Truck accidents can occur for all sorts of reasons. Some crashes result from malfunctioning equipment, inclement weather, and bad roadway designs. But most truck crashes happen because of driver errors that typically stem from negligence. For instance, a speeding trucker might make a dangerous lane change or crash into another vehicle in traffic.
Likewise, truckers who are fatigued or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs have an increased risk of making errors and causing accidents. If you were hit by a negligent truck driver, you can file a claim against them to recover your losses. But you must also look into other parties, like the trucker’s employer (trucking company), to see if you can also hold them liable for your losses.
Is The Trucking Company Liable for Your Injuries?
Under the vicarious liability doctrine, the trucker’s employer may be held liable for the trucker’s actions if the trucker was working when they hit you. However, the trucking company will attempt to avoid liability by saying that the trucker is not an employee but an independent contractor or that the trucker was not working for the company when the accident occurred.
Was The Truck Driver Working for The Company?
The truck driver that hit you must be an employee of the trucking company and must have been working for the company’s benefit during the crash in order to hold the company liable for the crash. For instance, the company can be held liable if the trucker crashes into you while making deliveries.
On the other hand, if the truck driver crashed into you while they were on their way home and are already off the clock. The company will argue that it can’t be held liable for the trucker’s negligence since the driver was already off the clock and not working for the company when they hit your car.
Is The Truck Driver an Independent Contractor or Employee?
To prove that the trucker is not an independent contractor but an actual employee of the trucking company, you must figure out how much control and power the company has over the schedule of the trucker and their ability to work with other companies.
If the trucker drives their own truck, pays for gas, truck repairs, and auto insurance coverage out-of-pocket, doesn’t receive benefits from the company, and receives payment on a per trucking route basis, they are most likely an independent contractor.
On the other hand, if the company provides a truck for or leases one from the trucker, controls the trucker’s schedule, gets the necessary permits, maintains auto insurance coverage for the trucker, and pays the trucker wages, the trucker is an employee, and the company might be held liable for the accident.
Speak to an Experienced Boca Raton Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents are tricky mainly because there might be multiple liable parties involved. Because of this, reach out to our Boca Raton truck accident attorney before signing any documents or agreeing to any settlement offered by the other party’s lawyers or insurance providers. Get in touch with Demand the Limits and arrange your free case review by calling 561-600-3555 or reaching us online.