Fatal Semi-Truck Collision in Columbus
A 44-year-old woman is dead after a semi-truck collided with her Honda at a stop sign on U.S. Highway 23.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Ruben K. Otchere, age 44, of Columbus, Ohio, was driving a semi southbound on US 23 as Gina M. Diloreto, age 44, of Delaware, Ohio, was driving a 2007 Honda Accord eastbound on TR 279.
Troopers said Diloreto failed to yield at the stop sign and was hit by the truck.
She died at the scene. Otchere was not injured.
Semi-Truck Crash Injuries
Large truck crashes have very high catastrophic (life-threatening) injury rates. A fully-loaded large truck weighs over 80,000 pounds. No safety system, no matter how advanced, can possibly absorb that much force. Some common semi-truck crash injuries include:
- Severe Burns: Large rucks carry hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, a substance that burns at a different temperature than ordinary gasoline. Therefore, victims normally sustain third or fourth-degree burns. These injuries usually require extensive, and expensive, treatment at specialty burn centers.
- Smoke Inhalation: The smoke that the fire produces is usually more toxic than other kidneys of smoke. For example, diesel smoke contains very high levels of benzene fumes, a substance that’s been linked to many chronic serious illnesses. In fact, smoke inhalation injuries are often worse than burn injuries.
- Head Injuries: An extreme vehicle collision causes extreme motion. The victim’s brain violently slams against the skull. To relieve the swelling and stop the bleeding, doctors must usually perform emergency brain surgery, a risky procedure that usually has permanent side-effects.
The economic losses, mostly medical bills, in a catastrophic injury claim often exceed $150,000. A Columbus car accident attorney obtains the financial resources these victims need to overcome their injuries and live brighter futures.
Fault vs. Liability
If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, emergency responders will almost certainly conclude that this driver was at fault for the collision. However, there’s a difference between fault, which is a fact determination for purposes of various police and law enforcement, and liability, which is a legal determination in civil court.
Most significantly, truck drivers and other commercial operators have a higher duty of care in Ohio. Noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively. Commercial operators have a duty of utmost care. They must take affirmative steps to avoid accidents.
Intersection collisions are a good example. Because of the higher duty of care, truck drivers must assume that a driver will roll through a stop sign or otherwise drive carelessly. So, they must take precautions in advance, like reducing their speed or changing lanes.
In other words, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. The higher duty of care makes it easier for a Columbus personal injury attorney to prove negligence, or a lack of care. What might be a one-off mistake for a noncommercial driver is negligence if the motorist was a commercial driver.
Therefore, even if an insurance investigator or emergency responder says you caused an accident, always ask a lawyer to evaluate your case. You may still be entitled to compensation for your economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Reach Out to a Diligent Franklin County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbus, contact the Oliver Law Office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.