Can a Commercial Trucking Company Avoid Liability After an Accident?
Victims of large trucking accidents may have the potential to sue multiple parties for their damages depending on the circumstances of their case. A victim may be able to sue the truck driver, the trucking company, and the manufacturer of the goods in the truck. When you work with an experienced Arizona truck accident attorney, you will learn more about what your options are to obtain the most amount of compensation for your damages. An Arizona large truck accident attorney will know what a fair value is for your case as well as who to hold accountable for paying you through an Arizona personal injury settlement.
Can Trucking Companies Avoid Liability for Truck Accidents?
Make no mistake, trucking companies do not want to hold any liability when it comes to large truck accidents in Arizona. They try everything possible to get out of having their insurance provider have to pay the large settlement amounts to victims after trucking accidents caused by their drivers. There was a time that truck companies were able to work their business structure so that they could claim that their drivers were independent contractors. This took the legal burden off of the trucking companies when accidents happened.
Then, in 1956 Congress set their sights on this dishonest practice and worked to change the laws. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 C.F.R. § 376.12(c) (1), trucking companies can’t skirt liability by leasing trucks to drivers and messing about with how a truck driver’s employment is classified. The changes to the law say that even when a truck company leases trucks to drivers, they are responsible for the truck and its operations. This means that if a truck causes an accident it doesn’t matter if it was leased, the trucking company can still be found liable for damages to victims.
Despite the changes to the laws, it is common practice for trucking companies that lease trucks to drivers have their legal teams still argue that they hold no liability because the driver wasn’t a true employee, but rather an independent contractor. A Phoenix large truck accident attorney that has experience with commercial truck accident cases will have seen this strategy before and know how to combat it.
It depends on the details of your truck accident when it comes to determining fault. A court may find that a driver was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident happened and therefore it is the trucking company that must pay. Other times, it may be found that the truck driver was reckless in their actions and perhaps the trucking company will not be assigned fault. Potentially both the truck driver and the trucking company can be held accountable for damages to victims.
Speak to a Qualified Arizona Truck Accident Attorney Today
Arizona truck accidents happen with enough regularity and the damages are often so severe that it is important victims of these accidents have the very best legal representation possible. Victims of Phoenix commercial truck accidents must work with attorneys that have experience litigating these highly complex accidents to ensure that a fair settlement is obtained. Call the Arizona personal injury accident attorneys at ELG to schedule your free consultation at (623) 877-3600.