Identifying Intermodal Freight Carriers Is Important in an Ohio Trucking Accident Case
Located on the shores of Lake Erie with easy access to railways, interstate highways, and airports, Cleveland lies at the crossroads of many major modes of shipping transportation. Because Cleveland and its network of highways are integral to transporting freight across the country and around the world, truck traffic on Cleveland highways is significant. Many truck drivers are careful and safe, but when accidents do happen, they can lead to catastrophic results.
If you or someone you love was injured in a trucking accident, it’s important that you hire a lawyer to determine whether the truck that hit you was carrying intermodal freight. This can be critical in allowing you and your family to be fully compensated for your injuries.
What Is Intermodal Freight?
“Intermodal’ means that shipping companies use two or more means of transportation to move freight. In Cleveland, this can mean trucks traveling on the highway to move cargo from Lake Erie south to the Ohio River, or across town to access rail transportation.
Ohio has the third-highest amount of active railway lines in the country, which makes it one of the most active areas in the country when it comes to intermodal freight transport. Intermodal shipping containers are filled at the beginning of their journey, then move across multiple modes of transportation until they arrive at their final destination where they are unloaded. Shippers use intermodal transportation because it offers a significant economic advantage. Once the freight is loaded into the container, there is no need to handle the freight as it transferred between ships, rails, and trucks.
Why Is It Important to Determine If You Were Involved in a Crash with a Truck Carrying Intermodal Freight?
If you were involved in an accident with a truck, it is important that you determine whether the truck that hit you was carrying intermodal freight. Most small trucking companies carry $1 million or $2 million in liability coverage. But international intermodal freight companies will carry significantly larger insurance policies. When a trucking accident causes catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, identifying the responsible parties who carry these additional insurance policies can help make sure that you and your family are fully compensated for your injuries.
A trucking accident attorney will analyze FMCSA regulations as well as maritime regulations, bills of lading, and maritime treaties to ensure that all responsible parties are identified and held responsible.
Determining whether a trucking company was carrying intermodal freight can be complicated, and it is wise to hire an experienced Ohio trucking accident attorney who can identify the responsible parties. A trucking accident attorney will analyze FMCSA regulations as well as maritime regulations, bills of lading, and maritime treaties to ensure that all responsible parties are identified and held responsible.
Ohio Lies at a Critical Intersection of Interstate Highways, Railroads, Waterways, and Airports
Intermodal freight transportation exploded in the 1980s, but safety was not a high priority. Shipping companies used worn-out trailers that were stripped down and painted over to be used as intermodal freight containers. But beginning in 2009, the FMCSA has required intermodal carriers to register their vehicles and abide by national safety standards.
Today, trucks that transport intermodal freight are classified as commercial carriers and must comply with FMCSA safety regulations. Trucks are often used to transport intermodal freight from sea-going vessels to railways, and vice versa. Intermodal containers allow freight to be transported on multiple avenues, including ships, trucks, railroads, and by air, without the need for shippers to handle the cargo when it is transferred from one mode to another.
Intermodal freight containers are designed to be stacked, loaded, unloaded, and transported as quickly as possible. Inevitably, this means that shipping cut corners and disregard federal regulations to save time and money.
Large intermodal shipping companies often contract with smaller, local trucking companies to provide “drayage” services. Drayage refers to the transportation of cargo from port to rail. It is different from typical interstate commercial transportation and, until 2009, was not covered under the FMCSA. When a catastrophic accident occurs, the large companies try to hide behind the small, mom-and-pop trucking company and deny their involvement in causing the crash. It is important to understand the role that the larger intermodal shipping companies had in causing the crash and hold the companies that caused the crash responsible.
The international intermodal shipping companies can and should be held responsible for the role they played in causing a catastrophic wreck. An experienced trucking accident lawyer can identify all the parties who were involved in shipping a particular container, and analyze the complex web of contracts and shipping documents that connect that mom-and-pop trucking company to a massive, multi-national corporation that was responsible for, say, improperly loading the freight, hiring an unsafe driver, or working with a company that had a poor safety record.
Robenalt Law Seeks Justice for People Injured in Ohio Trucking Accidents
If you were hurt in an accident involving an intermodal freight carrier, you may be entitled to compensation, including payment for:
- Past and future medical and hospital bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Damage to your relationships with your family
- Punitive damages
Because trucking accident cases are complicated, you should work with an experienced Ohio trucking accident attorney. At Robenalt Law, our experienced trucking accident lawyers work with medical doctors, accident reconstructionists, and economists to establish liability and hold the trucking shipping companies responsible for the harm they caused. We will thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively seek justice on your behalf.
To speak with an experienced trucking accident lawyer, contact Robenalt Law today. Call 216-233-7573, email [email protected]. Or complete our online form.
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing trucking companies at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help victims and their families secure compensation for injuries caused by trucking accidents.