When you think about commercial vehicles, you usually picture the enormous trucks that supply most of all our supply throughout our roadways, making their way through traffic to reach their business destination and bring a variety of aspects to our shelves.
The truth is, there are many other types of commercial vehicles out there, which include the following:
- Box or straight trucks
- Delivery and passenger vans
- Catering trucks
- Step Vans
- Garbage truck
Commercial vehicles have to follow many rules on our roadways not only abiding by the laws of the road that we follow on a daily basis, but also meeting commercial vehicle insurance requirements to protect themselves, employees, and more in the event of an accident. But are you offered protections as well when it comes to commercial vehicles? Vehicles that work for business purposes are supposed to protect us from harm when they are on work hours and off. Today we will take a closer look at these accidents and how they occur, and how we can bring a claim.
Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accident
One thing that we want to take a closer look at is exactly how commercial vehicle accident occur on our roadways. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has determined that, in just 2015, 415,000 crashes involved commercial vehicles in some way. Given, not everyone involved in one of these accidents was seriously injured or killed. But we have discovered that 3,852 fatalities occurred because of these crashes, which means that there is a very real concern involving commercial vehicles and promoting safety on the roads. You don’t want to become a part of these statistics but, sadly, drivers do every single day. Some of the top reasons for these accidents include the following:
- Traveling too quickly for conditions
- Drowsy driving
- Feeling pressure from carriers to meet the deadline
- Distracted driving
- Illegal drugs or alcohol use
One thing to consider is that the driver of a commercial vehicle is not always liable in a case. These cases are also caused by drivers of motor vehicles every year, maintenance providers who have not met standards, companies who were supposed to be overseeing a vehicle and driver, cargo loaders, and more. You never know who will be liable for a commercial vehicle accident, and how your case will go until you dig deeper into your claim and discover the many people who played a role. There was a good chance that the company could play a role in your commercial vehicle accident.
When a Company is Liable
There is a phrase known as “respondeat superior” also known as “let the superior make answer,” which means that an employer could be responsible for your injuries in an accident involving a commercial vehicle driver. After an accident, it makes sense to pin the blame on the driver but this is not always the case if the driver was acting in the course of employment at the time.
Employers take responsibility for the wrongful actions of their employees while they are working on their time. This is due to the simple fact that employers are supposed to oversee everything their employees due and make sure that they are properly trained for the job and abiding by the rules of the road at all times.
Businesses usually also have more protections than drivers, which means that you might be covered by a large insurance policy rather than have to rely on a driver to pay for your damages over time.
However, sometimes it is not possible to bring a claim against an employer or big company when it is determined that the common carrier driver is an independent contractor and not an actual employee.
The distinction of employment relationship of the driver and company matters when you are bringing a claim. Companies wash their hands when it comes to independent contractors because independent contractors set their own rules, such as which hours they work, whether or not they use their own vehicle for the work, and more. It is important to find out if they are or if they aren’t so that you know who to bring a claim against.
After Your Commercial Vehicle Accident
After your accident, you should always understand what rights you have and what you should do after an accident. You should always retain your rights from the very start and call the police to your accident scene, as they will be able to assess the situation and determine which driver was at fault as well as why the accident likely occurred.
You will be able to receive the medical attention you need after you have been injured. Many people will make the mistake of holding off on medical treatment, but you don’t want to do this because it can affect the outcome of your claim and you want to ensure that you are not suffering serious injuries that could impact your life later down the line.
You want to collect as much information as possible concerning your case such as information from the witnesses and drivers involved in the case and take photographs of damages to your vehicle as well as your injuries as soon as possible. Make sure that you document everything because every aspect will later play a role in your claim and make it easier for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Speak to an Attorney Today
Have you been injured due to a negligent commercial vehicle driver and now you aren’t sure where to turn? We understand the many laws that dictate your recovery in these accidents and holding a driver as well as the company liable when it comes to recovering a wide array of damages.
Have you been suffering physically, mentally, or financially after your accident and now you want to compensate for aspects like emotional suffering, lost wages, and payment of your medical bills?
Turn to us at the McGuire Law Firm, where we care about your case and want to help you achieve the best outcome. Contact us today for more information at 888-352-0624.