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Who Is Responsible in a Commercial Trucking Accident?

How liability is decided in Ohio if property damage or a physical injury takes place

Trucking companies have a responsibility to operate their commercial fleet in a safe manner. These large vehicles pose a serious safety risk to passenger cars—a fully loaded eighteen-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.

Unfortunately, commercial truck accidents remain one of the leading causes of catastrophic injury and highway fatalities in Ohio. According to data provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), thousands of truck accidents are reported in Ohio each year.

Truck drivers and truck companies that fail to take proper safety precautions must be held accountable for the property damage and/or physical injuries that they caused. Here, you will find an overview of commercial truck accident liability in Ohio.

Truck Accident Liability in Ohio: Fault-Based State

Ohio is a fault motor vehicle accident state. A trucking company is not automatically responsible for a wreck. To hold a defendant legally liable for property damage or a physical injury, an injured victim must establish that the accident happened because of the defendant’s reckless or careless conduct. Many different parties may bear liability for a trucking accident, including:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • The company leasing the truck/trailer
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Third-party motorists

Ohio Uses a Comparative Negligence Standard

It is important to note that Ohio uses a comparative negligence legal standard. More than one defendant may bear responsibility for the same trucking accident. Under Ohio state law, each party to a collision will be liable for their apportioned share of the fault. Of course, serious disputes can arise regarding who exactly was at fault for a trucking accident. 

If a trucking company is found to be at fault for 75 percent of an accident, it will be liable for 75 percent of property damages and personal injury damages. Even if you are partially at fault for your own truck accident, you can still recover financial compensation. Your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of the assigned blame. 

All Commercial Truck Accidents Require a Comprehensive Investigation

After a truck accident, injured victims should seek immediate medical attention. Nothing should come before your health and safety. All injuries should be assessed and treated by a qualified physician. Additionally, truck accidents require an immediate investigation. Truck companies and their insurance carriers waste little to no time in preparing a legal defense. They will start investigating a crash right away.

Plaintiffs do not want to fall behind in the claims process. Anyone hurt in a trucking accident in Ohio needs to secure all relevant evidence. If you or your loved one was injured in a collision, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Ohio trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. A truck accident attorney will review your case, explain your options, and initiate an immediate investigation of the crash.

For more information on this area of the law, see our overviews of trucking accidents and transportation and maritime law.

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