As a driver, you not only share the road with cars and trucks, but also commercial vehicles such as buses, shuttles, 18-wheelers, and even minivans used for transporting goods and people. While a motorist is usually the one liable for an accident between vehicles, fault becomes much more complex when there’s a commercial vehicle involved.
A commercial vehicle driver can be held accountable for an accident for several reasons:
- A driver may be liable if they get in an accident while taking personal time on the job. For example, if a UPS driver gets in an accident on the way to friend’s house while on the job, this detour could land the blame on the driver.
- A driver of a commercial vehicle can also be liable for an accident if it was purposeful, whether it was because of road rage, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or negligence.
- If a driver is an independent contractor, they can also be held liable for an accident, since they are not a formal employee.
In addition to the driver, the company that owns the commercial vehicle can also be held responsible for an accident for the following reasons:
- If the driver was working within the scope of their employment, following their route and paying full attention to the road, but still managed to get in an accident, the company may be liable for damages.
- A truck that’s in poor condition due to the owner’s negligence can result in an accident, and the fault would lie on the one responsible for its maintenance, which could be the employer.