People take several steps to minimize their risk of a road accident and its impact should it affect them. When injured, owing to another driver’s fault, it is only fair to get compensated for the same. This sounds straightforward and in most cases, is when it involves two private drivers. This is nonetheless far from the case when you are involved in an accident with a truck. This is because you can hold multiple entities liable for your accident in this case.
A truck accident lawyer based in Los Angeles might recommend suing the trucking company or driver after the evaluation of your accident’s specifics. The critical aspect that will determine whether or not a truck driver can be held responsible for a crash is his/her employment status. Some trucking companies will erroneously classify their employees as independent contractors. This way, they avoid liability if a driver is involved in an accident. The following are the elements that will determine a truck driver’s employment status.
Control over a Driver
The amount of influence a trucking company has over a driver is one element that courts evaluate when determining their employment status. The aspects of control in this instance include working hours, an evaluation of work performance, and travel routes. If a company, for example, forces drivers to take a specified route, work for set hours, and wear a badge or uniform, the driver is an employer rather than a contractor. Furthermore, an independent contractor can accept or deny hauling contracts as he/she wishes compared to a trucking company employee that works according to someone else’s contracts.
Contract Work Elsewhere
If a current driver’s contract allows him/her to work with other trucking companies, they can be considered an independent contractor. If on the other hand, the contract forbids him/her from the same, then they are an employee. Independent contractors ordinarily work with more than one trucking company to maximize their pay since they are not eligible for as many benefits as trucking company employees.
The way a driver will receive their pay from the trucking company will also determine their employment status. If the driver is paid using the same rotation as other in-house staff and is listed on a company’s payroll, then they are an employee. If however, the driver is only paid after the completion of a trip, then they will be considered a contractor.
True independent contractors often own their equipment; that, in this case, is the truck. Some nonetheless hire the equipment for their haul and return it at the end of their trip. If the driver in your case drives a company-owned truck, this ordinarily indicates that they are an employee of the trucking company.
Most people immediately hold a trucking company liable for their accident’s injuries when their issue involves a truck. While they assume this guarantees them the highest compensation, they are frustrated when their case is dismissed, or the defendant walks free. Evaluating the above elements and determining how they affect your case should thus be your first step after an accident with a truck. This way, you will pick the right defendant and boost your odds of a win in your case.