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Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyers

We Have the Experience Needed in Truck Accident Cases

Have you been in a truck accident? We can help. 

Call us at 216.621.2300

Truck Accident Lawyers 5 Factors

Truck Accident Lawyers 5 Factors

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Video: Truck Accident Lawyers 5 Factors

Whether you’re driving a semi-truck or a car, when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, you face many challenges. That’s because tractor-trailer accident cases are complex. To deal with those challenges, you need a skilled truck accident attorney who knows how to stand up for your rights.

Big trucking companies and their insurance providers have teams of lawyers prepared to defend their liability. If you face them alone, you’re at a major disadvantage.

Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy has been representing the rights of injured victims and their families in Ohio and across the nation for more than 90 years. A Cleveland truck accident lawyer at our law firm is here for you and your loved ones, too. Call 216-621-2300 or complete a free initial consultation form.

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$34,600,000

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$5,250,000

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$2,400,000

for a wrongful death victim in dump truck accident

Put Experience on Your Side

Our knowledge of industry regulations and driving rules gives us unique insight when handling big truck accident cases—from the perspectives of both truck and car drivers.

Like the entire legal team at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Cleveland truck accident lawyers are passionate about what we do. We care about our clients, and we’ll do everything we can to find out what caused you or your loved one’s accident and to hold those who caused the accident responsible.

Our legal team has experience with:

  • truck accident investigation
  • truck accident litigation
  • trial preparation
  • and wrongful death cases

Our experienced team of truck accident attorneys includes Jordan Lebovitz, Jamie Lebovitz, and David Paris, all of whom have been recognized by peers in the legal community for the hard work they’ve done for our clients.

Who We Represent

Truck accidents don’t just affect car drivers; they also affect families, truck drivers, and even employees of the trucking company. A Cleveland truck accident lawyer at our firm can help if you are:

  • the family member of someone killed in a truck accident,
  • a driver or passenger in a car that was involved in a truck accident,
  • a driver or passenger in a truck that was involved in a truck accident,
  • a trucking company employee who was injured on the job (ex. loading dock accident),
  • or are any injured victim (motorcyclist, pedestrian, or a bicyclist).

How We Investigate Ohio Truck Accident Cases

Investigating a truck accident is a time-sensitive matter. Key evidence from the accident can be lost or destroyed if not immediately preserved after the accident. As Ohio truck accident lawyers, it’s our job to find out why the accident happened and who is responsible.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we have an experienced truck accident investigation team ready to start working on your case. We know what information to look for, where to look for it, and how to legally enforce the preservation of evidence in your case.

Why We Need to Act Now

When performing an accident investigation, we need to act fast. Our truck accident lawyers and team of experts and investigators need to access the truck and other vehicles involved in the collision to ensure key evidence is preserved and collected to support your case.

Rules and regulations dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration only require the truck company to preserve evidence from the accident for a short period. If you don’t have an Ohio truck accident lawyer protecting your rights, the trucking company may destroy this evidence.

Key Evidence We Collect

To preserve key evidence and best reconstruct the events surrounding the truck accident, our attorneys need access to:

Vehicles Involved in the Collision
  • trucks, cars, or other vehicles involved
Any Accident Witnesses
  • written and recorded witness statements
Truck Documents
  • dispatch records and reports
  • Electronic Control Module (ECM)
  • Electronic On-Board Recording (EOBR) devices
  • fuel, hotel, and toll receipts
  • Hours of Service (HOS) logs
  • internal safety audits
  • maintenance logs
  • permits
  • vehicle inspection reports
  • weight tickets
  • and more
Driver Personnel File
  • application for employment
  • certification of prior collisions
  • certification of prior traffic violations
  • drug and alcohol test results
  • employment history
  • government enforced audit letters
  • medical examiner’s certificate
  • and more

Access to Government Records

All of this evidence can be used to build your case, and after careful analysis of evidence collected in the investigation process, we can pursue the damages you’re owed for your injuries.

If you need a lawyer after an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle accident, call Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy at (216) 621-2300 or complete a free initial consultation form.

Preparing a Truck Accident Case for Trial

It’s crucial that investigation begins immediately after an accident. Often, the trucking company sends a defense lawyer to the scene of the accident. Its lawyer, Safety Director, and Risk Manager will start collecting the evidence even when emergency responders are still actively investigating the scene.

Take action as soon as possible. When you call an Ohio truck accident lawyer at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we will do everything we can to uncover the facts of your case so we can start preparing it for trial.

It’s very possible your case will result in a settlement, and a trial won’t be needed. However, we make sure every case is trial-ready, so the opposing side knows we’re willing to take your case all the way to court, if necessary.

Steps Leading to Trial

Once you’ve met with your truck accident lawyer, our legal team will begin preparing your case through:

  • Preservation of Evidence
    Gathering and documenting evidence is critical to determining how and why an accident occurred. Evidence has been known to be lost or destroyed prematurely. We’ll issue preservation letters—or legal requests that the trucking company halt the destruction of evidence.
  • Written Discovery
    We’ll send written requests to the trucking company to obtain key documents, which are vital for deposition (oral testimony) purposes. During written discovery, we’ll also issue subpoenas—or written commands to appear in court—to any appropriate parties.
  • Depositions
    Taking oral testimony outside of court is known as a deposition. We’ll interview accident witnesses, crash investigators, enforcement officers, the truck driver (if you are an injured motorist), and employees of the trucking company, including dispatchers, the human resources manager, the director of maintenance, and the company owner.
  • Mediation
    Mediation is a negotiating tool used to help resolve your case prior to trial. During mediation, attorneys from both sides meet to discuss the case. The plaintiff and defendant will also attend. The facts of the case are presented to a neutral person who serves as a mediator.
  • Trial Exhibits
    Before trial, we must also prepare trial exhibits so we can showcase evidence that supports your case to the judge and jury. Trial exhibits can include accident reconstruction animations, document blow-ups, electronic media presentations, and more.
  • Expert Opinion Testimony
    Our legal team may also collect reports and depositions from experts, such as accident reconstruction and civil engineers, lighting specialists, and medical professionals. Testimony from these experts can help prove that the other party was at-fault in your accident.

