When a massive commercial truck causes a crash, the people in the smaller vehicles involved often suffer major losses. It is common for such crashes to result in the total demolition of the smaller vehicle, and the occupants might also suffer severe injuries.
Big losses might require you to negotiate an insurance claim or even to file a personal injury lawsuit. In order to connect with the compensation you need after a commercial crash, you first have to establish who is ultimately at fault.
Who is responsible for your injuries and losses after a commercial collision?
The driver is often the one ultimately responsible
As you can probably imagine, many times the person driving the commercial vehicle is the one at fault for the collision. According to an analysis of commercial wrecks, approximately 87% of the crashes caused by a big truck are ultimately the fault of the driver.
Often, they cause crashes by making the wrong decision, like traveling too fast for road conditions. They might also experience medical issues, like a heart attack, that stop them from driving.
The trucking company could also be at fault
Although mistakes by the driver are the leading reason that commercial vehicles cause crashes, there are still other wrecks that are not the fault of the trucker. Of the remaining 13% of commercial crashes caused by a commercial vehicle, 10% have to do with the vehicle itself.
In situations where the driver is an employee, the transportation company that employs them may be responsible for inadequate maintenance of the truck. The company could also have some responsibility if its internal policies forced the driver to do something inappropriate, like driving after they had been on the road for too long or texting back to their boss while at the wheel.
Sometimes, a third party is at fault
While it is rare, sometimes the ultimate responsibility lies not with the truck driver or their employer but someone else altogether. There are two primary situations that fall into this third-party fault category.
The first is when there is a faulty part in the commercial vehicle. The company that manufactured the defective part may ultimately be responsible for causing the crash. The second scenario involves an improperly loaded trailer. When clients provide pre-loaded trailers for drivers, they could make mistakes that ultimately lead to the tractor-trailer tipping over or the driver losing control.
Figuring out who is at fault for a commercial crash is an important step toward getting the compensation you need after a wreck.