This time of year, extra trucks are on the road to deal with the ice and snow the Cincinnati area receives. There are plows, salt trucks, and private plows along with the usual semi-trucks that are common. Drivers have a lot of obstacles to deal with when they're out on our roadways and sometimes these obstacles can cause serious truck accidents.
With the winter season upon us, Cincinnati residents understand how winter weather can affect our roads. Snow and ice are common in the winter and plow trucks and salt trucks can be anywhere. Most of the time these trucks are able to safely share the road with the rest of us but occasionally a serious accident occurs.
In an accident involving an Ohio commercial truck, even when it was clearly the truck driver's fault, it may be more difficult than expected to determine liability. The capacity in which the driver was operating the truck will determine whether he, as an individual, or the company he was driving for is liable. For example, questions, like the following, must be answered: "Is he an owner-operator?"; "Is he an employee of the company?"; and "Is he driving for the company as an independent contractor?"
A commercial vehicle is owned by a company and operated by its employees or agents. It may be a truck used to haul goods, a van used to transport passengers or packages, or a car used by an employee while on the clock. These vehicles are often involved in crashes, with some being so severe fatalities are involved. An accident with a commercial vehicle is handled differently by insurance companies than one involving only personal vehicles.
Driving in close proximity to semi-trucks in Ohio can be nerve-wracking to even the bravest, most experienced motorists. The most obvious cause of this fear is the sheer size of these massive vehicles and the devastation they can cause when they are driven negligently. Although truckers go through extensive training and testing, and they are subjected to a number of regulations, they still can fail to operate their vehicles in a way that ensures other motorists' safety.
Ohio victims who have been in a catastrophic truck accident, at some point, will wonder who is liable for their damages and suffering. The answer depends on their specific circumstances, but can include negligent truck drivers and truck companies. Victims may be able to recover compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Truck accident victims have legal protections to consider when they are harmed by a negligent truck driver or truck company. Recently, in a nearby community just north of the Cincinnati area, a truck driver was indicted for homicide following a fatal truck accident that claimed the life of a woman. The truck accident occurred when a concrete bucket truck rear-ended a SUV, killing its 58-year-old driver. The woman died at the scene of the crash. The 45-year-old driver of the truck is facing multiple felony charges associated with the accident.
Because of the unquestionably serious nature of truck accidents, it is important to understand both the liability and remedies for truck accidents. It is necessary to prove negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages in order to recover compensation for those damages which is why it is important to understand the possible causes of truck accidents and what the cause of the victim's truck accident was.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring all truckers to install electronic logging devices in their trucks. The FMCSA reports that illegal logbooks are common and often lead to truck inspection citations. Prior to ELDs, truckers could easily misrepresent the number of hours and miles they had driven in the paper trucking logs. Now, ELDs will monitor truckers' hours and miles, thereby ensuring increased compliance with the Hours of Service regulations.
Most Cincinnati residents probably recognize that talking on the cell phone or texting while trying to drive is not a very smart idea. In addition to being distracted just by the conversation, a person can also even have his hands off of the wheel, not to mention his eyes off of the road, while trying to dial a number or respond to that last instant message. There is no doubt that this kind of behavior can cause a serious crash.