Of all the auto accidents which occur across Ohio on a daily basis, truck accidents tend to be among the most serious. Large trucks tend to cause more severe injuries, due to the added weight and size, which increases the truck’s momentum in an accident. It becomes a more powerful mechanism of injury. When Columbus truck accidents occur, injury victims have legal rights which must be protected.
The Many Losses Caused by a Simple Rear-End Collision
Over the summer, a rear-end collision caused by a tractor-trailer resulted in one death, several injuries, and the complete destruction of four vehicles in the resulting fire. Several other vehicles were also burned.
According to The Wichita Eagle, a truck driver was operating a large tractor-trailer through a construction zone on the Interstate 435 when traffic slowed ahead of him. Trucker was reportedly following other vehicles too closely. He failed to control his speed, causing him to crash into the Isuzu Trooper in front of him. The Trooper caught on fire and its driver was severely burned. The tractor-trailer then came to a stop next to a large vehicle transport truck. Flames from the crash reached the transport truck, and three Dodge 3500 trucks on the transport were destroyed by fire. A fifth vehicle nearby was also destroyed in the fire. The occupant was helped out of her vehicle by bystanders, and she escaped without injury. Nearly a month later, the driver of the Trooper succumbed to his injuries and died as a result of the burns. His family is now working with a local truck accident attorney to pursue a wrongful death action against the trucker and trucker's employer.
Ohio’s Wrongful Death Laws Protect the Rights of Surviving Family Members
Ohio law protects the right of a victim’s estate and family to sue for wrongful death in a case such as this. Chapter 2125 of the Ohio Revised Code sets forth the parameters for who may sue for a wrongful death caused by the negligence of another, and how such awards may be distributed to beneficiaries. In a case such as this, it is possible that trucker's employer could also bear some liability for the accident. If trucker were not properly trained, or was forced to work too many hours without appropriate rest breaks, or if he had a bad driving record which should have precluded his employment altogether, the transportation company which employed him could be found to be legally responsible for causing the accident.
A case such as this would likely result in a significant award for pain and suffering. The driver of the Trooper spent his last month of life in excruciating pain from severe burn injuries. He was confined to the hospital, heavily medicated, and these are all compensable injuries which can be paid to the driver’s estate. While this may be a poor substitute for the pain that accompanied the man’s death, it is a legal right which he and his estate retain, and one which is worthy of fighting for.
An experienced Columbus, Ohio truck accident attorney will hold negligent drivers and transportation companies responsible for dangerous conduct resulting in serious personal injuries.