Commercial Crash: Common Lawsuits in Common Carrier Crashes

Commercial Crash: Common Lawsuits in Common Carrier Crashes

Whether it is a transport truck, a taxi, or a delivery van, commercial vehicles are always on the road. Depending on the extent of the crash, getting into this kind of vehicular accident can be especially troublesome, given the nuance of a third party at play.

When you have unwittingly collided with a commercial vehicle on the road, be prepared for three common lawsuits from all sides of the court. It is good to know what you can do, whether you are the driver of a commercial vehicle, the driver of a private vehicle in the accident or a passenger.

Defining Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles are those that are used for commercial and business purposes. This can involve company cars, delivery trucks, shuttles, ride-sharing vehicles, and rentals.

These vehicles also need insurance, so accidents will need to be covered by commercial auto insurance once the liability is proven to be on the side of the commercial vehicle driver. 

Suing as a Passenger

Passengers aboard the commercial vehicle can also sue for damages. If injured, the passenger will need the plaintiff to determine the liability of the driver, whether it is the commercial vehicle driver or the other party.

From here, the passenger will need to build a case entitling him to damages as a result of the accident. In some cases, this can involve medical expenses and lost wages, especially if the passenger is debilitated for a time after the accident.

Claiming Against the Driver or the Company

The tricky thing about commercial vehicles is that there are different layers of claims. One can sue the driver, especially if they are personally responsible and a level of negligence is proven. One can also sue the employer or company of the driver, because there are clauses that hold employers liable for their employees’ actions.

Rentals are covered by a unique clause of individual lessees. Commercial vehicles used on a rental basis may require the plaintiff to sue the person who had leased the vehicle.

Which Party is Responsible? Ask Your Lawyer

Given all the parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident, one may need to discern which party will shoulder the most liability. Typically, cases like these can have compensation in three ways.

  • Compensation from the Driver’s Insurance

In some cases where one cannot pinpoint the exact fault, what happens is that the injured driver can claim compensation from the insurance. When proven to have significant liability and fault, they will need to cover their own vehicles, as well as other affected parties.

  • Compensation from the Commercial Driver Reckless Driving

Reckless or negligent driving can lead to lawsuits, and in some cases the payout is more than the insurance is willing to cover. In such an event, one will need to file for compensation beyond it. Usually, the company or the commercial vehicle driver will need to compensate for personal injury, especially if the accident was caused by fatigue, speeding, texting, or impairment.

  • Compensation from the Employer of the Commercial Driver

Some employers may also be partly responsible for the accident. This can happen when drivers are forced to be on the road for long hours, meet deadlines for deliveries, or answer phone calls from employers. In cases like these, your lawyer may consider filing for compensation from the company itself, so long as there is proper documentation.

Typically, a lawyer would need to advise the client on how to process these claims and which party is the most appropriate to receive a lawsuit.