Accidents involving trucks on our nation’s roadways are a great deal more severe than other kinds of motor vehicle wrecks. First of all, they are usually very serious and often result in catastrophic injury or death, due to the immense size differential between an 18-wheeler, for example, and an average-sized passenger car. Secondary injuries can also result from explosions, fire or the release of toxic chemicals that the truck has been hauling.
Even though driver negligence may very well have played a significant role in causing the accident, there are often other factors in play that can eventually result in third-party liability claims. Because there are usually multiple parties behind trucking operations, collecting evidence through a thorough accident reconstruction is an essential part of establishing liability of all responsible parties.
Identifying which parties are responsible
Federal and Ohio state regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintain stringent safety standards in order to prevent potential accidents due to driver fatigue, improper or infrequent vehicle maintenance, faulty equipment or vehicle parts, or improper cargo placement.
Commercial drivers must follow strict hours-of-service regulations that limit the driver’s number of consecutive hours on the road, require rest breaks as well as the specify the amount of time they must remain off-duty.
Liability can extend to multiple parties, including the:
- Trucking company
- Cargo companies
- Contractors and manufacturers
It is because the cost of injury or damage is so great that responsible parties must purchase public liability insurance for bodily injury, property damage or environmental restoration from $750,000 to $5 million, depending on the commodities transported.
Collecting evidence during the investigation
Evidence can be collected by looking at discrepancies in logbook entries or evidence collected by dashcam video, onboard recorders, weight tickets, hotel receipts, driver qualification files or post-accident drug and alcohol tests. Witness testimony and onsite evidence such as skid marks, glass or debris can also be used to establish a clear chain of causation to be presented in court.
Having a skilled legal team serving Cincinnati and surrounding communities that has decades of experience in personal injury claims is essential when building a strong case necessary to pursue the maximum settlement for the injuries sustained by accident victims.