Thousands of commercial vehicles share the road with other motorists every day. Although drivers, employers, and owners of tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles have an obligation to ensure safe operations while on the road, commercial vehicle accidents often occur due to negligence.
At Pepper & Odom, P.C., our commercial vehicle accident lawyers understand that these types of claims present unique challenges. We put our experience and skills to work for injured victims to help them recover the maximum compensation they need to protect their health and financial future after a commercial vehicle accident.
Crashes involving large commercial vehicles often result in catastrophic injury, significant property damage, and in some instances fatalities. In cases involving only passenger vehicles, usually only one or two negligent parties may be liable for an injured victim’s damages.
The driver, their employer, a separate trucking company, and even the company responsible for vehicle maintenance may all be liable in a commercial accident claim. These organizations also have much higher liability policy limits than typical auto insurance policies.
Dealing with all of these elements can be overwhelming and frustrating if you aren’t familiar with how commercial vehicle accident claims work. Our commercial vehicle accident lawyers have successfully recovered maximum compensation for clients in a wide array of commercial claims, including those involving wrongful death.
Vehicles classified as commercial motor vehicles are any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on any public highways in interstate travel to transport cargo like property or passengers. This also applies to any motor vehicle used for commercial or business purposes.
For a motor vehicle to be classified as a commercial motor vehicle in the US, it must possess a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, seating for up to 8 passengers or more for money, seating for up to 15 passengers or more for no money, or a trailer or bed to transport any materials deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Transportation.
Big rigs and 18-wheelers are what most drivers consider commercial motor vehicles. However, most of these drivers do not associate vans and smaller trucks as commercial motor vehicles.
Although, depending on the weight, a standard pickup truck that is hauling a trailer can qualify as a commercial vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission (FMCSA) has several qualities that are used to define commercial motor vehicles.
Knowing which vehicles fall under these qualities is crucial. This means that any owner or operator must follow specific laws set for the use of commercial vehicles.
If you do not take the correct steps while driving a commercial vehicle, you can expect legal trouble to follow.
In addition to large trucks like 18-wheelers, there are other vehicles that may be company-owned, including:
Unfortunately, since commercial accident claims often involve significant injuries and multiple parties, insurance companies try to shift blame on the victim to avoid paying damages. In these types of cases, it is essential to have a seasoned commercial accident attorney fight for your rights and interests.
If you attempt to go it alone and accept an inadequate settlement, your health and financial future may be in jeopardy.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, our experienced team at Pepper & Odom, P. C. provides quality legal counsel and representation you can trust. Contact us online, call our Birmingham, Alabama office at 205-250-1107, or call 601-202-1111 in Jackson, Mississippi.
Our commercial vehicle accident lawyers represent clients in Alabama, Mississippi, and nationwide, utilizing local counsel.