The aftermath of a truck accident can be very different from that of a collision between two commuter vehicles. While the average car weighs approximately 4,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler truck can be close to 12,000 pounds even without cargo. Therefore, the magnitude of the injuries and property damage you could suffer after such an accident can be severe, and your odds of walking away with minimal or no injuries may be slim.
After seeking and receiving appropriate medical care, call a Fremont truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash involving a commercial truck. An experienced personal injury attorney could inform you of your rights under Ohio state law and provide you with the knowledge you need to file an effective personal injury claim.
Truck Driver’s Duty of Care
Ohio adheres to the rules and regulations for commercial drivers established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Under these guidelines, a commercial driver is expected to possess a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than a non-commercial vehicle driver.
In addition, Ohio Revised Code §4506.03 provides conditions that a commercial driver must follow to operate a commercial vehicle.
Some of the regulations include:
- An individual cannot drive a commercial motor vehicle without a valid commercial driver’s license with the proper endorsements
- An individual cannot be issued a commercial driver’s license in the state of Ohio until valid licenses issued by another jurisdiction are surrendered
- If an individual has been residing in the state of Ohio for more than 30 days, with a commercial driver’s license in another jurisdiction, they cannot legally operate a truck in the state of Ohio
A Fremont truck accident lawyer could discuss these regulations in greater detail. A consultation with an accomplished attorney could also help determine if the truck driver was in violation of the commercial driver’s license requirements in the state of Ohio while operating their truck.
Proving Negligence After a Truck Accident
Because truck drivers have specialized knowledge and experience as a commercial driver, they have a higher duty of care to other motorists. To successfully file a negligence claim against a truck driver, a plaintiff must prove the truck driver was negligently operating their truck by proving that they:
- Had a duty of care to protect the plaintiff and other nearby drivers while operating their truck
- Breached that duty of care
- Directly caused injury to the plaintiff which resulted in compensable damages
In addition to the outcome of a negligence claim, a truck driver may also face steep fines and face disqualification to use their license if found liable for negligent behavior.
Potential Compensation in a Truck Accident Case
Based on proof of negligence and evidence of injuries and property damage, Ohio laws allow a plaintiff to recover for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include objectively evaluated losses like medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage. Non-economic damages are intangible harms that may include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contacting a Fremont Truck Accident Attorney
Injuries from a truck accident may take weeks and months—if not years—to resolve. Fortunately, a skilled Fremont truck accident lawyer could work to ensure you get the compensation you need to get you back on your feet.
The time immediately after an accident is when you should focus on healing and hand over those frustrating and endless phone calls with claims adjusters to a qualified attorney.
Call today to learn what a legal professional could do for you.