While some people have been involved in multiple car accidents and feel that they understand the claims process, an accident involving a commercial or company vehicle isn’t just another car accident. What may have worked for you in the past likely won’t apply to this unique situation, as company vehicles are insured by commercial policies and companies have teams of adjusters and attorneys to protect them from having to pay damages. If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by negligence, you deserve to be compensated, but you also deserve help from an attorney who can protect your rights. At Bostic Law Group, P.A., our Charleston commercial vehicle accident attorneys have more than two decades handling accident claims and know how to navigate claims involving commercial drivers and their employers and insurance companies. We can protect you from companies who wish to undermine your claim and make sure you secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact our team onlineor by phone at (843) 350-9646to schedule your free consultation today. Having handled countless accident claims, we know how to protect your interests and arrive at a solution that benefits you and your future.
TYPES OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES TO BE AWARE OF
While many people associate commercial vehicle accidents with trucks, the reality is there are a variety of commercially owned vehicles that can cause accidents on the road. Any vehicle used for commercial purposes can be considered a commercial vehicle and may be subjected to insurance laws.
Some common commercial vehicles to be aware of include:
- Sport utility vehicles
- Passenger buses
- Box trucks
- Cement mixers
- Ice cream trucks
- Pickup trucks
- Cargo vans
- Delivery trucks/vans
- Corporate cars
- Moving trucks/vans
It’s important to note that vehicles typically used for personal purposes can also be considered commercial vehicles. An SUV that is used by a worker to haul materials to and from a worksite, for example, can be considered a commercial vehicle. No matter the size of the vehicle or the severity of injuries, the moment you take on any corporation, you’re the underdog, and you need an attorney who can make sure your voice is heard.
COMMON CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS
Commercial vehicle drivers can cause accidents for the same reasons as passenger vehicle drivers, though there are a few common causes of these accidents that are particularly unique to individuals who drive for work, including commercial truck drivers.
Some of these common causes include:
- Fatigue: Driving while fatigued, whether due to a loss of sleep or side effect of a medication, can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a common state among individuals who drive for work, especially truck drivers who drive long distances and often through the night. While some commercial drivers are required by law to take meal and rest breaks, this isn’t always enforced by employers. When drivers are fatigued, they are less focused on the road and thus less likely to respond to road hazards in time or stop at red lights or stop signs.
- Distraction: Commercial vehicle drivers are just as guilty of being distracted as passenger vehicle drivers are, and sometimes even more so. For example, delivery drivers may be looking at their phones for directions or to determine where they’re dropping off packages, which prevents them from keeping their eyes on the road. Texting and talking on the phone while driving contributes to accidents, too.
- Faulty vehicle part or poor maintenance: Sometimes, commercial vehicle drivers aren’t directly responsible for the accidents they cause. Commercial vehicles are generally required to be inspected by companies before they go out on the road. An example of poor maintenance that can cause auto accidents and injuries include poor braking systems.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR DAMAGES?
Who is ultimately responsible for paying damages in an auto accident causing injuries depends on the nature of the accident, as well as whether the driver is considered a company employee. While companies are responsible for the actions of their employees, if the commercial driver is classified as an independent contractor, they’re not protected in the same way and may be held personally responsible.
Employers are often held liable for accidents if one of the common forms of negligence can be proven in the injury claim:
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to maintain vehicles
- Negligent supervision
- Negligent hiring practices
- Failures to verify certification
Additionally, a vehicle manufacturer can be held liable for damages if their dangerous or defective part contributed to the accident. Because liability is determined on a case-by-case basis, it’s best to hire a personal injury attorney following your accident who can assess your unique situation and determine a course of action. Our attorneys have years of successfully settling different kinds of auto accidents and understand how to navigate your claim.
Reclaim your life after an accident by calling our Charleston commercial vehicle accident attorneysat (843) 350-9646. You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills and property damage.