Ohio is an at-fault state, so you may have the right to seek compensation from an at-fault party if they caused you to sustain injuries and other damages in an accident. To do this, you must prove that the opposing party acted negligently, which caused an accident and damages in the process.
If your case involves a truck accident, there might be multiple liable parties. Knowing who you can sue in a truck accident is a crucial aspect of pursuing compensation, as you might be able to pursue compensation from each liable party. In truck accident cases, you may be able to sue a truck driver, a trucking company owner or operator, a local town or municipality, or a vehicle service or maintenance team, depending on whose actions led to the accident in question.
You Must Be Able to Prove How Someone Else’s Negligence Led to Your Damages
The term “damages” refers to the losses you suffer in an accident. Damages can include medical treatment expenses, lost income, vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering, burial expenses, and any other form of physical, mental, or financial loss you experience as a result of your accident.
You may be able to pursue compensation for your damages after an accident, but you must do so within the definitions in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2315.18. You must also be able to prove the following:
- That a party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty in some way
- That their breach of duty caused an accident
- That you sustained damages in the accident
These arguments shape the four elements of negligence. If you can prove these statements are true, you may be able to receive compensation from the party or parties at fault for the accident.
As mentioned above, the parties that are often responsible for a truck accident include the truck driver, the trucking company, a truck maintenance team, or a municipality responsible for road repairs if road conditions caused or contributed to your accident.
Negligence and Liability
Anyone operating a vehicle on the road is assumed to owe other road users a duty of care, which is to follow traffic laws and drive safely. A failure to do so can lead to an accident, which, if proven, can be used to prove the opposing party’s negligence and their liability for the accident.
Truck drivers must have the requisite training, experience, and licensing to operate a truck, and they must follow traffic and safe driving laws at all times. They must regularly maintain their vehicles to ensure that they are roadworthy and do not pose a hazard. They must also properly load and secure cargo to prevent mishaps from occurring.
Trucking companies must screen their drivers, provide them with the training they need, and make sure all drivers follow safe driving laws, such as following the hours of service regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Construction and service teams must thoroughly inspect their vehicles to make sure that they are in proper working order before the driver takes the vehicle out on the road. Local cities and towns are often responsible for road repairs within their jurisdiction. Towns or municipalities that fail to repair or address road hazards—such as potholes, cracks in the road, or unmarked roadside fixtures—may be held liable for their role in causing an accident.
A vehicle or product manufacturer can be sued in a truck accident if you can show that a defective product caused or contributed to the accident. In truck accidents, a defective product might be a vehicle part or vehicle safety device that broke down despite being used properly. This can fall under product liability and may require you to prove that you were using the device or part as intended but were still harmed by the product’s failure in some way.
Our Team Can Help You Calculate Your Damages
Filing a claim for compensation takes more than just knowing who you can sue in a truck accident. You must also value your damages and incorporate that value into your demand letter. Our team may help you calculate economic and non-economic damages to reach this value.
Economic damages may include lost income, medical treatment, and vehicle damage. These types of damages are easier to quantify because they are financial losses, so you may refer to wage or salary slips, medical treatment invoices, and vehicle repair bills to calculate their total.
However, non-economic damages may be harder to calculate, as they are more associated with general losses, like pain and suffering, physical disability, and emotional trauma. You may need other forms of evidence to prove these claims, such as psychological analysis, photos of your injuries and recovery process, and testimonies from friends and family members.
Work on Your Truck Accident Case with the Fitch Law Firm, LLC
Contact the Fitch Law Firm, LLC, today at (614) 545-3930. Our team can help you gather evidence, calculate your losses, and pursue compensation. Call today to speak with a team member about who you might be able to sue in a truck accident and learn how we can help your case move forward.