A truck accident in Cincinnati can be unpredictable. Cincinnati, Ohio, is a part of the Ohio turnpike, a 241-mile toll road that connects the northern part of Ohio to the eastern/western corridors. This road is a convenient route for trucks in Cincinnati. Ohio has many full-service truck rest stops that manage to reduce the truck numbers at night, despite which the incidence of truck accidents has been plenty.
Recent reports of fatal truck crashes in Cincinnati have sparked serious concerns among truck drivers and driver associations. Unlike a car accident, a truck accident is prone to a very high impact in most cases. Such accidents are unprecedented and can happen due to various circumstances.
If you find yourself in such a situation, it is very normal to panic or go into a state of shock. However, crucial steps need to be taken under the supervision of a truck accident attorney in Cincinnati to handle the aftermath of a truck accident. Thus, prior knowledge is important, which can guide you in such situations in the right direction. Keep reading to know the immediate and long-term steps
Steps To Take After A Truck Accident In Cincinnati
Here are the steps you should take after a truck accident.
Stop the truck
According to section 4549.02 of the Ohio law for accidents, in case of an accident or collision with another vehicle on public roads or highways, the operator of the vehicle, with the knowledge of this accident, must immediately stop the operator’s vehicle at the scene. The vehicle operator must remain at the scene of the accident and provide the name and contact details of the vehicle owner. In addition, the vehicle registration number should also be provided. All this information should be given to:
- Any injured person due to the accident
- The vehicle operator of the damaged vehicle
- The police involved in the case
Assess the remaining danger
If you are still inside the vehicle after the collision, you need to assess whether it is safe to remain inside it. In many cases, after the collision, other instances, such as the bursting of the engine, may follow. If you feel that your vehicle is unstable, it is best to get down from the car to protect yourself.
Check for injuries
Check thoroughly for injuries for you and your co-passengers (if any). The most common injuries following a truck accident are
- Lacerations- tearing of the skin in an irregular way. Check for pieces of glass that may be stuck inside your skin.
- Neck and back injury – a truck accident has a high impact. In case of neck and back injuries, you may have difficulty moving your body.
- Broken bones- while checking for injuries, try to move all your limbs slowly in simple motions. In case you are unable to move any part of your body, you might have broken bones
- Burns- in the case of burns, the sensation will make you aware of the location of the burn
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)- such injuries include concussion, blurry vision, and dizziness.
- Death (in extreme cases)
After assessing the physical condition of your passengers and yourself, make a call to 911. Even if you have no marks on the surface of your body, it is important to seek medical help, as injuries such as TBI are not that obvious until medically diagnosed. Mention your location, name, and situation to 911 for urgent assistance.
Record all the important information
Once you have fairly stabilized yourself after the accident, it is important to move on to the practical steps. You need to record all the information correctly; registration number of both the vehicles, time, date and location of the accident, your contact information, and the other operator. It is mandated by law to exchange this information with the other party involved in the accident.
If you realize you are not at fault for the accident and have less than 50% liability, it is crucial to gather evidence to support your claim. Take pictures and videos of the scene, any tire skid marks, and collect information of any witnesses to the scene. If you feel unwell to do so, ask someone for help in this regard. In any way, do not miss out on gathering evidence.
Call the police
The police will be informed at default when you call 911. However, you can make an additional call to the police to report the accident. The police will then investigate the scene and interrogate the involved parties. However, these statements can not form part of your evidence and contain crucial details that you may require while filing your claim. The police opinion of who is at fault for the accident, after the initial investigation, will also provide you with some information on where you stand in the case.
Know the laws
In case you find yourself at the other end of the accident, i.e., the one who is deemed liable, take the last few steps and then try to understand your rights in the situation. You must be aware of the basic driving and accident laws of Ohio.
Generally, in truck accidents, the liability falls on the trucking company and not the truck driver. However, there are a few exceptions-
- The driver is an independent contractor and not an employee of a trucking company
- The driver was negligent and breached the code of conduct for drivers
- The driver is an employee of a driving company, but the accident occurred when using the vehicle for personal use.
- The truck was used outside the hours of service (HOS).
Under these conditions, the driver in question has to take full responsibility for the accident.
File a claim to recover damages
Both economic and non-economic damages can be claimed for compensation in case of truck accidents.
But it is important to remember Ohio’s statute of limitation for filing these claims – 2 years. If you have followed this timeline, you can claim for the following damages:
- Property damage
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance bills
- Long term treatment bills
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Mental trauma and distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of happiness
- Reputational damage
- Worsening of prior injuries
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Cincinnati
With so many factors involved in these situations and much less time to comprehend the magnitude of these accidents, handling the entire issue can be overwhelming for both parties involved in a truck accident. It is strongly advised to seek the professional help of a personal injury lawyer in Cincinnati to navigate the aftermath of a truck accident. This will ensure the protection of your rights and the best possible outcome for you.