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Who can be held responsible for negligence in a commercial trucking accident?

After getting hit by a semi on an Ohio interstate or highway, you and your family could be suffering from severely disabling injuries. The cost of treating those injuries could be sky-high, and you might not be well enough to go back to work for weeks or months — if ever.

In Ohio, after a serious auto accident caused by another driver, you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation. But when the responsible driver was operating a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, the question of whom to sue can get complicated. Parties that were nowhere near the scene of your accident could be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

The driver

If the truck driver caused the crash by acting negligently, such as by speeding or driving while distracted, they could be personally liable for your injuries. However, suing only the driver might not cover your bills.

The trucking company

Under Ohio’s personal injury laws, if the employee of a company negligently injures someone else while in the course of their job duties, their employer could be liable. A truck driver’s job mostly involves being on the road. If they cause a wreck, victims can likely hold the employer responsible in court.

Manufacturers

Some truck accidents happen not because of something the driver did but because of a defective part in the truck. The truck’s manufacturer could be liable, as could the company that made the part or the mechanic who installed it. Determining if a truck crash was the result of a part that failed can require a great deal of investigation.

Insurance companies

Most of the time, trucking companies and manufacturers are heavily insured. Insurance companies generally do what they can to avoid paying the full cost of their clients’ negligence. Instead of accepting an insurance company’s initial offer, consider speaking to a personal injury attorney first. When you know exactly what you are entitled to, you can make smart choices about how to proceed.

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