Like other forms of motor vehicle collisions, commercial crashes happen for a broad range of reasons. Occasionally, the people in the smaller vehicle may have to acknowledge that they were to blame for the crash.
However, federal collision data indicates that the bigger vehicle is to blame slightly more than half of the time. Who is ultimately at fault for the crash will be an important distinction, as it will directly influence what types of compensation are available to you following the wreck.
Whether you hope to file a civil lawsuit or an insurance claim, determining who is truly at fault for the wreck will be a key step in the process. What parties might be to blame for a crash involving a commercial truck?
1. The driver
Obviously, the person in control of the vehicle is the one most likely to have made mistakes or oversight that caused a crash. According to crash data provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers are responsible for the collisions that occur in approximately 87% of collisions. Issues including non-performance, which may involve someone falling asleep at the wheel, poor decision-making and distraction all cause commercial vehicle crashes.
2. The commercial transportation company
While the driver is often to blame, sometimes their employer is at fault or at least partially responsible. Maybe the company has certain employment policies that lead to workers making unsafe choices at the wheel.
Perhaps the company failed to properly maintain the commercial truck, then resulted in the brakes failing or the tires blowing out right before your crash. If you can connect the collision to the condition of the vehicle or a company’s policies, you may have grounds to take action against the transportation company rather than the driver.
3. The client shipping something
Sometimes, the businesses that pay for commercial transportation services eventually cause crashes. Improper loading of the trailer on the semitruck might lead to the driver eventually losing control, and that would be the fault of the company that loaded the trailer.
The true underlying cause of the crash and several other considerations can influence your best options for compensation following a wreck involving a commercial truck. Learning more about the most common causes of commercial vehicle crashes can help you evaluate your own situation more objectively.