How Commercial Vehicle Accidents differ from Regular Car Accidents

Posted by josephfranks on March 26th, 2020

What is a Commercial Vehicle?

‘Commercial Vehicle’ is an umbrella term; it includes delivery vans, taxis, company cars, RVs/travel trailers, trucks, mobile construction equipment, and vehicles that are designed to carry more than fifteen passengers. Precisely, any vehicle used for commercial purposes qualifies for this category. Commercial vehicles are generally large or heavier than regular vehicles, and are registered under a business corporation. In most cases, the drivers of commercial vehicles are officially trained to operate them and possess a commercial driver’s license. 

Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Accidents or crashes involving commercial vehicles are different from those concerning personal vehicles, especially in the matter of determining liability. The company that owns the vehicle is normally held responsible, rather than the employed driver on duty. As the majority of commercial vehicles excel in size and weight, the resulting damage to life and property is greater. Personal Injury Attorney Savannah, GAclaims that the procedure for reporting the accident and filing a compensation claim is more or less the same. The basic protocol for investigation is also similar, but some additional principles have to be taken into account.

Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

On average, half a million roadside accidents in the U.S involve commercial vehicles every year. A high proportion of these accidents occur during the dark hours (between 6p.m and 6a.m), resulting in thousands of fatalities. Following are the common causes for commercial vehicle accidents, starting from the most frequent reason to the least frequent reason:

  • Speeding/fast driving under unfavorable conditions
  • Brake failure or dysfunction
  • Faulty or obstructed roads
  • Tired/drowsy drivers
  • OTC drug usage
  • Driver’s lack of acquaintance with a new route
  • Lack of surveillance
  • Cargo shift & cargo overload
  • External and Internal distractions
  • Under the influence of Alcohol or Illegal Drugs

Compensation in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Car damage and physical injuries inflicted by an accident with a commercial vehicle are likely to be harsher/more serious as compared to a collision with another standard passenger vehicle. Smaller cars are totaled and victims who survive require extensive medical care. A totaled car is typically beyond repairs or fixing it may cost as much as its actual worth. Therefore, replacement of a ruined car and colossal hospital bills can put anyone in a tight spot. Filing a lawsuit against an individual driver is not worthwhile, as their minimum insurance coverage will only make up for a fraction of your total expenditure. For that reason, commercial liability policies are designed to provide extended coverage.  

It is necessary that you hire a professional personal injury attorney to handle your case; your representative in court must have relevant experience in dealing with commercial vehicle accidents. Your lawyer will look for loopholes to determine the fault of the owner of the commercial vehicle. For example, if the driver was operating out of his/her standard working hours, proof of this would be useful to conclude the company’s negligence. A strong case on your behalf can grant you 100% reimbursement for all losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Disability/permanent injuries
  • Mechanic fees/vehicular damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental/emotional distress
  • Lost wages and/or loss of normal life
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