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Can I Sue a Truck Driver’s Employer in A Truck Accident Claim?

By: Moore Law Firm | Jun 1, 2021

Contact A Mobile Truck Accident Lawyer

After an accident with a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, it can be tough to figure out who may be liable for damages. Suing a trucking company can be daunting, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before filing a claim. The personal injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm have successfully recovered compensation for injured victims in all types of truck accident liability cases. Understanding the factors that determine who may be liable for your injuries and losses can help you make informed decisions when it comes to option for recovering compensation.

Who Is Liable In A Truck Accident Claim?

It depends. The circumstances surrounding an accident and whether or not a driver is an independent contractor or employee of the trucking company are two crucial elements that must be considered. Determining who may be responsible can be a complex process and require extensive investigation, so it’s critical to hire a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling and winning truck accident cases.

When The Driver Is An Employee Of A Trucking Company

When the driver is an employee or agent of the trucking company that owns or leases a vehicle, they are typically responsible for damages if an accident was the driver’s fault. If the operator was negligent, both the driver and trucking company may be jointly and severally (individually) liable. This means that an injured victim or the family of someone who was killed in a truck accident may file a claim against either or both the negligent truck driver and trucking company.

What If A Truck Driver Is An Independent Contractor?

The circumstances and facts surrounding the relationship between the driver and trucking company are vital. It’s good to be wary when a trucking company claims that a driver involved in an accident is working as an independent contractor. Merely stating that a driver is not an agent of the company doesn’t prove that the driver isn’t an employee. Your truck accident attorney will thoroughly investigate to determine whether the driver is truly an independent contractor or employee or agent of the company.

Unfortunately, some trucking companies will engage in underhanded tactics to give a false impression that a driver is an independent contractor when they are really an employee or agent. For example, trucking companies may “lease” their trucks to “independent operators” who transport goods exclusively for that trucking company. However, when these claims are scrutinized, it often turns out that a driver is on the payroll of the company.

It’s important to note that a driver may work as an independent contractor for some trucking companies and be an employee or agent of another.  If a truck driver is truly an independent contractor, your options for recovering compensation may be limited. You may have to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company and possibly your own insurer, not the trucking company.

Proving Negligence In A Truck Accident Liability Claim

Just because you were involved in a crash with a truck, it doesn’t mean the driver or trucking company was at fault. Regardless of which parties may be liable, you must prove negligence to recover compensation in a truck accident claim. There are four basic elements that must be shown to prove liability, including:

  • The driver had a duty to be reasonably careful
  • The driver breached that duty
  • Their breach of duty caused your injuries
  • You suffered demonstrable damages or losses

Investigation Of Truck Accident Claims

Although proving these elements can seem straightforward, extensive investigation of a truck accident claim is usually necessary.  This involves getting the trucker’s driving log, data from the black box recorder in the vehicle, evidence of whether the driver and trucking company followed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, and other valuable evidence, such as a driver’s training, driving, and medical records, maintenance and repair documentation, and expert testimony from accident reconstructionists and professionals involved in the trucking industry.

If a maintenance and inspection company, parts manufacturer, or vehicle manufacturer was negligent, they may be liable for damages as well. Putting all of the facts and information together to create a strong truck accident liability claim is challenging. Your attorneys will know how to build a compelling case that proves liability and negligence, fight to hold all relevant parties responsible for their actions and negotiate aggressively on your behalf to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact A Mobile Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accident liability can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when you’re injured and trying to on your recovery. At Moore Law Firm, our Mobile truck accident attorneys know how to investigate these cases and fight to recover maximum compensation for injured victims. If you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, contact us online, call us at 251-445-7602, or use the convenient chat feature on our website for a free consultation.

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