Fault or responsibility after a car crash may seem simple, but it is actually a complex concept. Often, one of the drivers in a collision is at fault, although it is possible for each driver to contribute to the outcome in some way. In certain situations, someone other than one of the drivers could contribute directly to a crash.
Assigning fault is a crucial step after a collision, as fault determines whose insurance pays and can sometimes open the door to civil litigation. If you recently experienced a crash with a commercial truck, who can you hold responsible for the property damage and injuries you suffered?
The insurance company
Just like passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles require liability insurance coverage. The driver or their employer will have an insurance policy that can reimburse you for the damage to your vehicle and the costs that you have to absorb because of an injury, such as lost wages.
Commercial policies often have higher coverage levels than personal liability insurance policies, meaning you may have enough coverage to help with your medical costs and property damage even if the expenses are quite high.
Insurance generally protects the driver from liability after a crash, even if they are clearly at fault. However, when a driver does something negligent or illegal, the people that get hurt as a result can potentially bring a civil lawsuit against them.
When you consider that approximately 87% of commercial vehicle crashes caused by big trucks are the direct fault of the driver, it’s easy to understand why civil litigation could be necessary for justice. Especially in cases of driver misconduct, like impaired driving, a personal injury lawsuit could help you pursue justice.
The trucking company
Drivers don’t necessarily maintain their own vehicles. They often can’t even control their schedule for work. When trucking companies have dangerous employment practices, they put the public at risk. A company that does not properly maintain its vehicles or that forces its truckers to drive for longer than is legal could have liability for someone’s losses if one of their truckers causes a severe crash.
Exploring all of your options for compensation after a crash can make it easier for you to seek justice.