Commercial vehicle accidents are inherently more complicated than typical car accidents for several reasons.
Understanding these complexities is crucial, especially if you are involved in one.
Here are the key reasons why these accidents are more intricate:
Severe Damages and Injuries: Commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, are much larger and heavier than passenger cars. Consequently, accidents involving these vehicles often result in more severe damages and injuries, raising the stakes for everyone involved.
Complex Regulations: Commercial vehicles are subject to a wide array of federal and state regulations, including hours-of-service rules, maintenance standards, and load restrictions. Understanding these regulations and how they apply to a specific accident scenario adds a layer of complexity to these cases.
Multiple Parties Involved: A commercial vehicle accident might involve several parties – not just the drivers. Potential parties include the vehicle owner, the driver’s employer, the manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts, and the company responsible for vehicle maintenance.
Determining liability can become a complex process with so many potential stakeholders.
Higher Insurance Coverage: Commercial vehicles typically have higher insurance coverage limits due to the potential for severe damage.
While this might mean a higher potential settlement, it also means that insurance carriers will vigorously defend their positions, often employing aggressive tactics to minimize payouts.
Detailed Investigation Needs: Establishing the facts in a commercial vehicle accident requires a detailed investigation.
This might include examining driver logs, vehicle maintenance records, the driver’s employment history, and the vehicle’s black box data. The thoroughness required for these investigations surpasses that of standard car accidents.
Professional Driver Standards: Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than regular drivers. They must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and adhere to strict regulations regarding their driving. Any violation of these standards can be crucial in legal proceedings.
Complexity of Injuries and Medical Treatment: Given the higher likelihood of severe injuries, understanding and proving the extent of injuries, treatment plans, and long-term impact requires specialized medical knowledge and often expert testimony.
Potential for Corporate Involvement: When a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, it often means that a business or corporation is involved.
This involvement can lead to more complex legal proceedings, as corporations will have their legal teams and resources.
Impact on the Driver’s Career: For the commercial driver involved, there’s also the potential impact on their career. Issues like liability and negligence can have long-term consequences on their professional life.
Broader Impact on Public Safety: Finally, commercial vehicle accidents often raise broader concerns about public safety and industry practices.
These issues can attract more media attention and public scrutiny, adding another layer of complexity to the case.
Due to these factors, handling a commercial vehicle accident case requires specialized legal expertise and a thorough understanding of the unique aspects that set these accidents apart from regular car accidents.