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Who pays for the damages created in a semi-truck collision?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Truck Crashes |

The process of determining fault is crucial in the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision. The party at fault for a crash will typically be responsible for the financial losses generated due to their misconduct or negligence. Those who did not cause the crash may benefit from filing an insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit against the party at fault for the wreck. Sometimes, a crash will involve not two passenger vehicles but instead a passenger vehicle and a large commercial truck.

A semi-truck collision is one of the worst kinds of crashes that a person could experience. According to federal collision statistics, semi-trucks cause the majority of those crashes. Who pays for a collision caused by an 18-wheeler?

The insurance company

Every registered vehicle on the road should have liability insurance coverage, including commercial trucks. The federal requirements for liability insurance for a semi-truck that weighs 10,001 pounds or more include at least $750,000 of liability coverage, sometimes more. Those injured in a crash caused by a semi-truck can usually rely on that coverage to help them repair a damaged vehicle or purchase a replacement for one that is unsafe to drive. Insurance can cover their medical costs. It can even replace the lost wages and future lost earning potential of those who suffer employment setbacks because of their injuries.

The trucking company

Employers are responsible for what their workers do while on the clock, particularly in scenarios where a third party has a claim based on negligence. If a worker does something negligent, employers bear the legal and financial responsibility for the aftermath of the situation in most cases. Typically, this will mean that the driver of the truck won’t face direct financial responsibility. Instead, their employer has to worry about compensating those impacted by the collision. The main exception to this would be when someone is an owner-operator who purchased a truck and now works as a self-employed professional.

In cases where someone’s expenses go beyond what insurance can pay, a civil lawsuit against the transportation company could potentially help cover their losses. Understanding who is responsible for the financial consequences of a crash may help people limit their personal losses after a wreck.