immense size of such vehicles often means that victims involved in these accidents suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Common commercial vehicles in Ohio
Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, or commercial trucks are the most common kind of commercial vehicles most people encounter in the Buckeye State, but many other types of vehicles fall under the state’s classification. Some other common kinds of commercial vehicles include:
- Tow trucks
- Commercial buses
- Delivery vans
- Garbage trucks
- Hospitality vans or shuttle vehicles
- Cement mixers
- Refrigerated trucks
- Construction or excavation vehicles
- Tank trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Courier vehicles
- Pump trucks
- Agricultural trucks
- Catering trucks
Following an accident involving a commercial vehicle, the company that owns the vehicle or its insurance company will frequently have a representative at the scene very quickly. Sometimes these agents are there to attempt to secure certain kinds of evidence, but in many cases, they will be looking to speak to people involved in the accident and attempting to get victims to sign paperwork that effectively prevents them from taking legal action.
What to do after a commercial vehicle accident
When a person suffers severe injuries in a commercial vehicle crash, he or she will usually require immediate medical attention. Even if that individual feels relatively fine, it is still wise to go to the hospital, as not all injuries display immediate symptoms. Furthermore, insurers for the commercial vehicles will use any refusal or delay in seeking medical care as evidence that the injuries were not that serious.
If a victim is approached by any person representing the trucking carrier, that individual should avoid making any kind of recorded statement or signing any agreements. Instead, it is highly recommended to contact an experienced Ohio commercial vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
A personal injury attorney can work to preserve important evidence that a trucking company will attempt to cover up or possibly even destroy. Unlike most traditional car crashes, collisions involving a commercial vehicle are more complex because it may be possible that more than one party associated with the commercial vehicle bears liability for a victim’s injuries.
While drivers are commonly at fault, most drivers do not have adequate personal insurance limits (or personal wealth) to cover the full extent of a victim’s injuries. The companies that own the vehicles, or hired the drivers, or were responsible for maintaining the commercial cars or trucks can all possibly be liable and have far more funding to pay larger settlements.
Do not delay in contacting a personal injury attorney
While many people can be tempted to believe that they will be able to keep more money for themselves by handling their own injury claims, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate for a much higher financial award. Furthermore, Need an Injury Attorney Ohio handles cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay anything for legal representation unless you obtain a monetary award.
Our personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your phone calls and get representatives to the scenes of crashes as soon as possible. Contact our firm today to receive a free, no-obligation consultation that will allow you to have all of your legal questions answered during a complete review of your case.