Every car crash generates significant risk for those involved. At the very least, they risk expensive property damage losses that can have lasting financial implications for their household. In a worst-case scenario, people might die.
Commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, are responsible for some of the most devastating collisions that occur on modern roads. The people dealing with the aftermath of a car crash often have significant challenges ahead, as the process of recovering after a commercial vehicle crash can be particularly difficult. Additionally, the following factors often render the legal aftermath of crashes involving semi-trucks much more difficult to navigate than “traditional” crash scenarios.
1. There is more insurance in play
The huge size of a commercial truck makes it a threat to others on the road. They’re so much heavier and bigger than other vehicles that they are both more likely to cause crashes and more likely to cause devastating consequences for the people affected if a collision occurs.
Due to that risk, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires six-figure insurance policies from commercial drivers, and some commercial vehicles have to carry even more coverage than that because they have dangerous materials inside. Therefore, not only can the crash itself prove more devastating, but the insurance claim process will likely prove more complex because insurance providers have more incentive to fight when someone makes a claim against a commercial policy.
2. There are more people who could be to blame
After a commercial vehicle collides with a passenger vehicle, it isn’t just the driver of the semi-truck who could have some responsibility for the outcome of the situation. Their employer could be partially liable and could potentially be at fault.
Fault might also fall to companies that manufacture vehicle parts or provide service to commercial vehicle fleets. Even the companies that hire transportation businesses to provide semi-truck shipping services could be to blame if they misrepresented the nature of the cargo or improperly loaded a trailer.
It may take some careful investigation to determine who actually has liability for the collision that occurred.
The average person will find even a standard car crash claim challenging and could therefore end up totally overwhelmed by the claims process after a semi-truck collision. Recognizing the challenges ahead when responding to a commercial truck crash may benefit those involved in or affected by a wreck as they seek compensation with the assistance of a legal professional.