Being involved in a commercial vehicle accident can be a traumatizing experience. Commercial vehicles—including buses, tractor trailers, large trucks, big rigs and semis—rule the road by their sheer size, intimidating other vehicles in their wake. These vehicles are oversized and are made of tons of steel, often barreling down the highways and interstates at remarkable speeds, making them unstoppable forces. When the right set of conditions crop up, horrible accidents that result in catastrophic injuries can occur. Nearly anything in the path of a commercial vehicle is bound to be harmed during a collision. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, then seeking an expert who is adept in commercial accidents to represent you is a smart next move.
Who’s To Blame in Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Determining the cause of a commercial vehicle accident requires a thorough investigation which should be conducted as soon as possible to avoid losing any critical evidence. While commercial vehicle accidents are rarely cut-and-dry scenarios, there are some common factors, which include:
- Driver Negligence
Commercial driver negligence is the leading cause of severe and fatal commercial vehicle accidents. Many drivers choose to put other motorists in danger by driving an 18-wheeler or tractor trailer unsafely. Some examples of commercial driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while drowsy or not getting enough sleep
- Not looking when merging and changing lanes
- Engaging in aggressive driving such as speeding and tailgating
- Commercial Vehicle Company Negligence
Commercial vehicle companies are often legally responsible for accidents involving their vehicles. These companies can be held liable for their drivers’ mistakes under the vicarious liability law. They can also be found liable for their own negligence, which may include:
- Hiring unlicensed or inexperienced drivers
- Requiring drivers to spend too many hours on the road
- Improperly loading cargo
- Failing to maintain their vehicles properly
- Overloading their vehicles
- Repair or Maintenance Shop Negligence
If an accident is caused by a maintenance issue, the repair or maintenance shop that worked on the vehicle could be legally held liable. Some examples of negligent maintenance or repairs that can cause dangerous highway collisions include:
- Negligent transmission repairs
- Faulty brake jobs
- Improper tire inflation
- Road Construction or Maintenance Negligence
Sometimes dangerous road conditions may be at fault for serious or fatal commercial vehicle accidents. Some examples of dangerous conditions that can lead to unavoidable accidents include:
- Low shoulders
- Inadequate safety barriers
- Ice and snow accumulation
- Construction debris on the roadway
- Passenger Vehicle Driver Negligence
Occasionally, accidents involving commercial vehicles are due to other drivers’ negligent driving. If a passenger vehicle put a commercial driver in a situation where it was impossible to avoid a collision, the passenger vehicle driver’s insurance company may find itself liable for any accident-related losses.
Our expert legal team is adept in identifying the defendants in your case and bringing them to task for their negligence or incompetence.