It is almost always the drivers involved in a collision who are responsible for a crash occurring. The choices motorists make in traffic have a direct relationship on the potential for a crash. Driving too fast, turning too sharply or failing to communicate with other motorists using signals are examples of ways in which people increase their risk of a wreck.
However, there are times when an outside party is actually to blame or at least partially responsible for a collision. Crashes involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles are a perfect example. Occasionally, a commercial transportation company will be at fault for the crash instead of the driver that they hired. These are three of the scenarios in which a business may have culpability for a collision.
Poor vehicle maintenance
It is the responsibility of a commercial transportation company to ensure that its vehicles and all of their components are in safe operating condition. Failure to perform repairs and frequently inspect vehicles for maintenance needs could result in brakes failing or tires blowing out on the road. According to a federal analysis of what causes semi-truck collisions, roughly one in 10 crashes caused by semi-trucks or other commercial vehicles are a result of an issue with the vehicle.
Questionable employment practices
Some companies don’t offer their drivers adequate training because they need workers out on the road as soon as possible. Other businesses may hire truckers with no experience or with a checkered history that includes collisions or numerous citations. When transportation companies hire unsafe drivers or don’t train staff members for optimal safety, the company may have some degree of liability when one of those employees causes a crash.
There are many requirements for trucking companies and the drivers who operate their vehicles. For example, the trailers need to have rear underride guards installed. The drivers are subject to Hours of Service rules that limit how long they can work on any given day and over a seven or eight-day period.
In scenarios where those affected by a semi-truck collision can show that the company was non-compliant with key regulations or forced their workers to violate safety rules, it may be possible to bring a claim against the business. There can be sizable insurance policies that may apply after commercial crashes, and sometimes a personal injury lawsuit could be possible. Recognizing who is truly to blame for a crash is often the first step toward pursuing financial justice after a wreck.