Every day more and more commercial vehicles are on the road. From delivery services to big trucks hauling things across the country, the number of big trucks and other large vehicles on the road keeps increasing. With the number of commercial vehicles on the road increasing, so does the chance of getting into an accident with one.
If you find yourself in a truck accident with one it is important to know who was at fault when you attempt to gain compensation for the accident. Unlike a crash with a normal vehicle, the at-fault party is not always clear-cut.
Who Can Be At Fault?
In a commercial vehicle crash, there is more than one party that can be at fault for the accident. You must determine whether the actual driver of the vehicle is the one at fault or if the company the driver works for is the one at fault and liable for the accident.
This can be a complicated process because it depends on a range of different factors that must be established at the time of the accident. Here is a brief breakdown of how to determine the at-fault party in a commercial vehicle accident.
The driver of the commercial can be found at fault for the accident in certain situations.
Using a Commercial Vehicle on Personal Time – A driver of a commercial vehicle that is found to be using the vehicle either for personal business or outside the time they are working that gets into an accident can be held liable for the accident.
Intent to Cause Harm – While we don’t often think of commercial vehicle drivers succumbing to road rage, it is possible. If it is found that the driver intended to cause harm to another person or vehicle when an accident occurred, they can be held liable.
Independent Contractors – In many cases, commercial driving work is undertaken by third parties that have their own licenses and equipment. In these cases, if the driver gets into an accident it is their fault.
The company can be found at fault for an accident under the following conditions:
The Driver Was Following Protocol – In cases where a driver of a commercial vehicle is doing everything correctly while on the job and still ends up in an accident, it is the company which is most often held liable, not the driver, because the company is responsible for both driver and vehicle.
A Vehicle is in Disrepair – If it is found that a driver of a commercial vehicle caused an accident due to a malfunction with their vehicle, this is the responsibility of the company, to maintain their vehicle, therefore the accident would be their fault.
Poor Work Standards – A company that does not follow proper procedure when it comes to drivers, their time on the road, their health, and giving them proper breaks, this can lead them to be found at-fault in the event of an accident.
In a Commercial Vehicle Accident? Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
The only way to successfully navigate all the rules regarding a commercial vehicle accident is by having a personal injury attorney on your side. They can help you determine the at-fault party and all the steps necessary to take to get maximum compensation.