What happens if a commercial driver working for a trucking company gets into an accident with a minivan? Who is liable for the damages? While the driver of the truck is liable for any damages, the trucking company that hired the driver may liable as well.
Holding Trucking Companies Liable
Determining if a trucking company is liable can be tough, especially when they do everything they can to point blame at their drivers. There are a two ways that an attorney can prove that a trucking company is liable for the actions of their drivers.
An employer may be held liable if:
- They were negligent in their hiring or supervision of the driver
- They failed to provide proper training
- They asked the driver to drive more hours than allowed
Negligent hiring and supervision means that the company did not take the proper precautions when hiring the driver, such as ensuring they were properly licensed to drive a commercial vehicle. If a driver failed to follow legal standards, such as recording their driving hours, a company can also be held liable for this.
Don't Let Companies Skirt Liability
In order to distance themselves from liability claims, many trucking companies hire independent contractors that hire themselves out on a job-to-job basis. They will reach out to an owner/operator to rent the truck, trailer, and equipment and hire an independent contractor to drive the truck.
If the trucker was an independent contractor, it would mean that liability is determined through the language of the contract with the trucking company. Further, federal regulations have decreed that even companies that lease their vehicles from independent contractors are liable if the permit used to operate the vehicle is owned by the trucking company.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a truck driver, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. Working with an attorney can help obtain maximum benefits from the driver and the trucking company.