Determining liability after a car crash is an important process, and it is often relatively simple. The driver who ran the red light, didn’t use their turn signal or otherwise violated traffic laws will be the one ultimately to blame when vehicles collide.
However, there can be a bit of confusion about both liability and financial responsibility when a crash occurs between a four-wheel passenger vehicle and a commercial semi-truck. The people in the smaller vehicle are at risk of major injuries, and their vehicles could also suffer damage so severe that it is no longer safe to drive.
The total cost of the crash could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes even more than that. Who will pay for those expenses when the commercial vehicle was the one to blame for the wreck?
The commercial insurance policy
Any large truck that weighs 10,001 lb or more must carry a very large insurance policy to comply with the rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The average commercial truck will have at least $750,000 in liability coverage, although some trucks have more coverage than that because of what they haul.
Given that there is so much coverage potentially in play, the negotiation process for a claim related to a commercial vehicle crash is often very intense. The average person, especially someone coping with a severe injury or caring for a loved one, will struggle to counter the aggressive negotiation tactics employed by insurance professionals.
The driver or their employer
There are rare situations in which a commercial vehicle’s driver or the company that employs them could have direct liability that leads to a lawsuit. Scenarios involving uninsured commercial vehicles, illegal behavior or severe injuries may necessitate lawsuits in addition to insurance claims. There may even sometimes be third parties with liability, such as a client who improperly loaded a trailer or a manufacturer who put out dangerously defective vehicle parts.
Given that you did not cause the crash, you should not have to absorb the costs that it generates. Learning more about liability and insurance rules for commercial vehicle crashes will help you better move on with your life following a wreck.