Who Is Liable After A Company Vehicle Accident?
Being involved in a car accident is always a scary and confusing ordeal. When one of the vehicles involved is a commercial vehicle, though, the aftermath is particularly complex. You will likely sustain much more serious injuries when hit by a tractor-trailer, garbage truck, or any other type of commercial vehicle. You deserve compensation for those injuries and your other losses, but obtaining it is not easy.
Determining who is liable, or at fault, for a commercial vehicle accident is much more complicated than when two passenger vehicles are involved in a crash. It is critical that you speak to a San Antonio company vehicle accident lawyer who will ensure you receive the full and fair settlement amount you deserve.
What is a Company Vehicle?
Any vehicle that is used for commercial purposes can be considered a company vehicle. The most common include 18-wheelers, cement trucks, utility service vehicles, construction trucks, and moving trucks. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, so the injuries sustained by those in smaller cars during an accident are catastrophic and life-changing.
After any accident, a claim is filed with the liable party’s insurance company. When two smaller vehicles are involved in a crash, the policy limits are generally lower. In San Antonio, as throughout the rest of Texas, motorists must only carry $30,000 in bodily injury per person, or $60,000 per accident.
Consider that one night spent in the Intensive Care Unit can cost more than $20,000, and it is easy to see how the average motorist’s policy limit would not fully cover the cost of injuries. Fortunately, regardless of the size of a company, the insurance policy limits on commercial vehicles are much higher, making it possible for accident victims to recover the full amount they deserve.
When is a Company Liable for an Employee’s Accident?
If you were hit by a commercial driver, you may be able to file a claim directly against the driver. Some drivers own and operate their own trucks, which is most common with transport truck drivers. However, when a commercial driver works for a company, you may also be able to file a claim against their employer. Companies that operate fleets of trucks can act negligently just like other entities. Some of the ways in which trucking companies are held liable for their negligence are as follows:
- Failing to properly maintain the commercial vehicle in a manner that would have prevented the accident,
- Failing to ensure drivers were certified to operate a certain vehicle before hiring them,
- Continuing to hire employers who have poor driving records,
- Failing to enforce standard operating procedures for pre-trip daily inspections, and
- Failing to regulate the number of hours an employee drove.
Even if the company was not directly negligent, they can still usually be held liable for an accident caused by their employee. Under the legal concept of vicarious negligence, you can still likely pursue damages from the company.
Our Experienced Company Vehicle Accident Lawyer in San Antonio Can Provide Legal Help
After any crash involving a commercial vehicle, you need sound legal advice. At the Law Office of Israel Garcia, our San Antonio company vehicle accident lawyer can advise you of your options and help ensure you receive the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 210-LAW-9999 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.