Commercial Crash: Common Lawsuits in Common Carrier Crashes

Whether it is a transport truck, a taxi, or a delivery van, commercial vehicles are always on the road. Depending on the extent of the crash, getting into this kind of vehicular accident can be especially troublesome, given the nuance of a third party at play.

When you have unwittingly collided with a commercial vehicle on the road, be prepared for three common lawsuits from all sides of the court. It is good to know what you can do, whether you are the driver of a commercial vehicle, the driver of a private vehicle in the accident or a passenger.

Defining Commercial

Commercial vehicles
are those that are used for commercial and business purposes. This can involve company cars,
delivery trucks, shuttles, ride-sharing vehicles, and rentals.

These vehicles also
need insurance, so accidents will need to be covered by commercial auto
insurance once the liability is proven to be on the side of the commercial
vehicle driver. 

Suing as a Passenger

Passengers aboard the
commercial vehicle can also sue for damages. If injured, the passenger will
need the plaintiff to determine the liability of the driver, whether it is the
commercial vehicle driver or the other party.

From here, the passenger will need to build a case entitling him to damages as a result
of the accident. In some cases, this can involve medical expenses and lost
wages, especially if the passenger is debilitated for a time after the

Claiming Against the
Driver or the Company

The tricky thing
about commercial vehicles is that there are different layers of claims. One can
sue the driver, especially if they are personally responsible and a level of
negligence is proven. One can also sue the employer or company of the driver,
because there are clauses that hold employers liable for their employees’

Rentals are covered
by a unique clause of individual lessees. Commercial vehicles used on a rental
basis may require the plaintiff to sue the person who had leased the vehicle.

Which Party is
Responsible? Ask Your Lawyer

Given all the parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident, one may need to discern which party will shoulder the most liability. Typically, cases like these can have compensation in three ways.

  • Compensation from the Driver’s Insurance

In some cases where
one cannot pinpoint the exact fault, what happens is that the injured driver
can claim compensation from the insurance. When proven to have significant
liability and fault, they will need to cover their own vehicles, as well as
other affected parties.

  • Compensation from the Commercial Driver Reckless Driving

Reckless or negligent
driving can lead to lawsuits, and in some cases the payout is more than the
insurance is willing to cover. In such an event, one will need to file for
compensation beyond it. Usually, the company or the commercial vehicle driver will need to compensate for personal injury, especially if the
accident was caused by fatigue, speeding, texting, or impairment.

  • Compensation from the Employer of the Commercial Driver

Some employers may
also be partly responsible for the accident. This can happen when drivers are
forced to be on the road for long hours, meet deadlines for deliveries, or
answer phone calls from employers. In cases like these, your lawyer may
consider filing for compensation from the company itself, so long as there is
proper documentation.

Typically, a lawyer
would need to advise the client on how to process these claims and which party is the most
appropriate to receive a lawsuit.