Figuring out who caused the crash is an important step when dealing with the aftermath of a collision. Fault can lead to someone’s insurance paying property damage and bodily injury claims. It can also lead to civil lawsuits.
In a commercial trucking crash, the main concern will be whether the person to blame was the driver of the passenger vehicle or the larger commercial truck. If the truck was clearly the vehicle that caused the wreck, many people assume that the commercial driver is, therefore, the one ultimately liable for the crash.
However, federal commercial crash statistics make it quite clear that there are at least two scenarios in which another party is truly to blame for a commercial crash. What might mean that the driver isn’t the one to blame for a wreck?
Poorly-maintained commercial vehicles
Unless the person driving is an owner-operator who always maintains their own commercial truck, their employer will be the one to blame if poor vehicle maintenance caused the collision. In the 10% of wrecks caused by the vehicles themselves, maintenance and repair issues are often to blame, but the trailer could also be the real reason for the crash.
Poorly loaded vehicle
When a client loads a trailer improperly or fails to notify a truck driver about cargo that might shift during transportation, it may prevent the driver from employing the best driving practices for the circumstances. Holding companies accountable for how they load their trailers can help you connect with more compensation than an insurance claim alone might produce.
Knowing who you can hold accountable is crucial when evaluating your options after a commercial vehicle crash.