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Commercial Vehicle Accidents 101

Commercial vehicle accidents involve a collision with a vehicle that is used for businesses purposes, including most trucks, school buses, taxis, and more. Since these vehicles are owned and operated by companies, multiple parties may be involved in their operation. As such, multiple parties may be held liable for damages in the event of an accident.

Get the facts on liability in commercial vehicle accidents so you know how to protect your rights.

Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

With the number of commercial vehicles on city streets and highways, commercial vehicle accidents are a frequent occurrence. Some of the most common commercial vehicle accidents involve the following:

  • Trucks

  • City transportation buses and trains

  • School buses

  • Taxis

  • Limousines

Each type of commercial vehicle will have different entities involved in its maintenance and operation. School buses, for example, are typically owned and operated by either a school district or a school bus contracting company that is hired to transport students to and from school. Trucks, on the other hand, are usually owned and operated by private businesses that are responsible for hiring drivers and inspecting their fleet of vehicles.

Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Due to the numerous parties involved in most commercial vehicles’ operation, several different entities may be held liable for damages in the event of an accident. In truck accidents, for example, the truck driver, trucking company, or the cargo loaders may all be held liable for an accident involving a truck from their fleet.

The Truck Driver

A truck driver may be held liable for a truck accident if it is discovered that they operated the truck negligently, and that these negligent actions directly led to the accident.

Due to commercial vehicle drivers’ increased responsibility, whether they are transporting hazardous substances or carrying children to and from school, they are held to higher standards than traditional drivers. For example, commercial vehicle drivers may not have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 0.04%, which is half of traditional drivers’ legal limit of 0.08%.

Additionally, truck drivers, in particular, are required to follow hours-of-service regulations that stipulate they may not drive their truck for longer than 11 hours without a break.

If it’s discovered that a truck driver caused an accident by violating the aforementioned regulations, and that this recklessness led to an accident, the truck driver may be held liable for damages.

The Trucking Company

The trucking company may be held liable for an accident if it’s determined that any negligence on their part led to an accident. For example, if a trucking company encouraged its drivers to violate hours-of-service regulations, hired a driver who should not have been on the road, or failed to inspect their vehicles properly, the trucking company may be held liable for the accident.

Cargo Loaders

Due to trucks’ size, weight, and poor maneuverability, their cargo must be loaded evenly and securely in order to prevent an accident. If cargo loaders do not uphold their responsibility in loading a truck’s cargo properly and this negligence leads to an accident, the cargo loaders may be held liable for an accident.

Injured in a Commercial Vehicle Accident? We Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, our Memphis personal injury attorneys are here to help. We can sort through all of the elements of your case and hold negligent parties accountable, whether they are a large trucking company or an individual taxi driver.

Contact Daniel Law Firm today at (901) 295-0100 to learn how we can help you.