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Who is Liable for Commercial Vehicle Accidents?

Navigating a commercial vehicle accident can be complicated. If you were injured in a collision with a commercial vehicle, you may be confused about who is liable for your damages. Although the driver may have caused the accident, their employer could share some of the fault. Other parties could be liable for damages as well.

Driver Liability

The driver of the commercial vehicle may be at fault for the accident, but may not necessarily be liable for damages. In these cases, the driver’s employer will likely handle most of the legal processes and insurance claim negotiations. The driver will be present during these processes, but it is not common for a driver’s private insurance company to be involved in commercial vehicle accident claims. The financial liability of the driver themselves will depend on the nature of their employment and the terms of their private insurance policy.

Employer Liability

In commercial vehicle accident cases, it is common for the driver’s employer to share fault for the collision and be primarily liable for damages. The employer’s insurance provider is the entity you will likely negotiate your claim with.

Employers handle commercial vehicle accident claims as the legally responsible party, but could also be directly at fault for negligence and contributing to the collision. Employers are responsible for ensuring their workers are properly trained, familiar with safety procedures, supplied with the necessary equipment, and provided with vehicle maintenance. Any failures in completing these duties could label an employer as at fault for a collision, and potentially liable for additional damages.

Third-Party Liability

Third parties who are not associated with the employer could potentially be at fault in a commercial vehicle accident. Third-party liability is common in cases in which the accident was caused by an external factor, rather than the driver’s actions or the employer’s negligence.

A business that uses company vehicles may rely on the services of several other parties to keep their drivers safe, and those parties could be liable in the event of a collision. Additionally, companies are sometimes required to follow legal safety regulations and are regularly inspected for compliance. Any failures in these responsibilities could be a reason to hold a third party accountable for a commercial vehicle accident.

A commercial vehicle accident could be the fault of:

  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Mechanics
  • Safety inspectors
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Road maintenance companies

The attorneys of Eliot Reiner, APLC can evaluate the details of your car accident case to determine who is liable and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call (916) 778-3228 or complete our intake form to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.

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