When a semi-truck or similar commercial vehicle collides with a passenger vehicle, there is little question about who will face the most serious consequences from the crash. The smaller vehicle will likely suffer significant damage, while the larger vehicle may not even have any visible issues at all.
The occupants of the smaller vehicle may also end up seriously injured by the force of the collision, while the person operating the commercial truck is far less likely to suffer a significant injury. The people affected by a crash with a commercial vehicle will often wonder who is to blame and what rights they have. The answer is different depending on the circumstances of the crash.
There could be numerous parties to blame
The question of who is to blame for a commercial collision does not always have a straightforward answer. In some scenarios, it is obvious that the commercial driver made a mistake. Perhaps they fell asleep at the wheel.
Even though it may be perfectly obvious that the driver caused the crash, it will typically be their employer’s insurance policy that covers the collision expenses. In some cases, the employer might actually be directly liable because of their business practices, such as requiring check-ins from their drivers or poor maintenance of their fleet vehicles.
Occasionally, there may be a third party that is technically to blame for the crash. There might be a manufacturer who put out a defective vehicle component. There could also be a third-party service provider that helps maintain a transportation company’s fleet vehicles or the semi-truck of an owner-operator. The clients that hire a commercial transportation company could potentially cause a crash by improperly loading a trailer or failing to inform a driver about liquid contents.
The people affected by the crash will need to look at every option to determine who to hold responsible. In some cases, such as when collisions with semi-trucks result in someone dying, a lawsuit against the responsible party or their employer may be necessary for the affected parties to recoup as much of the financial losses as possible.
Answering the question of who is to blame for a semi-truck crash can help the people impacted by the collision address the financial consequences of their collision with greater confidence.