Commercial trucking is the backbone of interstate commerce, but it is also one of the leading causes of motor vehicle-related fatalities. Due to their size and weight, these vehicles can cause excessive damage if their driver loses control.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a collision with a truck, you may want to seek professional legal assistance from a personal injury attorney. A Lima truck accident lawyer might be able to review your case and stand up for your right to recover compensation.
State Laws Governing Commercial Truck Drivers
Ohio state law imposes statutes and regulations that regulate the conduct of commercial drivers, including truck drivers. Specifically, Ohio Revised Code §4506.15 lists 13 acts that commercial drivers are prohibited from engaging in.
This list includes driving under the influence of a controlled substance, using the vehicle during the commission of a felony, and causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial vehicle. The statute also states that anyone in violation of these prohibitions is guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree.
Post-Accident Requirement to Stop
State law mandates that all drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident with a person or property on a public roadway must stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident immediately. When a driver collides with a commercial truck or vice versa, the drivers should remain at the scene and exchange names, addresses, and registration numbers. Drivers must also give this information to any person injured in the accident, as well as the responding police officer(s).
Liability for Truck Collisions in Lima
After a truck crash, it is common for a plaintiff to seek compensation for bodily injuries and damages to their vehicle based on negligence theory. To successfully sue on these grounds, the plaintiff must prove all four elements of legal negligence, which include a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
To demonstrate the first and second elements, the plaintiff must show that the truck driver owed a duty of reasonable care and that the driver breached that duty by failing to act in a reasonably safe way. All drivers have a duty of care owed to all foreseeable plaintiffs, including passengers, drivers, and pedestrians that they encounter on the road.
The third and fourth elements require the plaintiff to prove that the truck driver’s actions directly caused an accident in which the plaintiff suffered injuries or damages. An experienced Lima truck crash attorney may be able to help a victim build a case around the four elements of negligence theory.
Depending on the circumstances, a plaintiff may be able to sue both an individual truck driver and their employer based on the doctrine of vicarious liability. Under this concept, a truck accident lawyer in Lima could hold an employer vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employee(s), even if the company itself was not negligent.
The following elements must be present for a truck wreck victim to recover against an employer based on vicarious liability:
- The employer and employee entered an agreement that gives the employer authority over the employee as a condition of employment, meaning the driver responsible for the accident was not an independent contractor
- The employee committed the negligent act in question
- The negligent act was committed during the course and scope of their employment
- The employer negligently hired a driver who had a record of drunk or reckless driving
Contact a Lima Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is a victim in a truck accident, it could be in your best interest to seek legal assistance. A knowledgeable Lima truck accident lawyer may be able to examine your circumstances and help you with your case. Call today to begin exploring your options.