Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyer Supports Safe Haul Act

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Cleveland Truck Accident Lawyer Supports The Safe Haul Act 

Interstate commerce is an integral part of our busy lives. Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road, because consumers and businesses alike rely on them to be efficient, effective, and safe.

Trucking is big business and as such, profit is of primary importance to trucking companies.  Unfortunately trucking safety has taken a back seat to profit.  In fact, more than 300,000 semi-trucks were involved in traffic accidents in the United States in 2012. These accidents resulted in more than 100,000 injuries and almost 4,000 deaths.  Trucking accidents continued to rise at an alarming rate in 2013 and 2014.

Despite a steady increase in the number of accidents involving tractor-trailers, commercial motor vehicle s have surprisingly low minimum insurance coverage requirements.

In 1980, the minimum insurance coverage for commercial motor vehicles set by Federal Law was $750,000.  Incredibly, the minimum insurance coverage requirement remains the same in 2014, 34 years later!   Today, a whopping 42% of all U.S. truck accident settlements exceed the current federal insurance requirements. 

Most truck drivers in the United States are grossly under-insured.

Since the vast majority of the motor carrier population maintains insurance coverage at the federal minimum, most truck drivers are grossly underinsured.  When truck drivers have inadequate insurance coverage, or their employer does not provide them with adequate coverage, damages can be devastating.  Following an accident, drivers are forced to go after their employers to cover damages, or they often have no choice but to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying damages.

As a result of inadequate insurance coverage, truck accident victims are often left with catastrophic injuries, sometimes unable to work, and without compensation.

That is why Matt Cartwright, a U.S. State Representative from Pennsylvania, has proposed the Safe Haul Act, which would increase the federal minimum insurance requirements to $4.4 million.  The newly proposed minimum insurance requirement accounts for today’s costs/inflation.

I am a member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of American (APITLA), and it is our mission to reduce the number of traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths associated with trucking accidents. We work to “put the brakes on unsafe trucking companies” by working aggressively within the law through learning, legislation, and litigation.

As an avid member of APITLA, I want to ensure innocent drivers are protected from the danger of tractor-trailers. If you or your loved one were involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will not only fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve, I will continue to fight to change policy so innocent drivers can be protected.

As a highly experienced personal injury lawyer who has represented many truck injury victims, I fully support the increase of minimum insurance coverage requirements for commercial motor vehicles.

As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny, has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Wide Turns: #1 Cause of Trucking Accidents

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It’s no secret that big trucks are difficult to drive. That is why truck drivers must go through proper training and log on-the-road practice hours before they start working.

Even something as simple as a turn can become complicated and dangerous for someone driving a tractor-trailer.

In fact, squeeze play and/or wide turns are the two most common causes of trucking accidents.

When a semi-truck driver attempts to make a right-hand turn, cars on the left side of the truck are in danger. This is because it is necessary for the truck driver to swing the truck wide left to navigate a right hand turn.  Accidents typically occur during the turn and can potentially cause serious damage to the impacted vehicle, as well as severe injuries to its driver and/or passengers

Wide turn accidents have been known to occur when a truck driver fails to see the car in the left lane or mistakenly believes he or she has enough room to make the wide turn. Proper training is supposed to help drivers gauge where other vehicles are at all times, but training isn’t fool proof.

Drivers must recognize the potential dangers associated with big trucks on the road.

Truck drivers may signal to other vehicles if they feel they do not have enough room to make wide turns. It is important to pay attention to these signals because trucking companies will try to blame the other driver in wide turn accidents.

Keep in mind, truck drivers are always at fault when they negligently fail to see vehicles in a wide turn situations. If you or your loved one were involved in a trucking accident, you have to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your semi truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Overworked, Tired Truck Drivers are Putting You and Your Family in Danger

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Truck driver fatigue is becoming a major problem on US highways. A shortage of qualified truck drivers is ‘forcing’ trucking companies to ignore federal driving time regulations.   Trucking companies keep their drivers on the road longer than is legally mandated in order maintain productivity.

Driving any vehicle while tired is dangerous, but when that vehicle weighs 80,000 pounds, the stakes become even greater. Some researchers conclude tired driving equates to drunk driving in terms of adequate response times.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the amount of hours a truck driver can be on the road to avoid this type of danger. Unfortunately, most trucking companies do not adhere to these rules.

The fact is that 25% of the trucks on the highway are operated by fatigued drivers. Truck driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 30-40% of commercial tractor trailer accidents.

You might be wondering, “Why truck drivers are so tired?” Here’s why:

1.  Trucking companies require their drivers to drive too many continuous hours.

2.  Deadlines and delivery quotas frequently require drivers to sacrifice rest periods.

3.  Drivers get pressure from the companies they work for to stay ahead of schedule.

4.  Even when drivers do get sleep, it isn’t quality rest.

It may seem obvious, but it is important to understand why sleep deprivation is so dangerous. Many truck drivers believe a lack of sleep is not an issue, however, the body goes through many changes when it’s tired, including:

  • Decreased alertness and reaction times.
  • Memory problems.
  • Lack of ability to think clearly in dangerous situations.
  • Inability to process information.

Despite the threat of strict penalties and fines, trucking companies continue to ignore safety regulations to maintain a profit. That is why if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you have to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I want to help you get the compensation you deserve and fight to stop trucking companies from placing profit over your safety.

As your truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Truck Drivers’ Sleep Apnea: The Cause of Trucking Accidents?

