If you’ve been injured in a collision involving a commercial truck, there is a lot you need to know. In this article, our Columbus truck accident lawyers answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about accident victims’ and families’ legal rights.
When Can You Seek Financial Compensation for a Commercial Truck Accident in Ohio?
Several factors can lead to commercial truck accidents, and many of these factors will entitle accident victims and their families to financial compensation. For example, some of the most common grounds for pursuing compensation claims after commercial truck accidents include:
- Speeding, tailgating and other forms of reckless driving
- Distracted, drowsy and impaired driving
- Waiting too long to brake or braking too harshly
- Overloading or failing to properly distribute the truck’s cargo
- Failing to secure the truck’s cargo
- Inadequate truck maintenance (i.e. failure to replace worn brake pads or tires)
Is the Trucking Company Liable if the Truck Driver Caused the Collision?
As you can see, many of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents involve truck driver mistakes. If the truck driver was at fault in your (or your loved one’s) accident, there is a good chance that the truck driver’s employer is legally responsible.
Under Ohio law, employers are generally liable for their employees’ actions within the scope of their employment. For truck drivers, driving to deliver cargo will almost always be considered “within the scope of employment.”
Some truck drivers are owner-operators, meaning that they own their own truck and make deliveries for other companies. These drivers should carry their own insurance, and filing a claim against an owner-operator will typically involve dealing with his or her insurance company.
How Do You File a Claim for a Truck Accident Involving a Rollover, Jackknife or Spill?
Following a rollover, jackknife, spill or any other type of truck accident, the process of filing a claim starts with hiring an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer. You will need to hire a lawyer to investigate the accident, collect evidence and determine what company is legally responsible for your accident-related losses. Your lawyer will also explain what you need to do (and what mistakes you need to avoid), and he or she will use the available evidence to fight for the compensation you deserve.
What if Neither the Truck Driver Nor the Trucking Company Was at Fault in the Accident?
While commercial truck accidents usually involve truck driver or trucking company negligence, this is not always the case. If an investigation reveals that neither the truck driver nor the trucking company was at fault, your lawyer will need to determine what other options you have available. Depending on the circumstances involved, other options may include:
- Filing a defect claim against the truck’s manufacturer
- Filing a negligence claim against a shop that worked on the truck
- Filing a claim against another driver involved in the crash
- Filing a claim against the government agency that is responsible for the road where the accident occurred
Talk to a Columbus Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
If you have more questions about your legal rights following a commercial truck accident in Ohio, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Malek & Malek Law Firm, please call 888-444-7440 or contact us online today.