You have several options if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured truck driver. First, you could file a claim against your own policy. The driver’s employer could also be liable.
Unlike non-commercial drivers, a commercial truck driver must adhere to federal regulations to legally drive a vehicle, including having insurance. So, their lack of insurance could support your assertion of negligence. An attorney can gather additional evidence to prove their fault and find legal avenues for your compensation.
Is the Truck Driver’s Company Responsible for The Driver’s Actions?
The company is responsible for ensuring the driver follows Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. This means the company is also responsible for ensuring the truck driver is fully insured to drive a commercial vehicle.
If the commercial trucking company does not make sure their drivers follow the rules, they are responsible for any resulting accidents. You could sue the commercial company directly for compensatory damages based on negligence.
The company could have employed an individual operating their vehicle without the proper commercial truck insurance. If the truck driver who caused the accident has a history of ignoring regulations, your case could be even stronger.
A Lawyer Could Fight for Fair Damages from the Trucking Company
The trucking company’s insurer may try to deny or limit your compensation. A law firm with experience dealing with semi-truck accidents in Ohio can help you deal with these companies.
What Are Your Other Options for Compensation?
Some truck drivers delivering goods commercially in Ohio may be independent contractors. This means a commercial trucking company does not employ them. In this case, you cannot sue the host company for negligence instead of the truck driver. The company is not responsible for ensuring the independent driver is fully insured.
Obtaining compensation from an uninsured independent truck driver may prove even more complex. In this case, you may want to seek help from your own insurance company. You might have uninsured/underinsured coverage that could benefit you in this situation.
How Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Claims Work
Both underinsured and uninsured claims are categorized as tort claims. A tort claim is based on the premise that another driver’s negligence led to your injuries, damages, and pain and suffering.
If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you could file a UM claim to cover your losses.
If your accident involved an underinsured party, matters can get more complicated. You likely may only file a claim against your own car insurance company in a case involving an underinsured truck driver if two criteria have been met:
- After the driver’s insurance has been exhausted.
- The truck driver’s insurance company must also submit the entirety of the policy amount to you first.
If the Insurance Company does Not Want to Pay Your Claim
If your insurer denies your claim involving the underinsured or uninsured driver, they could be in breach of contract. Your lawyer can inform you of the next steps in this situation.
You Can File a UM Claim After an Accident With an Independent Contractor
Contact your own insurance company if you are dealing with an uninsured (or underinsured) truck driver who operates as an independent contractor. You may be able to file an uninsured motorist claim.
Your claim would be based on an uninsured truck driver’s negligence. If the negligent truck driver is underinsured, your option would likely be to file a claim after expending the driver’s policy.
How an Ohio Truck Driver Accident Attorney Could Help You
An injury case may be complex. A personal injury lawyer can help you in several ways.
Your Lawyer Could Secure Damages from the Trucking Company
If the negligent truck driver who caused your crash is employed by a commercial trucking company, an attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and negotiate with the company’s attorneys on your behalf.
Your lawyer can work with the trucking company’s insurance provider to pursue compensation for your injuries. A legal professional can step in if the insurance company tries to deny or limit paying for damages.
Your Lawyer Can Handle Your UM Claim
If you must file a UM claim with your own insurance company, your attorney could help navigate this process for you. A truck accident law firm can serve as a buffer between you and the insurance company. They can take care of the negotiation process for a fair settlement.
You Can File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party
Depending on the circumstances of your case (including whether the trucker is employed by a trucking company or works as an independent contractor), your attorney may be able to sue the at-fault driver and other liable parties.
In some cases, negotiations with insurance companies don’t work out, or the victim’s losses are so severe that insurance coverage is insufficient. In these situations, your representatives would have to demonstrate the at-fault party’s liability to a judge or jury.
Per the Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, you only have two years to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline could mean that you forever lose your right to compensation. A truck accident attorney can monitor and meet these deadlines for you.
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