The average driver feels quite anxious when they notice a semi-truck immediately next to them in traffic. These massive vehicles are so imposing that people tend to focus on safety more when they are nearby.
Despite how motorists might try to reduce their risk of a crash involving a semi-truck, such collisions are still relatively common and often have tragic outcomes for the people in a smaller vehicle. Motorists are, to no small degree, at the mercy of the decisions made by others when it comes to their overall safety and traffic. These three parties might ultimately be to blame when a commercial truck causes a crash.
A commercial driver
According to a review of federal commercial crash data, the majority of collisions caused by semi-trucks are the fault of the driver. Those with commercial driver’s licenses undergo special training and have to follow different laws than other motorists. However, they can and do still make mistakes. 87% of the collisions caused by commercial trucks are the fault of the professional driver.
A commercial transportation company
Sometimes, a driver’s bad decisions will lead to liability for their employer. This is particularly true when the company has poor employment practices. Additionally, commercial transportation companies might be to blame for collisions that result because of issues with the vehicle. According to the review of crashes referenced above, roughly 10% of semi-truck collisions are the result of an issue with the vehicle itself. Improper maintenance and delayed repairs might make a commercial transportation company liable for a crash.
Clients that hire semi-trucks
There are different types of shipping arrangements. Sometimes, drivers help load and unload the trailers that they haul. Frequently, however, clients provide the trailers, already loaded, for a driver to pick up and transport. Improper loading of a trailer or poor maintenance of the trailer might lead to a preventable crash, such as a scenario where the driver loses control of the vehicle because the objects in the trailer suddenly shift.
Depending on who is to blame for the crash, there may be insurance coverage or even the option of pursuing a lawsuit against a business. Establishing fault is an important early stage in the process of seeking compensation for a commercial vehicle crash.