People’s actions in the first moments after a motor vehicle collision occurs often focus on establishing fault for the crash. Either of the drivers involved may have done something that caused the collision. The party to blame for the crash often has financial and legal culpability for the aftermath of the collision. It is therefore necessary for those affected by a crash to analyze the situation carefully and communicate with local authorities about what happened immediately prior to a collision.
Even semi-truck crashes often follow the same general timeline of events. Provided that the bigger vehicle was at fault for the collision, people may expect to have a very simple and straightforward process when pursuing compensation. However, the party driving the semi-truck might not actually be liable financially for the damages they caused.
Trucking companies often have financial liability
Anyone who causes injury to others while on the job may only have partial liability for the situation. Vicarious liability rules allow people to hold businesses accountable for the actions of their employees. If a truck driver causes a collision through negligent behavior on the road, their employer might theoretically have financial liability for the situation.
That is particularly true in cases where people can show that the transportation company contributed to the crash. Bad employment practices and improper vehicle maintenance are among the scenarios in which the trucking company may have actual fault for the crash, not just liability for its aftermath.
Occasionally, the person driving the commercial truck is also the party with financial liability for the crash. Owner-operators are usually personally responsible for any collisions they cause. Of course, they should have the ability to compensate the other people affected. Most commercial vehicles have at least $750,000 worth of liability coverage. That insurance provides a crucial layer of protection for those who drive trucks and are effectively their own bosses.
Even when a claim is filed against a large commercial transportation company, it is usually the insurance provider, not the transportation company itself, that pays for the damages generated when a professional semi-truck driver causes a crash.
Understanding who is financially culpable is key to a successful compensation claim after a crash with a commercial vehicle.