When bad weather comes to Ohio, accidents increase. While everyone must do their part to drive safely and defensively, sharing the road with semi trucks can be particularly dangerous. Semis are much larger and heavier than traditional vehicles. They take much longer to stop, have large blind spots and are prone to tipping over in accidents. Drivers are responsible for taking these factors into account and acting accordingly.
Does that mean that semi truck drivers are always responsible for collisions in bad weather? Read on to learn more about personal injury claims in semi truck accidents.
Negligence and semi truck collisions
Most vehicle collisions are accidents, and are litigated under a theory of negligence. The plaintiff must prove four elements:
- The defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The accident occurred as a result of that breach; and
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm.
In a semi truck collision case, it’s usually easy to prove the defendant’s duty: everyone has a duty to drive safely, keep their vehicle in operable condition and observe the rules of the road. This include trips in inclement weather. It’s also simple to prove actual harm, such as physical harm and property damage. Proving that the defendant breached their duty and their breach caused the accident can be more difficult.
Who’s responsible for semi truck collisions in bad weather?
There are several entities who may be held responsible for semi truck collisions, even when bad weather is a contributing factor. These include:
- The driver: If the driver failed to take adequate precautions in bad weather, they may be legally responsible for the accident. This includes speeding, failing to complete pre-trip inspections, failing to use headlights, distracted driving and more.
- The driver’s employer: Employers are usually responsible for their drivers’ on-the-job accidents, under a theory of vicarious liability.
- The truck or component manufacturers: If the truck or its components (such as tires) were defective, and the defect caused the accident, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
- Mechanics: A mechanic who fails to diagnose or fix a condition which caused the accident could be liable for resulting damages.
- Other drivers: Finally, other drivers may bear partial or full responsibility for an accident in bad weather.
While bad weather can play a role in semi truck collisions, it’s rarely the only cause. Contact the Law Offices of Tim Misny to determine whether you have a claim.
Consult an Ohio semi truck accident attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your semi truck accident case. If you were the victim of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.