Commercial Vehicles: An Overview
Motor vehicle collisions involving buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles account for the most severe injuries and deadliest crashes in the United States. Since California is the lifeblood of the trucking industry, our state has the highest volume of commercial vehicle traffic.
That means motorists in Montebello and other parts of California are at a higher risk of being in a crash involving a commercial vehicle than motorists in other states. Each year, commercial vehicles are responsible for more than five million accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. These crashes account for over 1.5 million injuries and thousands of fatalities.
Numbers like these are disturbing to glance at, which is why we at The Hayes Law Firm encourage California residents to exercise extra caution when driving near a commercial vehicle.
Causes Of Commercial Vehicle Crashes
Causes of collisions involving commercial vehicles include the following:
- Driving under the influence
- Poor maintenance
- Defective equipment
- Overloaded vehicle
- Incorrectly secured or unbalanced cargo
- Inadequate hiring, supervision, or training of drivers
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate inspections of the vehicle and its parts and components
- Road rage
- Aggressive driving
Who Has Liability In Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
An injured motorist or pedestrian must be able to demonstrate evidence of the other party’s fault to recover damages from the driver of the commercial vehicle and other parties, including a shipping company, trucking company and others.
A commercial vehicle accident attorney can identify exactly who is liable for your injury to hold accountable as many parties as possible. The more defendants you can sue, the larger the amount of compensation that you can recover.
In most personal injury claims involving commercial trucks, the injured party is entitled to recover damages from both the operator of the vehicle and his or her employer. However, whether or not the employer can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employee depends on the terms of employment.
It is not uncommon for employers hiring commercial vehicle drivers to use shortcuts when hiring, training, and supervising their drivers as well as engage in other illegal activities and violations of the law to maximize profits.
Catastrophic Injuries Caused By Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Since commercial vehicles weigh from 20 to 25 times more than an average passenger vehicle, it is understandable why collisions involving these vehicles are responsible for catastrophic injuries and tremendous economic and non-economic damages and losses.
As you can imagine, an 80,000-pound truck crashing into a 4,000-pound passenger car does not bode well for the driver and occupants of the latter. Because of this enormous weight and size difference, people in passenger vehicles often end up with the following catastrophic injuries:
- Limb loss
- Brain injuries
- Fractured bone
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Other life-threatening injuries
It is no wonder why motor vehicle accidents involving commercial vehicles often result in multimillion-dollar settlements and awards. Let The Hayes Law Firm evaluate your case and advise you on the most optimal legal recourse to recover maximum reimbursement for the damages and losses.