With the number of commercial vehicles on the road, accidents can happen at any time. However, commercial vehicles are highly regulated and employers are required by law to properly train and insure all drivers and vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, it’s important you understand your rights and the responsibilities of the commercial vehicle’s owner. In this post, we review the responsibilities of employers who own commercial vehicles or fleets.
Must Carry Adequate Insurance
Similar to personal auto insurance rules, commercial vehicle owners must carry the appropriate insurance. The commercial vehicles category includes a wide range of vehicles used in the course of business. These include vehicles that are over 10,001 pounds, transport 16 or more passengers, or transport any amount of hazardous materials. Examples of commercial vehicles are semi-trucks and cement trucks.
In Nevada, the Nevada Division of Insurance and the Department of Motor Vehicles publish rules to protect consumers and enforce regulations regarding driving safety and liability insurance. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was created to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.
All commercial vehicles are required to carry adequate liability insurance. Due to the size of vehicles and severity of commercial vehicle accidents, the coverage required is often higher than for personal automobiles.
Provide Workers Compensation Insurance
Companies that use commercial vehicles in the course of doing business must provide workers compensation insurance. Any driver or employee injured in a commercial vehicle related accident may be eligible to file a workers compensation claim.
Worker’s compensation can be complicated and it may be confusing to determine what is covered by commercial vehicle insurance and what is covered under workers compensation insurance. Many employees involved in a commercial vehicle accident don’t know that they may be eligible for benefits under workers compensation. Working with a workers compensation attorney ensures that you or your loved one understands what is covered by which insurance plan and that you don’t miss out on any benefits you are entitled to.
Hire Safe Employees
Employers are responsible for ensuring that all employees understand and follow all safety protocols. In fact, many industries where commercial vehicles are commonly used are required to offer safety training and evaluations at regular intervals.
When hiring drivers of commercial vehicles, employers must evaluate the driving record and licensing of potential employees. In addition to driving records, employers have a responsibility to train employees on equipment safety. Doing so protects the drivers, other employees, non-employees, and the employer’s property and vehicles.
If you or loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, it’s important that you know your rights and get the care and benefits you deserve. Your care and compensation during recovery is crucial, but the company vehicle owner is not necessarily looking out for your best interest. Always consult an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney to ensure you have a knowledgeable person on your side fighting for your rights.