Driver Shortages and Employer Pressure May Lead to Commercial Vehicle Wrecks
While there has been a decline in truck driver turnover rates, the turnover rate for a truck driver is actually high compared with other industries. This fact can lead to more stress for drivers as they might be expected to spend more time on the road. Drivers who are overworked or experiencing stress may not drive as safely as they would under normal circumstances.
Therefore, if an accident results from a stressed and overworked driver, then there is no reason to hesitate when seeking compensation. A commercial vehicle wreck attorney can explain your rights to you and help you build your case. Here are some things they will consider.
The Driver's Employment Status
The responsibility of the employer during a commercial wreck is typically governed by "respondeat superior." This is Latin for "let the superior answer." The employer is responsible when an employee is negligent and the accident occurs within the scope of employment, but only if the actions were unintentional.
However, to hold the employer responsible, you will first need to determine if the employee is an employed driver or an independent contractor. If the driver is an independent contractor, you will need to sue him or her directly. Depending on the state where the accident occurred, you might decide to dispute whether the worker is an independent contractor.
With an independent contractor, the employer controls the result of the work produced by the employee. However, the employee controls the means by which the work is performed. For example, if the worker provides his or her truck, he or she is more likely to be considered an independent contractor than if he or she drives a company truck.
The employer is not responsible for intentional acts that were carried out by the employee. For example, if the employee was experiencing road rage and decided to use the truck to cause damage to your vehicle and injure you, the employee might be the only individual held responsible.
Federal and State Regulations
If the driver was pushed to violate state and federal regulations regarding the number of hours that the driver can be on the road or how often the driver must log his or her hours, then this will increase the odds that you will receive compensation.
Regardless of the details of your case, you will still want to work with a professional. Reach out to a legal firm like Frenkel & Frenkel for help negotiating your case and a settlement.