After being involved in a Commercial Truck Accident, it is not always easy determining who is liable for the accident.
There may be multiple parties who can be held responsible for contributing to the cause of the semi truck accident.
Truck Accidents are very complex from a legal standpoint, so it is not always easy for the injured victim to figure out who is reasonable for the injuries and damages that they suffered.
An effective Truck Accident Injury Attorney will conduct a thorough examination of all the parties who could potentially be held responsible for the accident. Any party who contributed in some way to the accident needs to be held responsible for compensating the hurt party.
With that known, let's dig into what determines responsibility and as a result, liability.
In many cases a truck driver and trucking company can be held responsible for the truck accident.
In some situations, trucking companies can be held liable for their employees' negligence while the employee was working. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers are employees; some are independent contractors.
This means that the first thing the victim needs to find out is if the truck driver is an employee of the company or an independent contractor.
Generally, a company will not be liable for negligence committed by an independent contractor.
Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine if the truck driver is an independent contractor or not by finding out the following:
- Can the Truck Driver refuse
- Can they set their own work hours?
- Do they use company equipment or wear a company uniform?
- Do they work for other customers?
If a truck driver uses his own truck, assumes the cost of repairs, is paid on a per route basis, receives no employee benefits, and the company does not withhold taxes from the truck driver's paychecks, and does not instruct them on how to make deliveries, then the truck driver is more than likely an independent contractor.
Many times trucking companies and their insurance company will try to place total blame on the truck driver, claiming that they are independent contractors. While in some cases this may be true, trucking companies can be held liable for the driver's actions if they lease a truck or placard to the driver.
It takes the help of an expert attorney to help you file a claim and receive compensation in a truck accident lawsuit.
Determining liability alone is complicated enough, it's important to have someone helping you who knows the ins and outs of the legal system.
In this post, you can learn even more about what you should know about a truck accident case.
Employed Truck Driver Liability
A trucking company may not be held liable under certain independent contracting laws; however, if a truck driver's actions are under the scope of employment, then the trucking company may be held liable for the accident.
Some factors to determine the scope of the truck driver's employment include:
- Did the accident occur during the truck driver's normal work hours?
- What was the driver's intent?
- What is the amount of freedom given to the driver?
- Did the task benefit the employer?
- Was the work, the driver, was doing part of the employment agreement?
- What is the duration of the personal activity?
For example, if a truck driver causes an accident during their scheduled delivery time, the employer could be held liable for any harm that occurs because the truck driver was acting within their scope of employment.
On the flip side, if the truck driver decides to run a personal errand in the company truck, and they cause an accident to occur, the trucking company could argue that the driver was not acting within their scope of employment and therefore they are not responsible for the injuries and damages that occurred.
Your Best Chance at Compensation
If you were involved in a Truck Accident, your best chance at obtaining the compensation that you deserve is to contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney for legal representation.
If you need more information on learning about the value of your truck accident case, click here.
Hiring an attorney to handle your case will take a huge load off of your shoulders. Determining liability alone in a truck accident case is extremely complicated, and can be nearly impossible to do alone. Having an attorney's help can make this confusing process much more bearable.
Even if you believe your accident is cut and dry, you may not realize that the trucking company along with the truck driver can be held responsible for the accident. You may not know whom you can sue, or the amount of compensation that you can sue for.
When you become involved in a Truck Accident, contacting an attorney right away will help protect your settlement.
At The Roth Firm, our Truck Accident Attorneys offer a free consultation. We do this to give you the opportunity to explain your case and hear how we plan to help before you commit to our services.
When you come to our firm for help, not only do we help determine liability in your case, we handle all negotiations with the insurance company, gather all the necessary documentation for your settlement, and prepare your case for trial if negotiations are unsuccessful.
We have years of experience helping the hurt receive the compensation that they are owed for the injuries that they suffered.
If you were hurt in a truck accident and need help determining liability, The Roth Firm Truck Accident Attorneys can help you receive the benefits that you are owed.
Click below now to schedule an appointment with our Truck Accident Attorneys today.