The people involved in a car crash typically have to determine who is at fault to handle insurance claims and other financial matters. When a commercial vehicle plays a role in a collision, the people in the smaller passenger vehicle are at an increased risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or facing the total destruction of the vehicle.
Sometimes, the drivers in the smaller vehicle are the ones to blame. They may have let distraction affect their driving habits or chosen to merge too closely in front of a big truck. Still, the statistics show that in multi-vehicle collisions involving commercial trucks, the bigger vehicle is the cause of the crash in more than half of the wrecks that occur.
Who is to blame for these commercial collisions?
The drivers often cause these crashes
Although commercial drivers have special licenses and extra training, they can make the same kinds of mistakes as anyone else. They may drive too fast for road conditions, give in to the temptation of distraction or even fall asleep at the wheel.
In scenarios where the commercial vehicle is to blame for the wreck, the truck driver is the one who caused the collision 87% of the time. They may cause crashes by making bad decisions, by failing to react to traffic conditions or by becoming unable to do their jobs, such as when they fall asleep or experience a medical event at the wheel.
What about in the other 13% of crashes?
Roughly 3% of commercial crashes caused by the big vehicle are ultimately the fault of environmental factors. The remaining 10% of collisions attributed to the big trucks are due to vehicular issues. In those collisions, the driver may not be the one to blame.
If the cause of the crash was poor maintenance, like bad brakes or tires, the transportation company that employs the trucker and maintains the vehicle might be to blame for the wreck. If the cause of the crash was an improperly-loaded trailer, either the employer or the client who loaded the trailer could have some liability for the crash that resulted.
Those affected by commercial vehicle crashes may be able to make an insurance claim against the policy on the vehicle and could also pursue a civil lawsuit against the driver, their employer or a third party like a client. Determining who is at fault for a trucking crash will make it easier for you to get full compensation for the injuries and property damage losses you suffer.