When collisions occur between two passenger vehicles, establishing fault for the wreck is frequently a straightforward process. Once everyone’s insurance coverage has been reviewed, the claims process is often fairly easy to navigate.
However, a collision involving a commercial vehicle is almost always much harder to resolve. Multiple parties likely bear some degree of responsibility for the crash and insurance coverage challenges tend to be much more complex than they are in re: a crash involving two passenger vehicles.
If you have recently been injured as a result of a collision involving an 18-wheeler, these are the most likely parties who will be responsible for covering your costs. With that said, every case is unique and seeking legal guidance will provide you with clarity beyond these general rules of thumb.
A commercial insurance policy
All owner-operators and commercial transportation companies have to carry liability coverage on their commercial vehicles. When a police report makes it clear that a commercial vehicle is to blame for the crash, the policy carried by that driver or their employer can reimburse injury victims for property damage and medical expenses.
Commercial vehicle policies often feature hundreds of thousands of dollars in coverage or more, allowing them to more appropriately cover crash expenses than passenger vehicle policies. Such claims can become complicated and contentious quickly though, as the higher level of coverage could mean bigger losses for the insurance company involved.
The company that employs the driver
Sometimes, a commercial transportation company will be tagged with partial liability for a crash. That liability will leave it vulnerable to a lawsuit. Maybe it has policies that require its workers to use phones while driving or to continue driving despite feeling exhausted. Employers could be responsible for unsafe company practices and also for improper maintenance of the vehicles that their employees drive.
A company that ships materials
Clients who secure transportation services often load shipping trailers themselves. They could make mistakes that lead to a crash, such as failing to warn a driver about the instability of specific cargo. In a scenario wherein a company misrepresents the contents of a trailer, a driver could make mistakes that lead to a crash that would have been otherwise preventable.
When a business is responsible for crash-related harm, there will be more resources and possibly more insurance available than there would be if a driver was solely at fault. Analyzing the various sources of liability for a recent car crash can help you determine your options for compensation and the overall value of your case.