We’ll prepare this information in the most thorough and clear way possible so that we present the strongest portrayal of your case. The judge and jury will respond positively to honesty and credibility. As Ohio truck accident attorneys, it’s our job to educate the judge and jury on the facts of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ohio Truck Accident Cases

Who can file a claim after a truck accident?
  • If you were involved in a truck accident, an Ohio truck accident lawyer at our firm can help you if you are:
  • a bicyclist
  • a driver or passenger in a car that was involved in a truck accident
  • a driver or passenger in a truck that was involved in a truck accident
  • a motorcyclist
  • a pedestrian
  • a trucking company employee who was injured on the job (ex. loading dock accident)
  • the family member of someone killed in a truck accident
  • or any injured victim
Who is responsible for my accident?

Finding the trucking company or insurance provider that’s responsible for your truck accident takes time and detailed investigation. Without the help of an attorney, you may not be able to determine who should be held accountable for your loss.

Our legal team has experience handling cases like yours. We know that any lawyer can do research, but not every lawyer has experience finding the key evidence you need to support your claim.

What is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a CMV as a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

  • Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more)—whichever is greater—inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater.
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater.
  • Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

When you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to know whether or not the other vehicle involved in your accident was a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Certain vehicles, such as CMVs, are held to different sets of regulatory safety codes than others.

Types of Commercial Vehicles

From tow trucks and tanks to garbage trucks and tractor trailers, there are a variety of large trucks that are considered CMVs, including:

  • Single-Unit Trucks
    Trucks with two, three, or more axles.
  • Combination Unit Trucks
    Truck tractors (a “bobtail” or tractor trailer without a trailer), trucks pulling trailers, truck tractors pulling semi-trailers, truck tractors pulling two trailers, and truck tractors pulling three trailers.
  • Cargo Trucks
    Vans, livestock/auto carriers, flatbed trucks, lowboys, pole/logging trucks, tanks, dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement mixers, and more.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Ohio

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other organizations have a number of regulations in place that are designed to keep both motorists and truckers safe from the common causes of truck accidents. Violation of these regulations can put truckers and other motorists in danger.

Some of these regulations pertain to:

Unsafe Driving

The FMCSA considers driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in a careless or dangerous manner as unsafe. Contributing circumstances to unsafe driving can include:

  • Speeding
  • Erratic Driving
  • Distracted Driving
  • Fatigued or drowsy driving
  • Improper Vehicle Maintenance
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Out-of-Service Order

Fatigued Drivers/Hours of Service Requirements (HOS)

Hours-of-Service (HOS) requirements limit the number of hours a CMV driver can drive consecutively. When these regulations are not followed, fatigued drivers can suffer:

  • dull vision
  • impaired judgment
  • inability to communicate
  • memory lapses
  • slow reaction and response time
  • and more

To ensure drivers follow HOS regulations, they are required to maintain a Driver’s Logbook, which details the hours driven; however, some drivers have been known to keep false logbook entries. Many motor carriers require their trucks to have electric on-board recording (EOBR) devices, which tally the number of hours driven.

Poor Driver Fitness

To ensure truck drivers are physically qualified to operate CMVs, they must undergo pre-employment medical screening. Drivers also are required to undergo proper training and supervision. Examples of unfit drivers—or those considered a hazard to themselves and other vehicles on the road—include those who:

  • Have poor vision
    The FMCSA requires drivers to have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye either without glasses or with correction from lenses; have a horizontal field of vision of no less than a total of 140 degrees; have the ability to distinguish the colors red, green, yellow, and more.
  • Use drugs and alcohol
    No driver should participate in the excessive use of alcohol or be addicted to the use of narcotics or habit-forming drugs.
  • Sleep apnea
    It’s important that drivers with sleep apnea undergo proper medical evaluations to ensure that they do not suffer from daytime drowsiness, which may lead to fatigue-related crashes.

Cargo-Related Violations

Hauling cargo that is too heavy for the rig in use or improperly securing cargo can lead to deadly accidents involving other motorists. The FMCSA has regulations in place to prevent:

  • Load falling
  • Load shifting
  • Load spilling
  • Overhanging loads
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Wide loads

No matter what caused your accident, it’s our job as Cleveland semi-truck accident attorneys to determine what factors contributed to the crash so we can hold the responsible party accountable.

Resources for Trucking Laws and Regulations

Local Resources for Trucking Laws

  • Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Find out what you need to legally operate a vehicle in the state of Ohio. Here, you can find information about vehicle licensing, titling, and registration, as well as all the forms and contact information you need to get on the road.
  • Ohio Department of Public Safety
    Keeping Ohio’s roadways safe isn’t just up to the federal government. Learn about how this department is providing protection to the public through education, prevention, technology, and enforcement activities.
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol
    If you’re in an accident, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will likely be there to help. Visit this website to find out who is enforcing the traffic laws that promote safety on Ohio’s highways.

Speak to a Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you’re ready to explore your legal options, we are ready to talk about your case. Contact a Cleveland, Ohio truck accident attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment.