Commercial vehicles are an important part of the modern American economy. They help move people, goods and raw materials around the country while keeping transportation costs low. However, they can also cause some of the most severe and expensive motor vehicle collisions that occur on the modern roads.
You may already employ different safety practices around big trucks because of their limitations on the roads. How are the crashes that involve commercial vehicles different than wrecks that only involve two passenger vehicles?
The damage possible is often worse
Even the most minor motor vehicle collision could damage your vehicle, lead to injuries and disrupt your day. When there is a crash between your car and a much bigger commercial truck, the consequences of the wreck could be much more serious.
Obviously, a bigger commercial truck can cause far more serious damage to the smaller vehicle involved in a crash than another passenger vehicle would cause. The occupants of the smaller vehicle are also at risk of extreme or fatal injuries.
The amount of insurance available is different
Any freight-hauling commercial vehicles will typically need to comply with federal insurance requirements, which are significantly higher than the basic requirements for liability coverage on passenger vehicles. You could have more than 10 times the coverage available to you, which can help offset the far worse property damage and injuries possible in these crashes.
There are many parties who could be at fault
With certain exceptions, most passenger vehicle collisions are the fault of one of the drivers involved. It is much more likely in a commercial crash for an outside party to have contributed or caused the wreck.
For example, employers might not take good care of the vehicles and their fleet, a factor that the driver does not control. The client paying the driver to haul a trailer may have improperly loaded the trailer or failed to disclose its contents, which could lead to a driver losing control of the vehicle. Those other sources of fault may open up other paths to compensation.
Understanding what makes commercial truck crashes different can help you better manage the consequences of a recent wreck, including any compensation claims you need to make.