Young & McCarthy LLP

Filing a trucking accident claim

The average commercial truck weighs 25 times more than the average car. Therefore, the occupants of the latter will generally face more serious injuries when the two collide. Victims of such crashes in Ohio will want to know what they can do to receive compensation for damages.

For starters, it's important to prove that the commercial truck driver was at fault. While commercial trucks are involved in a fair share of fatal accidents (according to the U.S. DOT, large trucks were involved in 4,995 fatal crashes in 2006), truck drivers are often not to blame. Accidents can be caused by unforeseen road hazards or by the negligence of other drivers.

Major collisions can be caused when a truck jackknifes or flips over. Injuries secondary to those sustained on impact may arise due to the presence of flammable or toxic cargo.

For a claim to be successful, it must be shown that the trucker owed the other driver the duty to exercise reasonable care. Furthermore, victims must show that the at-fault party failed to exercise reasonable care and that this failure caused the injury. Sometimes, truckers as well as trucking companies, contractors and insurance companies will be implicated and be forced to pay out compensatory damages.

Before filing a claim, the victim may want to hire a lawyer who focuses on truck crash cases. Legal counsel could assess the claim and search for proof of the trucker's negligence. This might include police reports, physical evidence at the crash site and the trucker's work log. The lawyer can then negotiate with the trucking company's own team of lawyers, litigating if necessary. A successful claim could cover any financial, physical and emotional losses.

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