Semi-trucks are one of the biggest dangers on modern roads. They are so much bigger than passenger vehicles that they may cause catastrophic damage in the event of a collision. They are so large that sometimes crashes involve smaller vehicles sliding underneath a commercial truck, often with tragic results. A wreck caused by a semi-truck that damages a smaller passenger vehicle could result in severe injuries and massive property damage.
Who might be to blame for a crash caused by a commercial truck?
The professional driver
According to a review of what causes commercial crashes by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 87% of the wrecks caused by a semi-truck are the fault of the driver of the bigger vehicle. They make mistakes such as driving too fast for weather conditions or not leaving enough space when completing a turn or they may have health emergencies while at the wheel that render them unable to keep driving.
The commercial transportation company
Often, if the driver caused the crash, their employer is legally liable. Businesses generally have financial and legal responsibility for what their employees do while on the clock. However, the trucking company could be directly to blame for the crash rather than indirectly via the driver’s responsibility. Maybe they improperly maintained the vehicle. Roughly 10% of the crashes caused by commercial vehicles are the results of something wrong with the vehicle, like bad brakes. Perhaps the company forced the worker to do something unsafe, like responding to a manager’s email while on a trip. Sometimes the employer, not the driver, is technically at fault for the crash.
There are a couple of different third-party businesses that could be to blame for a commercial wreck. Companies that secure commercial transportation services to move materials might improperly load a trailer, leading to its destabilization and eventually a crash. Clients might also fail to notify the driver of liquid contents or other unusual factors that would influence how they should drive. Companies that provide outsourced fleet maintenance or that manufacture defective vehicle components could also be partially liable for a crash caused by a commercial truck.
Given how expensive such collisions often prove to be, those affected by a commercial crash may benefit from looking into every option for compensation. Holding the right parties accountable can maximize someone’s ability to recoup the costs caused by a semi-truck wreck.