Like other auto accidents, the causes behind trucking collisions fall under three main categories: negligence, intentional tort, or product liability. Negligence is when the at-fault party acts carelessly, such as a driver getting distracted on their phone.
An intentional tort is when the liable party causes the crash on purpose. Meanwhile, product liability pertains to cases where a product defect, such as faulty brake parts, results in an accident. Let us look closer at what causes large truck accidents in Ohio.
What Are Some Ways a Truck Company or Driver Can Be at Fault?
A truck’s size and weight make it more capable of causing catastrophic damage from an accident, so truck owners and drivers must follow special federal and state motor carrier safety regulations. They could certainly cause large truck accidents if they violate these rules.
For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits drivers from consuming alcohol or drugs while on duty. Employers should also conduct mandatory testing for drivers. If the driver causes an accident while drunk, both the driver and employer would be liable for the DUI, the lax testing implementation, and the damages caused. Other ways Ohio truckers could be at fault in accidents include:
- Failure to secure the truck’s cargo according to safety standards. Unsecured cargo can fall off the truck and hit other vehicles, property, or people.
- Violating the hours of service. Drivers can only work for a certain period before they must rest. Driving while tired can lead to lapses in judgment.
- Not conducting routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs on the trucks. The truck could crash into others if they suddenly break down in the middle of the road.
Of course, an Ohio truck driver can cause an accident due to common negligence, such as speeding, failing to yield at a stop sign, or not adjusting their driving style in response to changing weather conditions. A lawyer can assist you in investigating to determine exactly how the trucker is to blame.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
How Can Other Parties Cause Truck Accidents?
Let us look at common ways another party besides the truck driver or employer can be at fault for a large trucking accident in Ohio. A trucking accident lawyer can still assist with investigating whether someone apart from the trucker is liable:
Other Negligent Drivers
Even if the truck driver behaves responsibly on the road, other negligent motorists can still cause trucking collisions. For example, the car driver might have been texting and not noticed they were about to crash into the truck. The motorist would be at fault for the accident in such a scenario, not the trucker.
As a result of their road rage, some motorists may drive dangerously. They might, for instance, ram into the truck or force it to swerve out of its lane. Their actions could set off a chain reaction in which other vehicles crash into the truck.
A pedestrian can also be liable in a large trucking accident if they disobey traffic laws. For instance, a pedestrian walking along the highway should stay on the sidewalk or shoulder to avoid being in the path of motorists on the road. They would likely be at fault if they behaved carelessly on the highway and caused the truck to crash.
Work Zone Hazards
Construction companies can also be liable for large truck accidents if they fail to give sufficient road project warning signage. For example, the truck driver could be driving responsibly at night. However, they did not see the roadworks until too late due to a lack of safety signs, resulting in a crash.
Truck malfunctions might still happen even if the truck owner follows routine inspection and maintenance regulations. If so, the truck manufacturer might be at fault, not the trucker. For example, there could have been an undisclosed auto parts defect that caused the crash. A truck dealer could also be liable if they knowingly sold the defective truck.
Does the Accident’s Cause Determine How You File for Damages?
Since there can be other liable parties in a large truck accident, your compensation options would also differ. Both truck companies and private motorists must have liability coverage to pay for the accidents they cause. However, truck companies carry higher limits than a typical driver, so you would be less likely to file a suit to recover more damages.
Meanwhile, a liable business such as a roadworks contract could also have commercial liability coverage to shoulder the damages. You would have to file a claim with their business insurance provider instead.
Find Legal Assistance Here
Knowing what causes large truck accidents can be helpful when determining liability, but there is more to that when filing for a settlement against an at-fault party. If you ever find yourself involved in a trucking collision here in Ohio, Bressman Law is always open for a consultation. David Bressman and his team have over 60 years of experience in Ohio personal injury law that they can utilize to help with your accident dispute.
You can send us the truck accident details through this website or call us to request your free case evaluation. A team member can arrange to meet with you at the hospital or at home if you cannot travel to our office.