A crash with a commercial vehicle may be one of the worst experiences you could ever have on the road. Such collisions can do catastrophic damage to your vehicle even at low speeds and can result in severe, possibly permanent injuries.
You may have tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal losses after getting hit by a semitruck in traffic. Who can you potentially hold responsible for the financial impact of the crash?
The insurance company covering the big truck
Just like with passenger vehicles, every commercial vehicle on the road has to have liability insurance coverage under state law. If the insurance is low, there might be just $25,000 worth of coverage, so you may need to consider civil litigation to recoup your losses.
The driver who caused the crash
If the records of the collision make it clear that the other driver did something irresponsible, you may be able to take action against them with a personal injury lawsuit. If they were under the influence of a mind-altering substance or texting at the time of the wreck, a civil lawsuit could lead to both compensation and a sense of justice for the injuries you suffered because of their bad decisions.
The trucking company
There are several reasons why you might take action against the company that owns the vehicle or employees the driver that hit you. Perhaps they engaged in inadequate maintenance. Issues with the big truck are the cause of 10% of the collisions caused by commercial vehicles. If inadequate maintenance was clearly at fault, you may have grounds for a claim against the company managing the fleet.
Bad business practices or hiring practices might also open a company up to liability for a crash. If they force their workers to drive longer than they legally should or employ people with backgrounds that made them an obvious risk on the road, the company may have some degree of fault for the losses that you suffered in the crash.
In some cases, there could also be a third party that you can hold accountable to. Defective vehicle components could lead to third-party claims, as could a situation where someone rear-ended the truck and made it hit your vehicle. Knowing who you can hold responsible after a truck crash can help you minimize the losses you suffer.