According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for approximately 30% of all motor vehicle accidents. The majority of these accidents involve regular passenger vehicles, but they also include semi-truck rear ends.
If you have been rear-ended by a semi-truck, you understand how frightening it can be. Semi-trucks are much larger than standard cars, and trucks and have the potential to cause significantly more damage.
What to Do When You Are Rear Ended by a Semi-Truck in Ohio
If you are rear ended by a semi-truck and sustain significant injuries, you may be entitled to relief. It is important to follow some general guidelines on what to do when you are rear ended by a semi-truck to ensure that you have the best case possible for compensation.
Call the Proper Authorities
Anytime there is an accident involving a semi-truck, there is a potential for further damage. Calling 911 will put you in touch with both emergency medical personnel and the police, who can then ensure the proper authorities are on-scene to address the situation. Semi-trucks are large and can easily impede traffic and cause additional damage.
Seek Medical Attention
Your safety and the safety of your passengers is the most important thing immediately following any vehicle accident. This includes both emergency medical attention and follow ups with your doctor as you begin to heal or become aware of additional injuries.
Do not wait and hope your pain subsides. Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including vehicle accidents.
Do Not Sign Anything from an Insurance Company
Following an accident with a semi-truck, the other party’s insurance company will likely make a quick settlement offer for lower than what you require for your damages.
Take into consideration that compensation that covers your immediate medical bills or vehicle repairs or replacement may not be sufficient for long-term repercussions from being rear ended by a semi-truck. A personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company.
Keep Records of Everything
You should not be responsible for expenses related to injuries or damage you sustain. Make sure to keep receipts and record all medical expenses, treatments, assistance expenses, prescriptions, and property damage that you would not have incurred had it not been for the accident.
Also keep records of how your injuries have impacted your life, such as pain you have suffered or changes in your ability to do household tasks or activities you once enjoyed.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
The help of an experienced personal injury attorney who is aware of Ohio car accident laws could be crucial to getting the compensation you deserve. They can negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement or file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Types of Compensation Available
Ohio follows a modified comparative fault system when determining liability. This means that you can be compensated even if you also made driving mistakes that lead to the accident, but only if your fault is not more than 50%. There are two different types of compensation that you may be entitled to.
Expenses that you incur because of the accident are considered economic damages. They directly impact your finances. Some of these expenses may include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital bills or surgery;
- Property damage to your vehicle and its contents;
- Ongoing treatment costs for injuries;
- Lost wages if you are unable to work; and
- Diminished earning capacity due to permanent injury.
If a loved one passes away after being rear-ended by a semi-truck, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit to receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses along with other damages. Semi-trucks accounted for 11% off all traffic incident deaths in 2019.
Damages that do not involve a tangible invoice for a specific amount are deemed non-economic damages. These may include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
These damages are generally ongoing and impact life in ways that extend beyond finances.
How Can an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
One of the biggest stressors aside from coping with injuries is the stress of achieving fair compensation. There are a lot of factors that go into determining accident fault, economic expenses, and non-economic losses. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to guide you through the process.
Aaron Bensinger is committed to helping clients seek the compensation they deserve through a compassionate and individualized representation of their unique situation. Call or contact Bensinger Law to schedule your free consultation.