Trucking accidents are no small matter. Many collisions involving trucks lead to serious injury, and in some cases, are fatal. However, when another person is to blame for your injuries, you have legal options and might be able to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the legal challenges that lie ahead could prove difficult without the professional guidance of a local personal injury attorney. A Defiance truck accident lawyer may be able to review the facts of your case and help you explore meaningful legal options for your recovery.
Examining Vicarious Liability
If the injured plaintiff believes that a reckless trucker caused an accident because they were driving negligently, they may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, a claimant can sue both the trucker driver and their trucking company under the theory of vicarious liability.
The doctrine of vicarious liability—also referred to as “respondeat superior”—states that an employer does not have to be directly negligent to be held liable in a lawsuit. Instead, as long as a trucking company can exercise control over the trucker, and that trucker’s negligent actions occurred during the scope of their employment, an injured claimant could pursue compensation from the trucking company as well.
However, it is important to note that an injured claimant can only hold a trucking company liable if their employee caused a crash while conducting regular duties or during a minor detour. For instance, a minor departure from work could be when a trucker is getting gas on their way to their next delivery. However, if the employee’s negligent behavior occurs during a major departure from work, then the employer could not be held vicariously liable. A seasoned Defiance truck wreck attorney could review the specifics of an injured individual’s case to determine who may be held responsible for compensation.
Statutes Impacting Truck Drivers
Ohio sets forth statutes and rules that regulate drivers operating both commercial and non-commercial motor vehicles. For example, Ohio Revised Code §4549.02 requires all drivers to immediately stop their vehicle after an auto accident, and remain at the scene until they obtain the operator’s name, address, and registration number. Drivers are required to give this information to any injured victims in the accident, to the owner, and police at the scene.
Injured plaintiffs should also be aware that, in addition to these laws and regulations that all drivers must follow, truckers must also abide by other statutes that regulate commercial vehicles. Ohio. Rev. Code. §4506.15 establishes 13 prohibited acts for commercial truck drivers, which could be explained by a knowledgeable attorney in Defiance.
If a commercial truck driver engages in any of these behaviors, they could be found guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree and held liable for their actions in a civil lawsuit. Driving under the influence of a controlled substance, causing a fatality through negligent operation of the truck, and using the vehicle during the commission of a felony are among the prohibited acts listed in the statute.
Consult a Defiance Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you suffered an injury due to another person’s careless or reckless behavior, you should not have to cover the ensuing costs alone. However, trying to navigate through the legal landscape on your own could present difficulties.
Fortunately, careful and compassionate guidance from a Defiance truck accident lawyer could help lessen the stressful process of fighting for your recovery. Consider reaching out to a local attorney who could help you learn more about your legal options.