If you are the driver of a big rig or other type of commercial vehicle, you do all you can to stay safe while behind the wheel. However, the time you dreaded has come, and you have now been involved in your first accident as a commercial vehicle driver. While you will be upset, it is vital you understand your legal rights and the potential for liability following your accident. If you are now facing an uncertain future and want to make sure you don’t make a costly error after your accident, keep the following information in mind as your case plays out.
Are You a Company Employee?
After your accident, much will depend on if you are an actual employee of the company for whom you were driving. Should you be able to prove you are in fact an employee, this will mean the company itself will be liable for any injuries and damages suffered by the victim.
In many cases involving commercial vehicle accidents, the company for whom you are driving may claim you are an independent contractor and not an actual employee. Should this be true, the bulk of liability will fall onto you directly and your insurance company. Since this is an area that is often disputed in such cases, meet with commercial vehicle wreck attorneys to discuss your situation in more detail.
In some accident situations, a commercial vehicle driver may find themselves being accused of deliberately striking another vehicle. If these allegations are made against you, take them very seriously. Should this happen, not only would your employer not be held liable for damages, but you could also possibly face criminal charges. If this has become an issue following your accident, hire experienced legal representation immediately.
Out of Court Settlement
In the vast majority of accident cases, victims tend to settle out-of-court rather than see the case go to trial. As the driver of the commercial vehicle, the amount of money eventually agreed upon for the settlement will depend on the type of insurance you are required to carry for driving a commercial vehicle. In many cases, there will be a policy limit for the maximum amount allowed for a settlement.
Often acknowledged as some of the most complex personal injury cases, accidents involving commercial vehicles must be handled by experienced attorneys. Rather than be held liable for the accident, have a skilled attorney protecting your rights from day one.