While some car accidents are simple and quickly resolved, others are complex, opening up numerous questions about evidence, fault, and liability. This is often the case when a collision involves a commercial vehicle. Not only might a commercial vehicle be more complicated than the average personal vehicle, there are more factors that may have contributed to the crash. There are also higher standards and regulations commercial vehicles owners and drivers need to uphold. All of these special circumstances require attention. If you were injured in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, contact our Wisconsin commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC right away.

Call us today at (715) 343-2850. We will immediately begin to investigate the accident, preserve evidence, and build your case for compensation.

What is a Commercial Vehicle?

A commercial vehicle is any type of car, truck, van, SUV, or other vehicle used to transport goods or passengers and is often owned by a company. Many commercial vehicles are part of a fleet, like semi-trucks. One business will own many of them, and they may be easily identifiable. However, some commercial vehicles are singular and may resemble a personal vehicle.

Whether another vehicle involved in your accident is considered personal or commercial should be investigated. Was the vehicle owned by a business or an individual who runs their own business? Was it being used for a business purpose at the time of the crash? Was the person driving the vehicle operating in the course and scope of their employment at the time of the wreck? If any of these are true, then you are likely dealing with a commercial vehicle.

However, if you are unsure or the matter appears to be more complicated, contact our Wisconsin commercial vehicle accident lawyers immediately. If the person who caused your injuries was driving a commercial vehicle for personal reasons or was driving a personal vehicle for business purposes, you may need help in determining liability for your injuries.

Common Types of Commercial Vehicles

There are many types of commercial vehicles. However, some of the most common commercial vehicles involved in accidents include:

  • Semi-trucks
  • Articulated trucks
  • Milk trucks
  • Logging trucks
  • Gravel trucks
  • Other light, medium, or heavy trucks
  • Larger vehicles for agriculture, construction, mining, and other industries
  • Passenger or delivery vans
  • Passenger busses
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Private vehicles for-hire

It is important to remember that just because semi-trucks are some of the largest and most obvious commercial vehicles that does not mean a smaller vehicle is not a commercial vehicle. Whether a vehicle involved in your accident is personal or commercial depends on the circumstances, not just its make and model. If you believe any other vehicle involved in the crash that led to your injuries may have been for a business, call us today.

Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

There are an innumerable number of factors that may have led to the exact accident that caused your injuries. It may take an in-depth investigation and crash reconstructionist experts to determine what led to that incident. However, over time it has become clear that certain issues often lead to commercial vehicle accidents, including:

  • Failure to properly hire, train, supervise, and fire drivers
  • Speeding
  • Drowsy driving
  • Reckless driving practices
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper vehicle maintenance
  • Defective vehicle part
  • Equipment failure
  • Overloading

Laws Regulating Commercial Vehicles

One of the reasons why it is important to know whether the car or truck that caused your accident was a commercial vehicles is because there may be federal and state regulations that apply to the vehicle owner and driver. If your legal team knows a commercial vehicle was involved, they can investigate whether the owner and driver were fully compliant with the law. Any regulatory violations may be evidence of negligence, supporting your pursuit of compensation.

Generally, commercial vehicles that participate in interstate commerce are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA controls issues such as:

  • Driver qualifications and licensing, including whether a vehicle requires commercial driver’s license or an additional endorsement to lawfully operate
  • Driver hours of service, including how long a driver can operate and when breaks are required
  • Driver records
  • Vehicle size and weight limitations
  • Vehicle markings, flags, and other warnings
  • Insurance requirements
  • Vehicle and driver emergency equipment

If you were hit by a commercial vehicle regulated by the FMCSA, then our personal injury lawyers will conduct an in-depth investigation to determine if the motor carrier and driver adhered to the law. Certain issues like hours of service violations can be strong evidence of driver negligence.

The Complexities of a Commercial Vehicle Accident

Following an accident with a truck or another type of commercial vehicle, it is essential that you have an experienced attorney seek to preserve potential evidence right away. You may need a great deal more information to prove liability in this type of personal injury claim than you would if you were hit by an average driver in their family van. Your lawyer will work to make sure that the driver, motor carrier, and other relevant businesses maintain their records and do not destroy documentation, data, or the vehicle.

Also, the cause of a commercial vehicle accident could be the driver’s direct actions, the vehicle itself, the cargo, a defective part, or something else entirely. An in-depth investigation could determine an issue you never considered was behind the crash and a company that does not appear on the accident report.

When it comes to commercial vehicle accidents, determining and proving liability is not always straightforward. Our attorneys are here to help you figure out what happened and who is responsible. They will also work to obtain and preserve the evidence you need to prove your case.

Contact Our Wisconsin Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today

You do not have to do everything yourself after being injured in a commercial vehicle accident. Your job is to get better and spend time with your loved ones. It is our job to investigate what happened, gather evidence on your behalf, hold the at-fault party responsible, and obtain you the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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