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How is Liability Determined for a Truck Accident in Cincinnati?

— April 14, 2022

If a truck is overloaded or the cargo is not properly secured, even an experienced and cautious driver may lose control of the vehicle.

Cincinnati, OH – Ohio was ranked sixth on the list of states with the most fatal truck accidents in the country. Each year, over 100 people are killed and thousands are injured in collisions involving at least one commercial vehicle. Most truck accidents occur in and around major urban areas, such as Cincinnati. 

Truck accidents are more complex than regular car crashes as you can have more parties that can be held accountable. Such collisions will require an independent investigation into the causes and only seasoned Cincinnati truck accident lawyers can help you with that. Determining the true cause of the accident and all the factors that may have played a role is crucial for recovering damages. If you have sustained severe injuries and your damages are upwards of $100,000, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to recover that kind of money from the truck driver. Commercial drivers typically carry only minimum liability coverage, somewhere around $25,000.

Who may be liable for a truck accident in Cincinnati?

Your Ohio truck accident lawyers will start by reading the police report to get a sense of what happened. They will also visit the scene of the crash, examine surveillance camera footage, if available, and talk to eyewitnesses. 

The trucker

Most truck accidents are caused by driver error, distracted driving, DUI, speeding, or reckless driving. You may find one or more of these mentioned in the police report. Skilled truck accident lawyers always look beyond the facts to see if it really was just the trucker’s fault.

The trucking company

Trucking companies are required by law to provide regular maintenance to their vehicles. If your lawyers discover there was a mechanical failure involved, you may have a case against the trucking company.

For instance, if there’s a tire blowout and this makes the trucker lose control of the vehicle and crash into you, it may be his employer’s fault. 

On the other hand, the trucking company may be partly to blame if the driver made an error. Your lawyers will request documents showing what kind of training the trucker received when he was hired. You cannot let an inexperienced driver in charge of a tractor-trailer weighing 80,000 lbs. Or you can, but this is called negligence and the victim can file a claim against the employer or sue them.

If the crash was caused by driver fatigue, one of the most common causes of truck accidents, the employer may also be held accountable, for failing to monitor their employees or for encouraging the trucker to skip mandatory rest and get to the destination faster.

The shipping company

Cargo being loaded; image by Solomen, via
Cargo being loaded; image by Solomen, via

If a truck is overloaded or the cargo is not properly secured, even an experienced and cautious driver may lose control of the vehicle. Your lawyers will have to call experts to examine the way the truck was loaded. You may be able to file a claim against the cargo owner, the shipping company, or those responsible for loading the truck.

The manufacturer

Large trucks are made with hundreds of parts coming from various manufacturers. If the causes of the accident are unclear, your lawyers will bring in an independent expert to examine what’s left of the vehicle. If there was a defective part, you can file a claim against the manufacturer’s insurance company.

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