In 2017, 4,102 people died as a result of large truck accidents. 68 percent of those deaths were occupants of other vehicles.
A commercial truck can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger cars, which is one of the many reasons why those accidents are often fatal.
In 2018, the number of deaths by commercial truck accidents increased.
Whether it’s a truck or not, a commercial motor vehicle accident is not just another auto accident. Company vehicles and their drivers are insured by commercial policies.
When a crash occurs, there’s much more to investigate as the fault could lie with the driver, the company they work for, or even the truck’s manufacturer.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial driver, it’s essential to know what to do.
Keep reading to learn more about why commercial vehicle accidents are different and what to do if you’ve been in one.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle used for transporting goods or paying passengers.
A FedEx truck is a commercial vehicle, and so is an Uber car. In addition to trucks, any passenger vehicle that’s used or maintained for the transportation of people is a commercial vehicle.
Even if a driver only uses their vehicle on occasion to transport people or goods, their vehicle must still be registered commercially.
What Are the Leading Causes of Commercial Driver Accidents?
There are 3 primary causes of commercial driver accidents.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Commercial vehicles are often driven thousands of miles in short periods. Thus, if they aren’t adequately cared for, they can quickly become dangers on the road.
Because most commercial vehicles are large trucks, minor defects can lead to significant accidents on the road.
A poorly maintained vehicle can be the fault of the driver, who is responsible for maintaining a healthy truck while making deliveries. However, it could also be the company’s fault for not keeping up with the required checks and repairs.
Sometimes commercial truck drivers drive recklessly, despite the size and impact of the vehicle they drive over long periods.
Plus, companies often push their drivers to reach mileage goals. And if a driver doesn’t get adequate sleep or drives while under the influence, an accident is more likely to occur.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Cargo must always be loaded on the beds of commercial trucks according to the law. If the contents spill out as a result of improper loading, they can cause accidents and injuries on the road.
When Does Negligence Occur?
Commercial truck drivers operate big and heavy vehicles. Especially when driving long distances, these drivers must take extra care so as not to be negligent.
Some of the ways in which companies and their drivers are negligent are:
- Careless maneuvers during adverse weather conditions
- Lack of training
- Driving under the influence
- Aggressive driving
If you’ve been in a commercial vehicle accident, there are many ways in which your life could be worse for the wear.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
As with any other accident, the first thing you should do in the event of a crash is to make sure you and your passengers are out of harm’s way.
Once you confirm that you’re safe from additional harm, move everyone and your car out of the way.
If your car is drivable, pull over to an area where there’s no chance of you being hit again.
Call the police and take note of any witnesses.
Call an ambulance for anyone who’s been injured.
Don’t be polite or apologize for your role in the crash. Wait for the police to determine fault and investigate the scene.
While you wait, if you feel ok to do so, take as many photos, and document the crash to the best of your ability. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, from all angles.
If there are any witnesses, ask them to take photos or videos of the same wreck. Get their contact info.
As scary as accidents are, try to remain calm while you wait for help to come.
Make sure you get a copy of any police report and get checked out by a doctor as soon as you can.
Many people who are hurt in an accident don’t feel pain right away because they’re in shock. Injuries can be realized and felt later on, so it’s essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
Call a Lawyer
If you’ve been in a commercial accident, call a lawyer who specializes in what you’ve just experienced.
Aside from injuries, there are so many ways a car accident can affect your life, from emotional trauma to missed work.
Plus, when it comes to commercial vehicle accidents, there is a lot more investigating to be done. It’s not like your typical car accident where the police will determine fault and insurance companies have the final word.
When a commercial vehicle is involved, there are so many other people who could be held liable.
And if the accident wasn’t your fault, why should you have to deal with medical visits, injuries, trauma, missed work, and a damaged car without compensation?
A reputable auto accident lawyer will be able to get you the injury compensation you deserve.
A Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Requires the Help of a Lawyer
Most commercial vehicles are 20 to 30 times bigger than passenger cars. Plus, commercial vehicles are maintained by their drivers and the companies that own them.
Trucks aren’t always loaded by their drivers, and sometimes those commercial car manufacturers make mistakes in their manufacturing of the vehicles.
Even if your accident involved a commercial driver of a passenger car, it’s still in your best interest to call a lawyer.
Have you been in a commercial motor vehicle accident and want to know how we can help?
Contact us for a FREE case evaluation so that you can get some peace of mind in a better understanding of your situation. We are here to help.