Following an injury accident that was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, or large commercial truck, it may seem logical that the trucking company is liable for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. While trucking companies are often liable for the actions of their negligent employees, multiple other parties can be liable, including:
- The truck driver;
- Shipping companies that load trucks and trailers; and
- Truck part manufacturers.
At GBM Law, our team understands how much is at stake when you are seriously injured. Our Columbus personal injury lawyers are serious about recovering maximum damages for our clients, and getting them full and fair compensation for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you would like to know more about your legal rights following a truck accident, we are here to offer guidance, assistance, and award-winning legal representation, with no fees unless we win your case.
When is the Driver Responsible For a Truck Accident?
As the operator of a large commercial vehicle, the truck driver is responsible for all aspects of safely completing a trip. This requires detailed inspections, trip planning, and constant monitoring of vehicle speeds, other traffic, and road conditions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry, has identified drivers as the critical reason in about 87% of accidents. The primary driver factors attributed to a large sampling of trucking accidents include:
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliar with roadway
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
- Pressure from trucking company/employer
- Illegal maneuvers
- External distraction
- Internal distraction
- Following too close
- Illegal drugs
Some truck drivers are owner-operators, meaning they are the driver and also the owner of the vehicle. Comparative negligence laws in Ohio allow multiple parties to share liability for your medical care expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Why Are Trucking Accidents Complex Injury Claims?
Personal injury claims involving commercial trucks are more complex than claims involving passenger vehicles for several reasons:
- Commercial vehicles are required to have much higher amounts of insurance coverage. Because large amounts of money are at stake, insurance companies will spend large amounts of time and money defending claims.
- Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to numerous federal regulations. Violations of federal regulations for hours of service, truck maintenance, and driver training.
Trucking companies and drivers are required to keep detailed records. Following a truck accident, a truck can be towed hundreds of miles away within a few hours. While the trucking company will arrange their own investigation to preserve evidence that will help them, the truck may be quickly repaired, destroying evidence that could help your claim. Hiring an attorney promptly can allow an independent investigation and preservation of relevant documentation like driver training records and maintenance logs.
Get a Free Consultation for Your Truck Accident Case
At GBM Law, our Columbus truck accident attorneys have recovered more than $200 million for victims of serious injury in Ohio. Before you accept a settlement for your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death in an Ohio trucking accident, call us at 614-222-4444 to discuss your legal rights and options. The consultation is free, and we are only paid if we recover money for you.