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Drivers may share liability in semi-trailer accident

It's tough to imagine being in the path of an oncoming semi-truck. Most cars hardly stand a chance against these large and heavy vehicles. But imagine a semi-tractor loaded with steel coils. The weight and dynamics of the cargo load make this scene much more dangerous.

A driver of a minivan was recently in a truck accident with a truck carrying these steel coils. The man was injured and flown to a nearby hospital. The accident occurred in Miami County on Ohio 48 after the driver of the minivan ran a stop sign and ended up in the path of the semi.

The 28-year-old minivan driver suffered a head injury and was admitted in critical condition. The semi-truck driver was not hurt but his truck ended up sprawled across the road. Traffic was re-routed during the cleanup, which entailed picking up all the steel coils, cleaning gasoline and other remnants from the road.

Although at first glance it appears the minivan driver is at fault in this accident because he ran a stop sign; that might not be the end of the story. The driver may be able to bring a civil suit against the truck driver to recover damages under a theory of comparative negligence. The truck driver's negligence may have created additional damage and injury.

Investigators at the scene of the semi-trailer accident planned to weigh and measure the truck as well as the coils to see if the truck was overloaded or not. An overweight truck might have worsened the impact and the injuries the minivan driver incurred. A lawsuit against the truck driver could allow for damages to cover some of the hospital bills and recovery expenses.

Source: WHIOTV.com, "Driver recovering following crash with semi," Aug. 1, 2013

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