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Four percent of the general population suffers from Sleep Apnea. Among truck drivers however, the percentage  who suffer from Sleep Apnea skyrockets to 30%. It is believed that this correlation is the result of Sleep Apnea risk factors that are commonly associated with those in the trucking industry, including: lifestyle, age, gender, and weight.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that momentarily restricts a person’s airway while they are sleeping.  This event causes poor sleep quality and exhaustion. Since the disorder occurs during sleep, it result in a loss of oxygen which may lead to a stroke, heart attack or even death.  Furthermore, people often are never diagnosed with the disorder.

Truck drivers suffering from sleep apnea may be the cause of a large percentage of trucking accidents.

A research study compared the number of accidents of 800 truck drivers diagnosed with Sleep Apnea to 800 truck drivers without  Sleep Apnea and the results very clear.  Drivers with Sleep Apnea had more than twice the number of accidents than drivers without the disorder; 250 crashes in a three year period versus just 123 crashes.

Risk factors for Sleep Apnea include:

  • Obesity with a body mass index of 33 or greater
  • High blood pressure
  • Age over 40
  • Nasal Obstructions
  • Male gender
  • Neck 17″ or larger
  • Cigarette smoking

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Gasping for breath

The trucking industry has identified Sleep Apnea as one of the biggest factors contributing to tractor trailer accidents. The problem is that not enough is being done about it.  Trucking companies should implement Sleep Apnea screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs to help reduce the staggering number of accidents attributed to Sleep Apnea.

If you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

5 Top Causes of Trucking Accidents

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If you’ve ever been driving on the highway and encountered a tractor-trailer, you may have hesitated to pass, or slowed down to avoid getting too close to the truck; I know I do. The fact is, most people would agree that semi-trucks are dangerous.

As motorists, we have a innate feeling that we should be cautious of trucks, but do we really know what makes big trucks so dangerous? It is important to know what causes most tractor-trailer accidents, so you can learn to avoid potential danger.

Most trucking accidents fall into at least one of the following 5 categories:

1.  Driver error. The most common cause of tractor-trailer accidents is driver error.  Truck driver error can occur as a result of many factors including: fatigue, substance abuse, distracted driving, lack of experience, and lack of adequate training.

2.  Weather conditions. Bad weather can make driving challenging for even the best drivers. Commercial truck drivers often fail to consider the dangers of driving in bad weather. An already difficult to maneuver tractor-trailer becomes even harder to manage during adverse weather. Furthermore, truck drivers don’t have the luxury of avoiding the road when bad weather hits.

3.  Improper loading of cargo.  A truck’s cargo must be properly loaded and evenly distributed in the trailer. If improperly loaded, the truck can jack-knife or overturn. Loading mistakes can also cause the cargo to shift and fall onto the highway into traffic, endangering everyone on the road.

4.  Truck equipment failure.  Equipment failure is a very common cause of truck accidents. Required inspections are often ignored and trucks continually drive with faulty brakes and worn tires. Accidents can also be caused by the faulty design of equipment and manufacturing errors.

5.  Selection of truck driver or trucking company.   Clients often do not take the time to research truck drivers or the companies they work for before hiring them to haul their product. This means more inexperienced and under-trained truckers are on the road.

If you or your loved one was involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you need to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

The Hidden Danger of Overloaded Tractor-Trailers

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The trucking industry, like every other business, is focused on profit. To a certain extent, an emphasis on profit is okay, however dangerous problems arise when companies decide to place profit over safety. Trucking companies often do this by disregarding trucking regulations, thus, endangering the lives of others on the road.

The most commonly overlooked and violated trucking regulation is weight limits. Trucking companies and drivers purposely ignore weight limits and overload their trucks in order to increase profit.  Doing so exponentially increases the likelihood and severity of truck accidents.

Overloaded tractor-trailers are dangerous for the following reasons:

  • Loss of steering control because of too much weight in the rear axle
  • Mechanical parts on the truck are taxed and damaged by too much weight.
  • Increased weight yields a greater chance of a tractor-trailer roll over or jack knifed truck.
  • Tires can blow out due to too much weight.
  • Longer stopping distance; the heavier a truck, the longer it takes for a truck to come to a stop.

Highway weigh stations are designed to monitor truck weight and fine any trucking company in violation of the regulations.   The problem is too many weigh stations are closed. Furthermore, when trucking companies are found to be in violation of weight limits, they are often just fined as opposed to being required to comply. This allows trucking companies to essentially factor this fines into the cost of doing business, making the requirements meaningless.

Tractor trailers are made to haul a certain amount of weight.  The Federal limit, set by law, is 80,000 pounds.  When a trucker or trucking company ignores this law, they are liable for any and all harm caused by their negligence. Therefore, if you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Untrained Truck Drivers: What To Look Out For…

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Currently, there are more than 200,000 open truck driving jobs across the United States. Stricter Federal safety regulations are making these positions increasingly hard to fill. While these new trucking safety regulations should make for safer highways, the increased demand for trucks drivers leads to insufficient truck driver training.

In order to get more truckers on the road, trucking companies rush drivers through the training and licensing programs. Ill prepared drivers can lead to devastating, catastrophic consequences.

The basic criteria a truck driver must satisfy to operate a commercial tractor-trailer include:

  • Driver must be physically able to operate large commercial trucks
  • Driver must pass a background check
  • Driver must complete all training and licensing requirements

If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, establishing information that the driver was not properly trained and/or licensed can be instrumental to a personal injury case.

There are some tell-tale signs that indicate a truck driver has not been sufficiently trained:

  • Lack of documents showing certifications and licensing
  • No driving skill assessments on file
  • Driver made any/all of the following basic errors while operating the truck:
    • Did not navigate a curve or corner
    • Cargo not secured correctly
    • Lack of routine maintenance
    • Failed to have complete control of the vehicle

While trucking companies are required to follow certain laws, the number of untrained truck drivers on United States highways today are in the thousands.  If you were injured as the result of a truck driver’s lack of training, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.