Is the Accident the Fault of the Truck Driver or the Trucking Company?

If you are in an accident involving a big rig truck, the situation is a little more complex than the standard car accident. The truck driver likely does not own the truck that caused you the injury. The truck is most likely owned by a trucking company, and the driver is acting as an employee of the trucking company at the time – however, that is not always the case. Some truck drivers operate as independent contractors or owners of their own company. So when you are seeking out the services of a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, how do you know which entity you’re going up against?

Laws Regarding Employee Truck Drivers

The law states that employers are usually at fault for the conduct of their employees while those employees are on the clock. So if the truck does belong to a separate company, and the truck driver is an employee, the company is generally liable for the injury you suffered.

More Complex When the Truck Driver is an Owner

If the truck driver is an independent contractor or owner and is contracted to a company that owns the goods being shipped, the incident is a little more complex. Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will need to consider things such as:

  • How much of the business operations the driver controlled. If his actions as a contractor were heavily regulated by the owner of the freight, he might still fall under the law regarding employees.
  • The length of time the driver has been driving for this freight owner.
  • How the truck driver gets paid (i.e., does the freight owner remove taxes and pay like a traditional employer?)
  • If the driver owns his truck or leases it

These things and others can determine if the driver was acting as a representative of the company, or as an individual who would be responsible for the accident.

Why Know These Things?

Knowing who it is, that is responsible for your injury is the first step in recovering costs for the injury and damage you suffered. This can be a very complicated legal situation, so if you are in an accident with a truck driver, be sure to contact The Law Offices of Jual F. Reyes, personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, by calling our toll-free number at (877) 242-4410.

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