Did you know that human error is responsible for 90% of all commercial vehicle accidents? From distracted driving and speeding to driving fatigued, commercial vehicle drivers make mistakes behind the wheel that can be deadly. On average, over 130,000 people are injured every single year in commercial vehicle accidents that could’ve been prevented. When negligence or carelessness leads to your injury accident, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and for the damages you’ve suffered. But what type of vehicles are considered commercial vehicles?
Types of Commercial Vehicles
When most people hear the words “commercial vehicle,” they automatically think big rigs and semi-trucks. But, would you believe that even an ordinary pickup truck could be classified as a commercial vehicle? That’s right! According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, commercial motor vehicles are not simply defined by weight. A vehicle could be classified as a commercial vehicle based on the weight rating, if the vehicle is designed to move at least 16 passengers, or if it is transporting hazardous materials. As such, if a trailer is being hauled behind a pickup truck, the trailer and the vehicle combination may move it into the realm of being a commercial motor vehicle.
Some of the most common types of commercial vehicles are:
- Box trucks
- Big rigs
- School buses
- Coach buses
- Heavy construction equipment
- Farming equipment
- Travel trailers over 10,000 pounds
- Ice cream trucks
After an accident, it is important for your attorney to determine whether or not the “at fault” driver was driving a passenger car or truck or a commercial vehicle. If the truck driver was operating for a business, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit against the business, which likely has a higher insurance policy limit.
Fighting Against Insurance Company Tactics
Trucking companies and their insurance companies have one goal – to minimize their own liabilities and pay you as little as possible. They can do this in a number of ways and understanding their tricks and tactics can help you fight them after an accident.
- Playing Nice – insurance adjusters often call commercial vehicle accident victims pretending to be on their side. They may try to get a recorded statement from you during this time. Do not give them any type of statement without first speaking to an experienced attorney. They’re trying to get you to hurt your case.
- Hiding Evidence – they may even accidentally misplace or lose valuable evidence, such as written driving logs, digital black box data, or tampering with on-board computer equipment.
- Delaying Claims – insurance companies may deny paying your claim in the hopes that they can wear you down. They know that you need money now to pay for your expenses and they’ll use this delay tactic to give you a reason to settle quickly
- Lowball Offers – offering accident victims a lowball settlement is one of the most common tactic. Never accept an offer without first speaking to an attorney. These lowball offers are usually only a fraction of what you may need to fully recover.
Your Arizona commercial vehicle accident attorney can help protect you from unscrupulous insurance adjusters looking to reduce your claim.
Contact Our Phoenix Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a commercial vehicle accident in Phoenix, you may be facing unimaginable injuries and damages. At Miller Kory Rowe, LLP, our Phoenix commercial vehicle accident lawyers know that commercial vehicle accidents are particularly catastrophic and often result in long-term disability, pain and suffering. When this occurs, you need an experienced and skilled commercial vehicle accident lawyer in your corner helping you to fight for your rights to maximum compensation. Contact us today at (602) 461-8640 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We are here when you need us the most – and we will fight for you every step of the way.