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Can Multiple Parties Be at Fault for a Truck Accident?

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Truck accidents are known for causing extensive property damage, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities due to the massive size and weight of a fully loaded commercial truck compared to the average passenger vehicle. While some type of driver negligence causes most truck accidents, other parties may also be liable, depending on the circumstances of the accident. This can make the claims process significantly more complicated. If you or a loved one suffered a devastating injury in a truck accident, a lawyer will review the accident details and identify all liable parties.

What Parties May Be Liable for a Truck Accident?

When a truck accident occurs, there are a number of parties that may be liable for the resulting property damage, injuries, and fatalities, including the following:

  • The truck driver: If the truck driver was negligent in some way, and the negligent behavior caused the truck accident, the truck driver may be liable for the accident and the resulting injuries. Common examples of truck driver negligence include:
    • Distracted driving
    • Drowsy driving
    • Speeding
    • Impaired driving
    • Tailgating
    • Changing lanes without signaling
  • The trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers, ensuring they receive the proper training, and conducting regular alcohol and drug screening to prevent substance abuse. If the trucking company owns the truck, it is also responsible for ensuring that it is maintained regularly and that all necessary repairs are made before the truck can be used. In addition, trucking companies must ensure that their drivers follow the federal hours of service (HOS) rules to prevent drowsy driving accidents that are common in the trucking industry.
  • The loading company: When cargo is being loaded into the trailer, the contents must be loaded properly and secured so that the cargo does not come loose in transit. If this happens, the trailer can become imbalanced, and there is an increased risk of a rollover or a jackknife accident. If the contents come loose and fall out of the back of the truck, it can strike vehicles in the vicinity, causing a serious accident.
  • Truck manufacturing company: When a truck part is defective, mechanical severe failures can occur. The manufacturing company will likely be liable if a defective part causes a truck accident. The following factors may suggest that a defective part caused a truck accident:
    • Tire blowout
    • Brake failure
    • Steering system failure
    • Transmission failure
    • Defective trailer hitch
    • Defective lighting

How Do I Prove Negligence When Multiple Parties Are Involved?

To recover financial damages, you will need to be able to prove that another party or parties were at fault for causing the truck accident. The more evidence you can collect, the more likely you will have a successful claims outcome. If you can do so, take pictures from the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, the position of the truck, skid marks or debris on the road, and any other evidence that can help prove that negligence was a factor. If there were witnesses who saw the accident happen, ask if they would be willing to provide a statement and get their contact information.

You should also hire an experienced truck accident lawyer who can protect your legal rights throughout the claims process. A truck accident lawyer can also obtain additional evidence, including black box data and the hours of service log, to determine whether the truck driver was speeding, driving recklessly, or failing to take the necessary breaks for sleep.

In addition to assisting you with every step of the claims process, your truck accident attorney can negotiate with the truck company and the insurance company to pursue the financial settlement you deserve. That means protecting your best interests, preventing you from accepting a lowball settlement offer, and continuing to fight for you until a fair settlement is reached. When negotiating the best settlement outcome, your attorney will consider various factors, including the severity of your injuries, the pain and suffering you are experiencing, and whether your injuries will require ongoing or long-term care.

What if I Was Partly At Fault for Causing the Accident?

Even if you were partly to blame for causing the truck accident, you may still recover damages from the party more at fault than you. However, according to Ohio’s comparative negligence laws, your total damages will be reduced by the percentage of your share of liability. However, if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you cannot recover any damages.

Our Skilled Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Cincinnati truck accident lawyers at Wolterman Law Office. To schedule a free consultation, call 513-488-1135 or contact us online. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.