Robenalt Law Will Help You Find Who Was Responsible for Your Injuries
If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a trucking accident, it’s important that you hire a skilled and experienced Ohio trucking accident attorney to hold the responsible parties liable. The first order of business is to hire a lawyer who can have an expert download the electronic "black box" data from the truck and other vehicles in the crash and obtain and preserve documents, drivers logs and other important information that trucking companies are required to obtain.
A skilled and experienced Ohio truck accident attorney will then go about the process of investigating all those who had a hand in arranging for the movement of the load of freight to determine who the statutory employers are, and if there were safety consultants, brokers and shippers that might share some of the blame for putting the negligent tractor trailer driver on the road. This process often requires a lawsuit to be filed so that the identities of the parties can be obtained and most importantly, the insurance companies that insure the drivers and motor carriers can be identified.
In addition, to comply with state and federal safety regulations, many trucking companies work with a trucking safety consultant. If the trucking safety consultant’s negligence was a cause or contributed to the crash because they failed to train the driver or failed to follow the regulations, your Ohio trucking accident attorney may be able to hold the safety consultant and the company he or she works for liable for injuries sustained in the crash.
Because of the potential for severe, even deadly consequences when truck accidents occur, trucking companies and truck drivers are held to a higher standard than ordinary motorists. The laws that govern trucking companies and truck drivers are set forth in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). A trucking safety consultant is responsible for ensuring that the trucking company and its drivers comply with these safety requirements. When a trucking accident causes injuries or death, an Ohio trucking accident injury attorney should investigate whether the trucking safety consultant might be partially responsible for causing the crash.
Trucking Companies Should Work with a Qualified and Experienced Trucking Safety Consultant
Most trucking companies have a trucking safety consultant on staff. If they do not, they need to work with an independent consultant.
If a trucking company's driver caused a catastrophic crash, the safety department of that company has to be thoroughly investigated. Did they have a part-time employee that staffed the department or was the department staffed by a safety consultant? Was there a dedicated safety manager? These questions are important to ask to determine what steps the trucking company took to ensure the safety of other motorists.
A trucking safety consultant or manager must be qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced. A trucking safety consultant must know and understand Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and must be able to ensure that the trucking company and the truck drivers understand and comply with the regulations. Sadly, more often that not, these companies fail to recognize and follow the regulations and safety rules.
Trucking companies often require that their trucking safety consultant have a degree in logistics or transportation or, at a minimum, in management. Many trucking companies require that a safety consultant have a Master’s Degree or higher.
The trucking safety consultant should also understand applicable requirements for driver's logs and auditing of those logs to determine if the drivers are driving fatigued or distracted. They must also follow environmental laws, fuel permits, and rules regarding operating authority.
Many trucking safety consultants hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and, ideally, have prior trucking safety management experience. If a trucking safety consultant has never driven a semi-truck, completed a pre-trip inspection, or filled out a log book, the trucking company and the trucking safety consultant might be liable for disregarding the trucking company’s obligations under federal and state law to have appropriate safety programs in place, and enforce them.
A Trucking Safety Consultant Should Participate in Hiring Decisions
In addition to being responsible for the trucking company’s compliance with state and federal safety laws and regulations, the trucking safety consultant should also play a significant role in hiring decisions and should evaluate the driving records of the trucking company’s employees before the employee is hired. The trucking safety consultant should also implement formal training policies and procedures for drivers before putting them behind the wheel.
Holding a Truck Safety Consultant Responsible Requires the Help of an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Holding trucking companies responsible for injuries they cause can be difficult. Truck accident cases are notoriously complex. Finding and holding the drivers, brokers, shippers and trucking safety consultant responsible can be incredibly important.
Litigating trucking injury cases - and winning - is a difficult process, and you need a skilled and experienced Ohio trucking accident injury attorney on your side. At Robenalt Law, we go head-to-head with large, heavily financed trucking companies. We fight for and help injured people in greater-Cleveland and throughout Ohio obtain the compensation they need and deserve. We handle wrongful death cases and serious injury cases and walk side by side with families that have been affected by the tragedy that can be associated with a trucking crash.
Time is of the essence after a truck accident injury. Trucking companies and their insurers deploy teams of insurance representatives whose sole job is to the minimize risk that the trucking company will suffer an adverse judgment. Crash investigators will be sent to the scene to get witness statements and investigate the scene for skid marks and other factors that can and will be used to establish liability for the crash. Your attorney should be at the ready to do the same.
If you were hurt in a collision with a semi-truck, your first priority should be getting appropriate medical treatment. To protect your family’s financial future, it’s also important that you obtain an incident report, driver's logs and load tender documents as soon as possible after a crash with a semi-truck. Hire a skilled and experienced truck accident injury attorney to represent you.
Tom Robenaltstarted his litigation career representing trucking companies at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 20 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent trucking companies, brokers, shippers and safety consultants.
Thomas D. Robenalt
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