Holding a Trucking Company Liable for an Accident
According to reports by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the large majority of crashes involving large commercial trucks are caused by some type of error on the part of truck drivers. When a truck driver is distracted, fatigued, or otherwise careless on the road and causes you injuries, chances are you want to hold that driver fully accountable for his actions and for all of your bills and losses. But did you know that in many cases, the trucking company that employed the driver can also be held liable?
Liability for Truck Driver Negligence
Many people act negligently and injure others while performing their jobs. In such cases, the law also imposes liability on the employer of the negligent party if the driver was working within the scope of his job duties when the accident occurred—which is generally the case when a truck driver is on the road making deliveries.
A company can try to defend against liability by claiming, for example, that the truck driver was an independent contractor and not an employee, or by asserting that the driver was not on the job at the time of the crash. These cases can be complex and companies will try to avoid liability whenever possible, so you need high-quality legal representation for your truck accident claim.
Negligence of the Company Itself
In some situations, though the driver was negligent, the company may also be held liable for negligence that helped lead to the accident. A trucking company can be negligent in these cases by:
- Hiring drivers with a history of dangerous driving or accidents
- Failing to test drivers for drugs and alcohol or not properly suspending a driver for a failed drug or alcohol test
- Allowing untrained, unlicensed, or unqualified drivers to operate certain commercial vehicles
- Not enforcing hours of service limits or even encouraging drivers to violate them to make more deliveries
- Falsifying records to cover up driver violations
You may be surprised about the lengths to which some trucking companies go to conceal driver misconduct and not interrupt operations. While—of course—not every trucking company is often negligent, the actions of some companies put motorists in danger on a regular basis, and those negligent companies should be held fully liable.
Contact Our Tampa Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Knowing when to hold a trucking company liable—and how to do so—is highly important because companies usually have greater insurance coverage and assets, increasing the chance that you will receive full compensation for your losses. At The Florida Law Group, we understand how to handle even the most complex truck cases, so please call our office at 813-463-8880 to speak with one of our Tampa truck accident attorneys as soon as possible.