Reporting a truck accident in Ohio is an important step in holding the trucker and their employer liable to recover compensation for your injuries and expenses. Without reporting the collision to the proper authorities, your insurer, your doctor, and others might find it difficult or impossible to prove your damages and seek financial recovery.
You should always prioritize your health and well-being following any traffic accident. However, you must take other considerations into account to put yourself in order to get compensation for your losses.
Report the Collision to the Police Immediately
If a careless or reckless trucker caused a crash in Ohio, you need to notify law enforcement right away. You can contact them by calling 9-1-1 from the accident scene. As necessary, the dispatcher can send the local police or state patrol, ambulances and paramedics, rescue squad personnel, and firefighters.
When law enforcement arrives, they will begin an investigation into what happened. Their report may provide important evidence for your insurance claim or lawsuit, so you should cooperate with them. However, never admit guilt or apologize to anyone at this point.
Law enforcement generally responds to commercial vehicle accidents in Ohio. However, if they did not respond for some reason, you must file a crash report with the appropriate police department based on the location of your accident. For example, you can file a report with the City of Columbus Division of Police online.
Get Medical Care and Report All Symptoms to Your Doctor
Even if you are uncertain whether you suffered injuries in the wreck, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Your options for medical care will depend on your potential injuries and other factors, but you could choose to:
- Ride in an ambulance to the nearest hospital
- Go to the emergency department on your own
- Make an appointment with your family physician
- Go to a walk-in or urgent care facility
Once you see a doctor, explain you were in a crash and detail all possible symptoms, no matter how minor they may seem. The doctor can assess your overall health, identify any injuries, and begin treatment. By documenting your accident injuries, you will preserve valuable information when you file your claim or take the case to trial.
Contact Your Insurer – But Be Aware of What You Say
Once your doctor stabilizes your health, you must notify your insurer of the accident. Most insurers require that you inform them of any wrecks as soon as possible. However, how you handle this notification could affect your case.
You should only give the most basic details about who, when, and where if the intake specialist asks about the crash. Don’t embellish or make assumptions. Just give the basic facts.
Someone Needs to Contact the Trucking Company
Many truck accident claims pit an injured individual against a large corporation – usually a trucking company. A truck accident lawyer can help you.
Within a few weeks of the crash – or earlier when possible – you must send a spoliation letter to the trucking company. This letter compels the company to preserve any potential evidence related to the collision. It will also serve as official notice that you intend to file a claim. Again, a truck accident lawyer can help you with this.
Trucking companies face liability in many commercial vehicle accident cases because Ohio recognizes the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine creates a vicarious liability for employers when their workers act negligently on the job. The Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed respondeat superior in Davis v. The May Department Stores, Co. (2001).
You Might Want to Consider Hiring an Attorney to Manage Your Case
If you decide to manage your claim independently, a free consultation with a lawyer can offer a new perspective on your accident and legal options.
You’ll want to act quickly because victims generally have a limited time to sue truck drivers and trucking companies in Ohio:
- Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10 gives you two years to begin an injury suit
- Ohio Revised Code Section 2125.02 offers up to two years for a wrongful death action
Speak with an Attorney About Your Collision for Free Today
Our attorneys at The Fitch Law Firm LLC provide complimentary case evaluations. We can help you manage every step of a truck accident injury claim. In addition, we have offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Marion, and Springfield to make it convenient for us to connect. Our lawyers work based on contingency fees.
Call (614) 545-3930 now to connect with our truck accident team.