When is a Company Liable After a Truck Accident?
The employer of a truck driver can be liable for a crash caused by their employee under the legal principle known as respondent superior, which provides that employers can be held responsible for their employee’s actions but only if the employee was on duty during the accident. However, trucking companies and their insurers often attempt to avoid liability by saying that the driver is not their employee but an independent contractor.
Determining Whether The Truck Driver is an Independent Contractor or Employee
To show that the trucker is the trucking company’s employee and not an independent contractor, you must focus on determining the amount of control the trucking company has over the driver’s schedule and their ability to work with other companies.
You will also need to check how the company pays the trucker and who pays the truck’s insurance, permit, and registration. Insurance providers and courts will look at these factors, among others, to determine how much responsibility to assign the trucking company and the truck driver.
Figuring Out Whether The Truck Driver Was Working at The Time of Truck Crash
For the trucker’s employer to be held liable for your injuries and related losses, the trucker must be an employee who was working for their employer’s benefit when the crash occurred. Usually, courts will look at the following factors:
- The place, time, and nature of the trucker’s conduct
- The trucker’s intent at the time of the truck crash
- The specific type of work the trucker needs to do
- Whether the trucker has any ability to control their job duties
- Any incidental activities the employer reasonably expects the trucker to do
For instance, if the trucker rear-ends your vehicle while fulfilling a delivery, their employer (the trucking company) will most likely be responsible for your accident-associated damages because the trucker was performing their job duties when they rear-ended you.
On the other hand, let’s say the trucker leaves work earlier than expected to run a personal errand and crashes into you. In this case, the trucker’s employer will point out that it can’t be held liable for the trucker’s negligence because they were not working for the employer when they crashed into your vehicle.
Consult With a Top Boca Raton Truck Accident Attorney Now
Trucking companies and their insurance providers have all kinds of strategies they can implement to limit their liability if an accident occurs. Their truck drivers, managers, insurance claims adjusters, and attorneys know exactly what needs to be done and will not waste any time protecting their interests and bottom line.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a truck accident or are in mourning because a loved one was killed in a truck crash, you should not waste time pursuing fair compensation for your losses. Reach out to Demand The Limits to discuss your situation with our Boca Raton truck accident attorney. Send us an online message or call our office at 561-600-3555 to schedule your free case review with our Boca Raton truck accident today.