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Collisions between commercial semitrucks and passenger vehicles are often catastrophic. The smaller vehicle may have massive damage from the crash, and the people inside could easily get hurt. If you recently experienced a collision involving a commercial vehicle, you may have medical expenses and a vehicle that requires repair or replacement.

Getting full compensation for the crash will require that you make a claim against the party responsible. Who is really to blame for your recent motor vehicle collision?

Drivers are often at fault

When you look at the federal statistics for commercial vehicle collisions, there are some noteworthy trends. In the crashes where the big truck is the vehicle responsible for the wreck, the driver is most often to blame for the collision.

Roughly 87% of crashes caused by commercial trucks are the result of something the driver did or didn’t do. Drivers who get distracted at the wheel, who have medical issues, who fall asleep while driving or who make bad decisions can cause crashes that have major consequences for the other people involved.

A transportation company may be to blame

Sometimes, it is not truly the driver’s fault but rather something their employer did. For example, the company may have demanded that the driver stay at the wheel to deliver a load even though they had been on the job for too long.

The company may have failed to provide adequate training or may have an internal policy that requires their drivers to violate no text and hands-free phone rules. In some cases, trucking companies cause crashes with improper vehicle maintenance.

Other businesses can cause crashes too

Some motor vehicle collisions are not the fault of the driver of the truck or the company that employs them but rather a different business. The failure of a vehicle component on a commercial vehicle may create liability for the company that manufactured those parts. Improperly-loaded trailers that cause crashes when the contents shift, could make the clients that hired the commercial transportation company liable for the wreck.

Typically, commercial vehicles have liability insurance policies much larger than the coverage carried by passenger vehicles. Those hurt in commercial collisions can seek compensation from the insurance company. Other times, such as when a company is to blame, they may need to consider going to civil court.

Determining liability will be an important first step as you seek compensation after a commercial vehicle collision.