Question

Is The Truck Driver Or Trucking Company Responsible For An Accident In Ohio?

John P. O'Neil

Answered by:
John P. O'Neil

Located in Mayfield Heights, OH
Elk & Elk Co., Ltd.

John P. O'Neil - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: John P. O'Neil

Elk & Elk Co., Ltd.
Mayfield Heights, OH

Fax: 440-442-7944

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Answer

Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries to those inside the smaller vehicle. Due to the size of the truck and the speed at which these accidents often occur, victims may suffer life-changing injuries. A significant number end in fatalities. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 116 heavy truck-involved fatalities in 2017.

After a truck accident, it is imperative to determine how the accident happened and who is responsible. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult challenge.

Trucking companies often send accident investigators to the scene of an accident as soon as feasibly possible. They immediately begin gathering evidence to support their client — the trucking company. Other investigations by the police and potentially the National Transportation Safety Board “Go Team” (which investigates major accidents) may be conducted.

Accident victims may choose to work with an attorney who can coordinate a full accident investigation. An accident reconstruction specialist can help determine the cause of the accident by studying various aspects of the scene, including:

  • The vehicles involved in the accident
  • Skid marks
  • Road surface
  • Witness testimony
  • Black box evidence
  • Crash data recorder or video evidence, if applicable

Determining liability in a trucking accident is a critically important step. An investigation can determine if a truck driver or trucking company is responsible for the accident.

Determining If The Driver Or Trucking Company Is Responsible

The issue of liability in a trucking accident case is not always straightforward.

Generally, a trucking company is responsible for an accident when one of its employee drivers causes an accident.

Some companies enter into contracts with private trucking companies to distribute goods. When an accident occurs in this situation and the truck driver is responsible for the accident, the private trucking company may be liable.

In cases where the truck driver is the owner of the truck, things get a little more complex. It is advisable for accident victims to seek help from an attorney to help determine liability, insurance coverage, the truck driver’s employment status and more.

Trucking companies may be held responsible for an accident when negligence on their part caused or contributed to an accident. Some examples of negligence may include:

  • Failure to properly train drivers
  • Failure to maintain truck/equipment
  • Failure to enforce/provide adequate rest breaks for drivers

When trucking companies fail to take these measures, accidents can happen. And when an accident occurs, trucking companies can be held responsible for their negligence.

It is advisable for semi truck accident victims to seek help from an attorney who can level the playing field between the victim and large trucking companies. Additionally, family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal trucking accident should consider working with an attorney who can help them pursue a wrongful death claim. Significant compensation may be available to cover expenses related to the accident or loss.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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