Can You Sue The Trucking Company If The Driver Is An Independent Contractor?
When a truck driver is involved in an accident, it can be difficult to determine who is liable for the injuries and damages caused. This is especially true when the truck driver is classified as an independent contractor. In this blog post, we’ll explore what it means to be an independent contractor and how that classification affects liability in truck accidents.
If you were involved in a truck accident involving a trucker who claims to be an independent contractor, you might be wondering whether or not you can sue the trucking company. The answer is, “It depends.” Our knowledgeable and detail-oriented Boca Raton truck accident lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can help you identify liable parties based on the specifics of your case.
What Does It Mean to Be an Independent Contractor?
An independent contractor is someone who works for themselves and not for a company or employer. They are usually hired on a project or task basis and must complete their work according to certain requirements set out by the hiring company.
The key distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is that the hiring company does not exercise any control over how the work is done. They simply provide instructions on what needs to be done.
Note: Florida Statutes § 440.02(15)(d) also provides the criteria a person must meet in order to be classified as an independent contractor.
Are Trucking Companies Liable for Accidents Involving Independent Contractors?
The answer to this question depends largely on the level of control that the trucking company exercises over its drivers. If the trucking company exercises any power over its drivers’ working conditions, it may still be held liable for any accidents involving those drivers. This includes issues such as scheduling, route selection, pickup/delivery times, etc. If the trucking company maintains control over these elements of a driver’s job, they may still be held responsible for any accidents caused by their drivers, even if those drivers are classified as independent contractors.
On the other hand, if a trucking company does not maintain any power or control over its contracted drivers—for example, if it does not provide them with training or equipment—then it may not be held responsible for any accidents caused by its drivers. In this case, liability would likely fall onto the driver alone because they were acting independently of their hiring company at the time of the accident.
Can You Sue the Trucking Company?
When determining liability in accidents involving trucks driven by independent contractors, it’s important to consider the level of control that the hiring company has over its drivers’ working conditions. If there is evidence that suggests that certain aspects of a driver’s job were controlled by their hiring company (e.g., scheduling, route selection), then that company may still be held liable for any resulting accidents even when their driver was classified as an independent contractor. On the other hand, if no such evidence exists, then liability would likely fall onto the driver alone because they were acting independently of their employer at the time of the accident.
Contact Leifer & Ramirez to Determine Liability in Your Truck Accident
Each case should be evaluated individually in order to determine who should bear responsibility for damages incurred in a truck accident involving an independent contractor. Contact our experienced truck accident lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez to discuss your unique case and determine if you can sue the trucking company for the accident and resulting damages. Call 561-660-9421 to schedule a free consultation.