When a massive commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the damage and injuries produced are often catastrophic for the people in the smaller vehicle. The victims of the crash can find themselves wondering how they will ever cover all of the expenses and losses they sustain.
Between the tens of thousands of dollars in motor vehicle repairs and potentially even more in medical costs, the people in the smaller vehicle may wind up facing extreme financial hardship. Individuals who suffer personal injury, the loss of a loved one or extensive property damage in a crash caused by a commercial vehicle may have multiple options available for compensation. The exact scenario of the crash will affect which legal options the victims have.
When drivers make dangerous mistakes, a lawsuit might be necessary
Anyone can make a mistake at the wheel that only takes a second but has lifelong ramifications. Such mistakes can cause horrific damage to other vehicles, even vehicles that are much larger than the average passenger vehicle. A crash in Columbus County early in January highlights how a driver’s mistake could prove devastating for other people.
A commercial truck driver in charge of a delivery vehicle took his hand off the wheel and his eyes off the road to reach for a cigarette. The result of that seemingly simple action was his massive commercial truck striking a school bus loaded with children on their way to school. The bus rolled multiple times. Two adults and eight children wound up transported to the hospital for emergency medical treatment because of one driver’s action.
Clearly, the driver made a mistake. However, personal injury claims may be more complicated than that.
When maintenance or company policy contribute to a crash, the business may be liable
There are many rules in place intended to protect the public from the potential dangers caused by commercial trucks. Limits on how long drivers can legally work and restrictions on their use of mobile devices are both federal rules intended to protect the public.
Trucking companies may tolerate their employees’ violations of these rules by allowing them to send text messages, respond to emails or even continue driving after their shifts should be over. If a crash is the result of inadequate vehicle maintenance that caused driving issues for the commercial trucker, the employer may be held responsible. The exact situation that leads to a crash will affect which options are available to victims and their families.